Health Insurance and Refractive or Laser Eye Surgery

Medically Reviewed by Whitney Seltman, OD on March 13, 2024
1 min read

Health insurance usually doesn't cover the cost of refractive or laser eye surgery, but some companies will pay the bill if certain criteria are met. Some insurance companies offer a vision plan which may provide a discounted price or apparent partial coverage for laser eye surgery. Because laser eye surgery is an elective surgery, many health insurance companies consider it cosmetic and not medically necessary. Certain conditions under which medical insurance plans might in rare circumstances cover refractive or laser eye surgery include:

  • Eye surgery for refractive errors that are a result of an injury
  • Eye surgery for refractive errors that are a result of surgery
  • Eye surgery for severe refractive errors; however, there is no standard level of impairment at which insurance will cover correction. Insurance coverage under these circumstances is generally very inconsistent and individuals should check with their provider.
  • Eye surgery when a patient is not only unable to wear glasses due to physical limitation (such as an allergy or deformity), but cannot wear contacts due to physical limitation (lens intolerance)

Check with your insurance company to determine if you are enrolled in a plan that provides benefits. You may have to cover the costs as an out-of-pocket expense or with your flexible spending account or health savings account.