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Does Insurance Cover LASIK for Astigmatism?

By Marta Manning
Considering LASIK surgery for astigmatism? Learn how insurance programs, discounts, and even tax incentives can help you pay for LASIK.

If you have astigmatism, LASIK eye surgery can help you achieve lasting vision correction. Despite its benefits, the procedure’s steep price tag can make some people think twice. Since LASIK is considered an elective surgery by most insurers, getting insurance coverage for the surgery can be a challenge. Luckily, many insurance companies are now starting programs to help patients afford LASIK.

How Much Does LASIK for Astigmatism Cost?

The Vision Center reports that you can expect to pay between $1,000 and $3,000 per eye for LASIK. How much your surgery will cost depends on the surgeon, what technology is used and the specifics of your eye condition. On average, patients in the U.S. spend approximately $4,500 for LASIK surgery on both eyes.

“Generally speaking, LASIK surgery to treat farsightedness and astigmatism is on the higher end of the spectrum, while LASIK surgery to treat nearsightedness is a little less,” licensed health insurance agent Christian Worstell tells WebMD Connect to Care.

Does Insurance Cover LASIK for Astigmatism?

Insurance companies usually classify LASIK as an elective procedure, arguing that glasses and contacts provide suitable vision correction for people with astigmatism. Because of this, it is unlikely your insurance company will cover 100% of the costs of LASIK surgery.

“Most insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid, do not provide coverage of LASIK surgery because it is most often considered cosmetic and not medically necessary,” Worstell says. “If you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan, you should check whether the plan has vision benefits that cover LASIK. Some plans include coverage for LASIK surgery.”

The good news is that many insurance policies provide discounts on LASIK costs. According to the American Refractive Surgery Council, some insurers may offer discounts that shave up to 50% off of the total price tag. Working with a surgeon in your preferred provider network can help maximize the benefits. You can also purchase add-on vision insurance plans to lower the cost even more.

Health savings accounts (HSA) and flexible spending accounts (FSA) can help you pay for LASIK if you plan ahead by setting aside pre-taxed dollars. According to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS), you can put up to $2,750 in an individual FSA or up to $3,550 in an individual HSA per year (based on 2020 values).

If you are considering LASIK surgery for astigmatism, talk to your doctor first. Your provider will do a complete exam of your eyes and assess your overall health before making recommendations for surgery and giving you a cost estimate. Make sure to discuss insurance benefits and payment plans with your doctor and your insurance company before deciding to have LASIK surgery.

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