Zoff Updates – broken frames and filing insurance outside of Japan

Hubby and I have bought several pairs of glasses from Zoff both while living in Japan and during visits back over the last several years.

We’ve experienced a broken frame outside Japan and filed receipts with private health insurance companies in Canada. We hope what we’ve learned might help you!

women's glasses

women’s frames from Zoff

Does Zoff fix broken frames from outside Japan?

Fortunately, out of six or seven pairs of glasses, Hitoshi and I have had only had one pair break.

Unfortunately, they broke when we were nowhere near Japan.

Oh no!

Hitoshi contacted Zoff to ask about mailing the broken glasses back to Japan for repair. They didn’t (and still don’t as of July 2016) offer this service to customers outside Japan.

The only option was to mail them to Hitoshi’s family in Japan who could then go to Zoff and get them fixed and then mail them back to us.

With glasses from Zoff being so inexpensive, there didn’t seem much point going this route. Those broken glasses got replaced on the next trip back to Japan.

flexible glasses frames

Hitoshi’s frames from Zoff – 2012. You can bend, twist and stretch them without breakage. Just don’t step on them.

Filing Zoff receipts with private health insurance companies in Canada

Hitoshi and I have purchased four pairs of prescription eye glasses from Zoff in Japan and then submitted the receipts with our private health insurance providers in Canada. The first pair we did this with was back in 2010 and the latest pair was in 2015.

We have had insurance through a few different companies and I recommend carefully reading the rules of your plan to see what is covered.

We have followed the steps below and have had no trouble getting reimbursed for the full amount. I can’t guarantee the same for you but it’s worth a try.

The cost will be converted at the exchange rate decided by your insurance company so this could affect how much you get back. That said, the cost of glasses from Zoff is far lower than any price we’ve found in Canada for our prescriptions. Each time we’ve been well within the prescription glasses limit on our plans.

Zoff includes the cost of a basic eye exam in the cost of their glasses so there is no additional fee to submit. This is helpful since our plans cover very limited amounts for eye exams with long waiting periods between exams.

I am 6

What does this say?

Steps for submission

Again, check with your insurance provider to see what they want. We’ve needed to fill in the regular paper reimbursement form (no online option) and mail this along with the original receipt and translation.

Step 1:

Head on over to your insurance provider’s web site (or maybe get forms through work?) and find the correct form to submit.

Look for a section on the form for out-of-country purchases. This is where you’ll likely put the basic info about your purchase.

Step 2:

The next part is where the work comes in – translating the receipts from Zoff. One is a basic cash register receipt (small piece of paper) and the other is the order form with the prescription. We have yet to be asked for an official translation so we keep doing it ourselves.

The smaller cash register receipt has not been required by our insurance providers. Check with them to see if it’s required.

The larger form has changed a little over the last several years but the basic content has stayed the same. It shouldn’t be hard to match up what you see on your receipt with the translated version.

Japanese and English language teaching materials

Let’s learn Japanese!

Click on the links below to see a pdf of the translated receipts. The first one is for the large receipt with the eyeglasses info. Note! The calendar year for the birthdate may be left blank or the Japanese year format may be used.

The second is the cashier’s receipt. The translated version is old but the receipt format has surprisingly not changed. Again, check with your insurance company if it’s required.

Depending on your Japanese knowledge, the biggest translation challenge will likely be the address for where you bought your glasses. Ganbare!

Step 3:

Take a walk down to your local post office and buy a stamp.

mail car

Heading even farther back in time to when trains were used to process, sort and deliver mail!

And that’s it! Happy submitting and good luck.

Hopefully some day Zoff will open a branch in Canada.

Have you submitted receipts to private health insurance like this? Any broken glasses tales to share? (When I broke my glasses in Finland right before I left, I used a bright red pipe cleaner to hold the two halves together!)

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