Insurance Red Tape – Can you expect to be covered for Lasik?

By: Thomas Hunter

Lasik eye vision correction surgery is an extremely popular choice for those wanting to improve their eyesight. The Lasik procedure can be performed in a matter of minutes and recovery time is minimal. Most Lasik patients are able to walk out of the surgery center and only have a need to limit some activities for a few days. Lasik surgery is not cheap, though. The price can vary greatly from area to area and can vary depending on the condition of the eye. Lasik surgery is also considered elective, meaning that insurance companies will usually not pay for any part of the Lasik procedure.

Before you have the Lasik procedure, check into your insurance plans, especially if you have some sort of vision insurance. Most insurance companies consider Lasik surgery an elective procedure. This usually means that they won’t pay. Sometimes an employer will make special arrangements with certain Lasik centers for their patients. These special arrangements are usually available for employees. Often these can give potential Lasik patients a special or reduced price for this procedure.

Some companies also offer expanded vision insurance program plans. It used to be that most vision insurance would only pay for basic vision exams, eyeglasses or contact lenses. Some of expanded vision insurance plans now offer Lasik in the plan. Expanded vision plans that offer Lasik may not pay for the whole procedure, but for maybe half of the surgery or even a percentage. If you have an expanded vision health plan, check with your insurance plan to see if your Lasik procedure will be covered.

When you are looking into having a Lasik procedure, make sure you check carefully into the pricing options that the Lasik center can offer. Lasik ads can be deceiving. Often commercials for Lasik procedures tell people that the procedure can be performed for $500 per eye. That may be the case for those who have very low cases of vision problems, but the higher your eyeglass prescription, the more your Lasik procedure will cost. The average Lasik procedure costs around $2000. Many times, Lasik will cost more than that. Also, it is important to remember that a less experienced Lasik surgeon may charge considerably less. It is important to not choose a doctor based solely on the fee they charge. That surgeon may not use the latest technology or may have considerably less experience.

Before having any Lasik procedure, it is important to find out what your financial obligations will be. In some countries such as Africa, Latin America, Europe, and Asia, Lasik procedures are covered by insurance although it is considered elective. In the United States and Canada, insurance will not cover the costs associated with Lasik procedures.

One good way to help pay for your Lasik surgery is through a flexible spending account. Many employers offer these benefits to their employers. Money saved through flexible spending accounts can be used for medical procedures not covered by insurance plans. If you have saved enough money in your flexible spending account, the cost of your Lasik vision correction surgery may be completely covered. If you do not have enough in your account, then it can often partially cover the costs. If you are using a flexible spending account to finance your Lasik surgery procedure, it is important to inform your Lasik doctor before the surgery. Many times, you will need to fill out special paper work with your employer and the Lasik center before the surgery is scheduled. Sometimes you Lasik surgery can be deducted from your federal income tax. Before you decided to have a Lasik procedure, check with your tax accountant to see if this option is possible for you.

Whether you have expanded vision insurance or not, it is important to remember that in most cases you will be financially responsible for your Lasik surgery procedure. Although Lasik surgery can be costly, there are ways to help defray the cost. There are also many ways to help finance your Lasik surgery. It is always a good idea to keep your options open when paying for your Lasik surgery. Tell your Lasik surgeon what you can do and how much you can pay and most surgeons will be glad to work out some sort of payment plan to fit your budget.


This information is not presented by a medical practitioner and is for educational and informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read. This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to “diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease".

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