The FTC enforces the Eyeglass Rule, which gives you the right to get your eyeglass prescription — whether you ask for it or not — and at no extra charge once your eye exam has been completed. Having a copy of your prescription lets you shop around and get the best deal. But based on public comments and consumer reports we’ve gotten, it’s clear that some eye doctors aren’t following the Rule.
To correct that and help the FTC enforce the law, the agency, in its notice of proposed rulemaking, wants eye doctors to not only get a signed confirmation when they release prescriptions to patients, but also to keep a record of that confirmation for at least three years. Eye doctors should already be requesting you sign a confirmation of prescription release when you receive your contact lens prescription.
The proposed updates also would clarify that your proof of insurance coverage is considered payment for services when determining when a prescription must be shared. It would also let your eye doctor give you a digital copy of your prescription, instead of a paper one, if you agree.
The FTC wants to know what you think about the proposed updates. The notice includes questions for public comment which will help the agency with its decision-making on the proposal. These include questions about provisions in the proposed rule, as well as questions related to the costs and benefits of the proposed rule to consumers and eye doctors. The notice will be published in the Federal Register in early January 2023. Once it’s there, please submit comments electronically or in writing for 60 days for agency consideration.
In the meantime, learn more about your existing rights at Buying Prescription Glasses or Contact Lenses: Your Rights. And if you think an eye care professional is violating the Eyeglass Rule, report it to the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.