Is Lasik Surgery Affordable?
Written by Dr. James Lehmann on 04/24/19
Over 90% of Lasik surgery patients qualify for financing options.
Many of these plans have low monthly payments, and some do not require any down-payment.
If you have thought about Lasik surgery in the past, it may be more affordable than you think. And you will end up saving money and time in the long run since you will no longer be purchasing glasses or contact lenses every year.
How can you offset your Lasik surgery cost? Here are some ideas.
Why Lasik Surgery?
The average American who needs vision assistance buys glasses every other year and spends about $200 to $600 on each pair. Over the course of 20 years, they will end up spending between $2,000 and $6,000 on glasses.
For those who don’t wear glasses all the time, keeping track of your specs, and remembering to clean them, adds extra inconvenience and frustration to your daily routine.
Contact lenses are a great option for those who don’t find that the look of glasses works for them. Yet most lens-wearers will spend $250 a year on contact lens products, which amounts to $5,000 every 20 years.
The average cost of Lasik surgery in 2017 was $2,088 per eye, and the results last for a lifetime. The exact price could vary depending on the reputation of the surgeon, and the type of technology used. For example, wavefront technology is used for optimal vision correction.
Most people achieve a vision of 20/20 or better after surgery.
How Does It Work?
Lasik surgery works by reshaping the cornea to enable light entering the eye to be focused into the retina for clearer vision. It is a pain-free procedure that is completed in about fifteen minutes for both eyes.
For most people, vision improves immediately. You will need someone to drive you home, as your eyes may be blurry right after surgery. Yet clarity usually improves by the next morning.
It is recommended that patients take a day or two off from work, and avoid strenuous activity for a week after the surgery.
During your follow-up exam, doctors will check to see if it is okay for you to drive without glasses. Most people find that their vision is already 20/40 or better.
Who Can Get Lasik Surgery?
Good candidates for Lasik surgery need to be at least eighteen years old and in generally good health. They should not have diabetes or any immune problems that require medication.
Eyes need to be free of diseases, with no lazy eye or muscle imbalances. The patients should not have dry-eye and vision should be stable. During your free initial checkup, your doctor will let you know if your corneal thickness is right for surgery.
Eye surgery candidates should be free from mental health conditions. They should not be pregnant or nursing at the time of surgery.
Payment and Insurance Options
Lasik surgery is an investment that will pay off in the long run. However, affording it now may seem overwhelming.
You may be surprised to learn how many savings plans and discounts are available to those interested in Lasik surgery. Employers and insurance companies know that folks with better vision are happier and healthier overall. They are willing to help you invest in your future.
Many employers offer some kind of Flexible Spending Account to employees. After you complete your free Lasik consultation and preoperative exam, you can determine how much your surgery will be and how much you wish to begin putting aside.
The funds you put into an FSA are tax-exempt. As of 2018, the maximum allowable contribution for an FSA was $2,650.
Employers may also offer their employees tax-sheltered Health Savings Accounts. Unlike an FSA, an HSA will allow you to “roll money over” into the next year if it is not used in the year it is contributed.
In order to be eligible for an HSA, employees need to be enrolled in a high-deductible health plan at work. They can add tax-free contributions each pay period, with an annual limit of $3,450 per individual and $6,900 for a family.
You could save up enough money for Lasik surgery by contributing to an HSA for two to five years. After that, your budget for vision correction should be significantly smaller.
Many health or vision insurance companies offer discounts on Lasik procedures.
Lasik Vision also offers insurance matching. They will match insurance discount benefits for up to 20% of the cost of the procedure. Your insurance provider or employer HR department can tell you if your plan provides a Lasik surgery discount.
If you are in the military, Lasik surgery could be free of charge, depending on the nature of your duties.
There are financial companies that specialize in financing elective surgeries like Lasik. Many offer fixed plans and long-term payments. Many Lasik centers and private practices offer financing provided by those companies.
As of 2017, 41% of refractive surgeons in the US offered special financing and payment plans.
Some employers make arrangements with Lasik Centers for special rates, and some offer subsidized health plans that will cover some of the cost. Check with your HR department or insurance specialist.
Lasik CareCredit allows you to defer payments and choose what you are comfortable paying each month. Check with your physician’s office or insurance company for more information.
The Payoff of Your Lasik Surgery Cost
After you have chosen the right physician, prepared for your surgery, and had someone drive you home with your brand-new vision, you will be thrilled that you made the investment in your health and quality of life.
An FHA, HSA, insurance options, physician financing, and CareCredit can all help to make Lasik surgery costs something you can afford.
For more information, contact us or give us a call today.