Does Insurance Cover LASIK?
LASIK is a type of laser eye surgery in which eye doctors use a laser to gently reshape the cornea to correct refractive vision issues like nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.
Dr. Daniel Sambursky, MD and the team here at Sambursky Laser Eye Center commonly hear from patients during consultations, and field questions about the cost of the surgery. One of the most common questions is “does insurance cover LASIK?”
The short answer is usually, no. Most insurance providers, both health and vision, view LASIK as a strictly elective procedure, except in very rare cases. Insurers only provide coverage when the procedure in question is medically necessary.
This doesn’t mean that LASIK can’t be affordable, however. Here, we’ll discuss the cost of LASIK and some of the most common ways people pay for it in lieu of insurance.
What Does LASIK Cost?
The cost of LASIK depends on a number of factors and can vary between $2,000 and $3,000 dollars per eye. Since most patients elect to have both eyes done at the same time, LASIK can cost between $4,000 and $6,000.
There are a few variables that can affect the price of LASIK in a specific situation. Different ophthalmologists have different charges for laser vision correction, which can change the total cost. Here are a few other factors that can affect what you’ll be charged for LASIK:
The equipment used in LASIK can change the cost, in addition to the diagnostic equipment used. Many offices use advanced imaging technology for more precise procedures. Bladeless laser surgery is more common than ever. When patients come to Sambursky Laser Eye Center for their laser eye surgery, Dr. Sambursky uses the IntraLase bladeless laser. Generally, the more advanced the technology used in LASIK, the higher the cost will be.
Surgical Skill and Experience
A LASIK doctor with more skill and experience will generally charge more than one without the same amount of backing. It’s important to not be tempted by “bargains” with LASIK surgery, as you’ll typically get what you pay for. Dr. Sambursky has completed over 30,000 laser eye surgeries and regularly instructs young doctors in his LASIK techniques.
How Can I Pay for LASIK?
Here are some common payment options people use when paying for LASIK:
It’s rare for insurance to cover LASIK, because it’s considered an elective procedure. There are some cases in which LASIK can be covered under your whole health or added vision benefits.
For example, some health plans offer riders (premium add-ons) for LASIK coverage. VSP, one of the largest vision benefits providers, offers options to make LASIK more affordable without actually offering coverage.
Other insurance options for LASIK include:
- FSA or HSA Benefits: Some health insurance plans include Health Savings Accounts of Flex Spending Accounts, which are accounts used for spending solely on health needs, which LASIK falls under. Either of these benefits can be used on LASIK.
- Medically Necessary LASIK: While usually not, there are some cases where LASIK is medically necessary, including refractive vision issues as the result of a serious injury or surgical error, or in cases where an individual can’t wear glasses or contacts for health reasons.
Out of Pocket
Many people considering LASIK save money for it and pay for the surgery with personal funds, either in a lump sum, or more commonly, a fixed payment plan.
It’s not uncommon for the cost of LASIK to be handled through a third-part financing company, which acts as an intermediary and manages payments and setting interest rates on money owed for laser surgery. Patients of Dr. Sambursky often use CareCredit, a dedicated monthly credit card used for healthcare purchases. When used for vision procedures like LASIK, CareCredit gives patients access to plans with minimum monthly payments and no up-front costs.
Finally, members of the military are frequently offered coverage for refractive vision surgery like LASIK. Due to safety reasons, glasses and sometimes contacts are considered a hazard, especially in war zones and in combat activities. Military members may be approved for LASIK at no cost, furnished by the U.S. Government to mitigate risk.
LASIK Is a Big Decision, But the Cost Shouldn’t Affect Your Choice
LASIK is safe, quick, and effective, which is why around 700,000 LASIK surgeries are performed each year. There are many ways to pay for LASIK, even if your health or vision benefits don’t make it any less expensive.
To learn more, contact Sambursky Laser Eye Center and request a LASIK consultation.