One of the most well-known eye surgeries, LASIK surgery, is for patients who suffer from refractive errors.

The correction of various refractive errors such as astigmatism, myopia and hyperopia with eyeglasses and contact lenses is greatly reduced after having had LASIK performed. In fact, most patients attain complete freedom from eyeglasses and contact lenses post-operatively.

A common question when pursuing LASIK is whether insurance companies cover the cost of the procedure. Very few insurance companies cover the cost of LASIK surgery. Since the majority of insurance companies offer either partial or full coverage for eyeglasses and contact lenses, they deem LASIK surgery as an “elective procedure” and, therefore, do not offer coverage. Some LASIK centers are affiliated with insurance companies like VSP, Blue Cross Blue Shield and Davis Vision and offer discounts to their members. While most insurances do not offer coverage for LASIK, many offer discount programs so the overall cost can be decreased up to 20%.

In some cases, if LASIK is the only means of correcting a patient’s vision, the procedure may be determined to be “medically necessary”. In these situations, some insurance companies will cover the cost of LASIK since it would no longer be considered cosmetic or elective surgery.

Some scenarios where this may apply are:

  • • If you are incapable of wearing glasses because of disability or injury.
  • • If your eye has undergone any Lasik treatment previously.
  • Lasik is the only option left for correcting refractive errors.
  • • Injuries leading to refractive errors only solved by LASIK.

When you are researching the various insurance plans available, be sure to ask about any LASIK benefits offered (and any exclusions) prior to making your final decision.

If no coverage or discounts are available, how costly will the procedure be?

Due to the expenses incurred by LASIK centers for the purchase and maintenance of the actual lasers, the cost for disposable surgical materials, and royalty fees paid to the laser manufacturers, the cost of LASIK can quite high in certain areas of the United States. To make laser eye surgery costs more manageable, many LASIK practices offer 12 or 24 month, interest-free financing options which can make the monthly payments less than a monthly utility bill. Further, there are plans available that can spread out payments over the course of three, four, and even five years, often making the monthly payments less than $100 per month.

Conclusion

Attaining full coverage for LASIK surgery is difficult unless there is a viable, medically necessary reason for having the procedure. When researching insurance companies for coverage, be sure to ask if they either cover the surgery or offer member-discounts for the procedure. If you are not offered coverage or a discount, ask the LASIK provider you select if they offer any financing options and choose the best option for you.

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