LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) is a popular eye surgery that corrects vision in people who are farsighted, nearsighted, or have astigmatism.
Approximately 700,000 people annually have this laser procedure to reshape the cornea so light traveling through it is properly focused onto the retina. Roughly 96% of patients will achieve their desired vision after the procedure, which was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1998.
If you or someone you know is contemplating LASIK, it's important to not only understand the benefits and risk factors of the procedure itself, but also the financial costs.
Is LASIK covered by insurance?
The short answer to this is "no." Most insurance companies consider LASIK and other corrective laser eye surgeries to be an elective procedure, so it is not covered. There are certain circumstances, though, where your insurance company will cover refractive or laser eye surgery; for example if it's needed to correct errors as a result of injury or surgery.
How much does LASIK cost?
Since you'll be paying out of pocket for LASIK, it's important to understand the financial burden you'll be faced with. On average, LASIK costs range between $2,000 to $3,000 per eye.
While the cost seems steep, it is a one-time expense that includes everything from pre-surgery care, the operation itself, and any post-op examinations and care which may be cheaper in the long run compared to continued expenses like glasses, contacts and other supplies should you not have the operation.
With an average cost of $2,199 per eye for LASIK in the United States, that cost can fluctuate depending on a number of factors including the surgeon, where you're getting the procedure, quality of equipment, and specific eye conditions.
Are there LASIK financing plans?
With LASIK costing a few thousand dollars directly from your pocket, there are plenty of financing and payment options so you aren't paying a massive lump sum.
Just like you can pay monthly towards insurance, a mortgage, and car payments, you can pay each month toward your LASIK procedure. Some LASIK financing companies offer specials including $0 down payment, monthly installments as low as $200, or no interest.
There are plenty of options out there for the procedure itself and how to pay for it, so it's important to be diligent with your research and see what works best for you.