Is Lasik Eye Surgery Affordable Without Insurance
We often hear from patients how LASIK has changed their lives, from waking up to crystal clear mornings, to participating in work, sports, hobbies, and family activities without glasses or contact lenses, to no longer having to deal with the hassle of breaking glasses or losing a contact lens. Some patients have said that they viewed their LASIK procedure as an investment in their own quality of life. So even if your LASIK treatment will not be covered by insurance, we have a number of options that may help make it more affordable for you:
Bargain Pricing May Cost You More
Some surgery centers offer seemingly low prices on LASIK surgery. You may see billboards and ads in your community that suggest you can have the surgery you want for hundreds of dollars rather than thousands.
As the American Refractive Surgery Council points out, these bargain prices may not include the full cost of your care. The advertised price may include the surgery itself, but it may not cover the cost of:
- Your pre-operation screening exam.
- Additional corrections if your vision does not clear.
All of these fees can add up, and these are not fees you can avoid. You will need a screening exam before surgery, for example, so your doctor will know what issues need to be corrected. Skipping that step means skipping surgery altogether.
If fees come with steps that cannot be skipped, the price you may pay with a bargain vendor could be higher than the price you would pay with a reputable clinic that offers flat pricing for the entire procedure.
Con: Theres A Slight Chance Youll Need Lasik Again
Again, those with a higher prescription prior to surgery are more likely to see a minor decrease in vision quality over time a condition known as myopic regression.
There can be a tendency for it to drift back, but never to the same degree, Hood says. That might require a doctor-patient discussion, he notes, as a second LASIK surgery has increased and different risks.
For more information about LASIK or PRK surgery, call the Kellogg Eye Center at 734-615-5274 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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How Much Coverage Will They Provide
Each provider and each plan is different. Specifics can vary regarding the type and amount of coverage provided.
A discount on LASIK eye surgery is often based on the type of procedure you choose and whether or not you choose a provider that is considered in-network. Savings can be based on a percentage off, such as 15 percent off or a specific dollar amount.
Check with your provider and your plan to determine your level of coverage. Nail down all your expenses and out-of-pocket costs before getting LASIK eye surgery, so you can plan how to pay for it.
How Much Does Prk Surgery Cost
In 2019, the average cost of laser refractive surgery on one eye in the U.S. was $2,246 per eye, according to the analytics company Market Scope. That average covered PRK as well as other types of laser eye surgery like LASIK, or laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis. The cost that surgery practices reported to Market Scope bundled in all types of automated technologies, some of which you might opt out of under certain circumstances.
You need to cover that cost through health or vision insurance, out of pocket, or with a flexible spending account or health savings accountâor some combination of those. Surgical practices you are considering will give you the total fee for PRK surgery in advance.
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Putting The Lasik Price Into Perspective
No question, the average price of LASIK at $4,400 can feel like a lot of money. However, lets put it into perspective.
In 2008, the LASIK surgery cost was about $4,000, but in todays dollars, that would be closer to $5,300. However, today LASIK costs about $4,400. That alone is about a 20 percent reduction in price. Plus, todays average hourly wage has increased 40 percent over the same 10-year period to more than $30.00. In 2008, the average American worker needed to work about 225 hours to afford a LASIK procedure today that figure is 150 hours a 30 percent decrease in terms of work time.
However, while the LASIK surgery cost has decreased over time, a tremendous amount of innovation has been developed making what was a very good procedure even safer and with better visual outcomes with todays advanced LASIK technologies. These include the latest diagnostic technology that provides valuable information to surgeons to determine eligibility and procedure selection. The data from the diagnostics also help to guide a customized vision correction procedure for each patient.
Compare Lasik Affordability To The Long
The LASIK vs. contacts cost might surprise you. The long-term effects of LASIK will likely outweigh the amount that youre spending to keep up with your glasses and contact lenses. In fact, the cost of LASIK is usually half or a quarter of the cost of glasses and contacts. Over 20 years, people have spent an average of $6,000 on glasses, $12,000 on soft contacts, and $16,000 on disposable contacts.
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What Are Your Options When Financing Your Lasik Procedure
At the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center, we offer several financing options to match your budget. We provide patient financing and no-interest payment options with Care Credit. With Care Credit, you have the option to make monthly payments with interest over 60 months, or interest-free payments over an 18-month period. Patients can visit carecredit.com or call 1-800-365-8295 to be pre-approved.
Typically, patients receive a response immediately. There is no down payment required and no pre-payment penalty. Patients usually receive the first monthly statement three weeks following their treatment.
You can also take advantage of your Healthcare Savings Account or a Flexible Spending Account , both easy ways to reduce the costs of LASIK surgery.
Most FSAs allow you to use your selected amount for the year as soon as your benefits are effective . HSAs are similar, but the remaining money can roll over to the next year, as these accounts dont expire.
Our LASIK providers will discuss the benefits of all your financing options during your consultation.
Getting Your Medical Insurance To Help Is Very Unlikely
Unless a patient has a visually significant cataract, which requires a lensectomy/ IOL, medical insurance will typically not pay for vision correction procedures because it is considered cosmetic. Under no circumstance is an elective vision correction procedure considered medically necessary.
We have written many letters to insurance companies to attempt to get LASIK covered as medically necessary when a patient is contact lens-intolerant and/or cant wear glasses . To our knowledge, in no case has medical insurance covered the procedure.
The only instance where medical insurance covers LASIK price or other vision correction procedures is in situations where they are specifically written into a policy at a higher premium, typically for the benefit of high-level executives of large companies.
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How Much Does Lasik Enhancement Cost
Many offer prices that include follow-up visits and even re-treatment procedures called LASIK enhancements . Typically, only those with a small amount of nearsightedness are eligible for ultra-low prices at discount LASIK providers. Most patients wind up paying a lot more to correct their vision prescription.
Todays modern LASIK laser technologies combine with advanced diagnostic instruments to improve both outcomes and safety and allow surgeons to customize the procedure to each patient, each eye. A highly qualified LASIK surgeon invests in these precise technologies for their patients benefit. The most advanced LASIK diagnostic and laser equipment are unlikely to be covered in a $99 price tag.
The best advice? Regardless of who you choose to work with, get a written cost estimate. It should itemize the costs involved in your procedure and care. Ask questions about LASIK enhancement fees before committing to scheduling the procedure. And, of course, read the fine print.
Many Vision Insurance Plans Will Not Pay For Your Procedure
Vision insurance plans also do not typically completely cover LASIK and other vision correction procedures. These plansi.e., Vision Service Plan , Davis Vision, or Eyemedmay have negotiated discounts with various surgeons or groups but rarely directly pay for any portion of the surgery.
One notable exception to this is Southern California Edison and certain unions that have plans through vision insurance that pay for up to 90% of vision correction costs. Prospective patients are encouraged to clarify any benefits regarding LASIK price with the benefits department at their company before undergoing any surgery.
When compared to the costs of contacts, vision correction surgery is less expensive over a patients lifetime. While a patient might spend $4,000 to $5,000 initially for LASIK, there is no cost for upkeep or maintenance of the results.
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Which Vision Insurance Companies Have The Best Coverage For Lasik
UnitedHealthcare and Davis Vision have the best benefits for Lasik, with discounted rates as low as $1,000 per eye.
Many vision insurance plans will only give you a discount if you use one of their affiliated Lasik providers. For example, both UnitedHealthcare and Davis Vision partner with QualSight, a lower-cost provider. This further reduces your out-of-pocket costs by combining large discounts and cheap rates.
|15% off at the U.S. Laser Network
Remember that even with vision insurance, your actual costs will vary based on your insurance plan, the type of procedure you need and the location where you get the surgery.
For those who have group insurance plans through an employer, how much your Lasik discount is may also be influenced by negotiated rates between your company and the insurer. For example, we have seen Lasik prices as low as $695 per eye with a Humana vision insurance plan for employees at a large college. That’s nearly half the price of what you’d pay with a typical Humana vision plan.
Ways To Reduce Lasik Costs
To make LASIK more affordable:
- Check to see what your insurance policy might provide, especially with in-network doctors.
- See if you can use pretax funds in a health savings account or flexible spending arrangement for the procedure.
- Look into financing options that would allow you to pay for LASIK over time.
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Is Lasik Surgery Covered By Insurance
No, insurance does not cover LASIK surgery.
Despite its high success rate, the vast majority of insurance providers regard it as an elective procedure. It is not considered medically necessary, as there are other more inexpensive treatment options for both near- and far-sightedness, such as glasses and contact lenses.
However, some insurance providers do offer a discount for LASIK surgery. Anyone interested in having LASIK eye surgery and wondering about its costs should talk to their insurance administrators about their policy for this type of procedure.
Additional Costs Of Lasik
In terms of the surgery itself, there shouldnt be additional LASIK costs, according to Dr. Shamie, unless you have it performed by a surgeon who offers the procedure at a low upfront cost and charges separately for the more advanced and safer technology, follow-up visits and medications.
However, any type of a la carte pricing to minimize costs is not recommended, because the latest technology and follow-up care are essential to an excellent outcome, not optional line items, she says.
Some LASIK centers, though, may charge more for custom procedures over standard.
Custom surgery is when a map of the patients actual cornea is used to treat higher-order aberrations caused by the shape of that particular patients eyes, says Dr. Diaz. This is more time consuming than standard LASIK procedures, as it takes into account the particular eye shape.
Other costs may include medications needed to recover from surgery, says Dr. Diaz, however, these are typically covered by medical insurance and are subject to copay arrangements.
Choose From Dozens Of Contact Lenses
At ContactsDirect, we grant our customers various solutions to their vision problems, from nearsightedness and farsightedness to astigmatism and presbyopia. In our catalogue, there are many options from all major brands such as Acuvue®, Soflens®, Optima®, Proclear®, Dailies® and Biomedics®.
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What Is Included In The Cost Of Lasik
Our pricing is all-inclusive, with no hidden fees or charges that will sneak up on you. Our LASIK doctors are committed to providing you with a customized treatment plan that gives you the highest chance of achieving your best vision. The initial LASIK examination is free of charge , regardless of whether you are a candidate for the procedure or you choose to have LASIK eye surgery with us. This is our opportunity to learn about you, your vision, and your goals of having LASIK, as well as your opportunity to learn about us.
Who Is A Good Candidate For Lasik
LASIK may work for you if you have nearsightedness or farsightedness . If you have astigmatism, in which the shape of your cornea or lens makes objects both near and far seem blurry, LASIK may or may not be able to correct that. To help doctors get the best results from LASIK, the FDA has set out treatment guidelines based on eye shape. The agency has OKd this operation for people age 18 and older, but that may not be right for you. Experts say its wise to wait until your eyes have fully matured so that your vision has stopped changing. This may not be until age 21 or later. One sign that your eyes are ready is that your eyeglass or contact-lens prescription has stayed the same for at least 1 year.
Before LASIK, you need to have a full eye exam to be sure your eyes are healthy. You should also understand what your healing process and quality of life will be like after the surgery. Discuss these topics with your doctor to be sure you know what to expect.
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Getting Ready For Lasik Surgery
If you are considering LASIK eye surgery, the first thing you need to do is talk to your ophthalmologist about it. After a quick exam, your doctor can tell you whether or not you are eligible for the procedure. Approximately 98% of patients with myopia, nearsightedness, hyperopia, farsightedness, and astigmatism are eligible for the procedure, but you have to make sure that you are among them.
Next, you should discuss with the doctor the type of LASIK surgery they perform. Keep in mind that all-laser LASIK methods come with significantly fewer complications compared to conventional LASIK. They may cost more, but they are a better option.
You don’t have to pay for LASIK surgery upfront. You can pay in monthly installments using CareCredit.
Alternatively, you can pay from FSA if you have it to get significant discounts because the money is tax-free.
LASIK surgery is also tax-deductible, which is an additional benefit that you might not have considered.
Lastly, when reviewing the costs of LASIK eye surgery, compare them with the accumulated costs of your other vision correction solutions. LASIK might seem expensive, but compared to the cumulated costs of visits to the doctor, glasses, contacts, and accessories, it might actually be cheaper in the long run. Its also a quick and painless way to attain superlative vision results.
Learn about our top questions from patients about eye health, and what you can do to improve your conditions.
Whats Included In The Cost Of Lasik
Your overall cost can also be influenced by whats included in the surgery and the prices associated with those inclusions, such as follow-up appointments and enhancements. An enhancement is a second procedure done on a previously operated eye, says Dr. Shamie.
A small percentage of patients after an initial refractive procedure benefit by having a fine-tuning laser procedure, due to residual nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism after their primary surgery.
Patients more likely to need enhancements include those with large prescription corrections at their first surgery, she adds.
While services that are included in the cost of your LASIK surgery will vary depending on the surgeon, Dr. Shamie explains that the total cost typically includes the following:
- Pre- and post-operative exams for at least one year
- Facility and surgeon fees
- Follow-up procedures should there be a need for fine-tuning the correction
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A Comprehensive Guide To The Average Cost Of Lasik Surgery
The average cost of Lasik surgery varies from person to person and depends on a variety of factors. Generally speaking, the national average for Lasik eye surgery is about $2,000 per eye. This price range can go up or down depending on the type of procedure you choose and the technology used by your surgeon.
Is Lasik Covered By Your Insurance Plan
Find Cheap Health Insurance Quotes in Your Area
Insurance plans usually don’t cover Lasik or corrective eye surgery because it’s a voluntary procedure. But that doesn’t mean you have to pay full price.
Your insurance company may offer discounts on Lasik as a policyholder perk. This is more common with vision insurance than with health insurance, but either option can save you thousands of dollars. Plus, you can use a flexible spending account or health savings account account for even more savings on Lasik surgery.
We recommend Cigna health insurance plans for the best benefits for Lasik eye surgery.
The cost of Lasik eye surgery averages $2,250 per eye when paying full price. Costs vary based on where you get the procedure and whether the procedure is traditional or custom.
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