How Much Does LASIK Eye Surgery Cost + What Are My Payment Options?

Jan 12, 2022
 – Eduardo Besser, MD
  • Eye Health

  • LASIK

Learn how much does LASIK eye surgery costs, and if it's covered by insurance.

LASIK (Laser-Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis) surgery is a highly efficient ophthalmology procedure that entails "sculpting" the cornea to drastically improve vision.

It’s painless, fast (it only takes 15-20 minutes to complete both eyes), and the results are visible immediately. These are only some of the reasons why LASIK laser eye surgery is one of the most popular ophthalmology procedures.

Considering its impressive success rate in treating both near- and far-sightedness, most patients want to know how much LASIK eye surgery costs, and whether it’s covered by insurance.

Average LASIK eye surgery costs

The exact cost of the procedure depends on several factors, including the type of laser vision correction surgery performed, and the type of LASIK technology that doctors use. The particularities of the patient also count. So does the surgeon's expertise and the internal pricing policy of the facility where the surgery is performed.

Typically, the cost of LASIK is calculated "per eye" as there are many cases when patients only need the procedure performed on one eye.

Keeping all these in mind, the average cost of the procedure ranges from $1,500 to $3,500 for one eye ($3000 - $7,000 for both).

Of the factors listed above, the type of LASIK surgery that will be performed will have the greatest impact on the final cost.

Keep in mind that although LASIK might seem expensive at first sight, if one considers the cost of glasses and contact lens replacement over time, the cost of LASIK is comparable – though it’s an up-front cost..

Our office offers multiple options to make it easier for you financially, including:

  • Financing through CareCredit

  • Using the funds from your HSA or employee flex account

  • Using the pretax funds you set aside in an employee flex account

Is LASIK surgery covered by insurance?

No, insurance does not cover LASIK surgery.

Despite its high success rate, the vast majority of insurance providers regard it as an elective procedure. It is not considered medically necessary, as there are other more inexpensive treatment options for both near- and far-sightedness, such as glasses and contact lenses.

However, some insurance providers do offer a discount for LASIK surgery. Anyone interested in having LASIK eye surgery and wondering about its costs should talk to their insurance administrators about their policy for this type of procedure.

What are the different types of LASIK surgery?

Conventional LASIK

The average cost for conventional LASIK (Microkeratome) is approximately $1,500 for one eye and $3,000 for both.

If you’re looking for a more cost-effective option, conventional LASIK eye surgery costs the least, but it also comes with the highest complication rate. It is an older technical approach that entails creating the corneal flap using a handheld blade. We do not offer this type of procedure as we transitioned to performing exclusively All-Laser Bladeless LASIK many years ago.

All-Laser Bladeless LASIK

Approximately $2,250 for one eye and $4,500 for both.

This all-laser surgery method is the standard of care recommended today because it has a significantly lower complication rate, and lower rates of halos and glaring effects postoperatively.

Contoura Guided All-Laser LASIK

This is the most expensive procedure, with an average cost of $2,300 for one eye and $4,600 for both. It is not indicated for all patients and usually has a specialized application.

There are often advertisements for cheap LASIK, but patients should be careful, as these typically come with an extensive fine print riddled with hidden costs. While the final price may vary slightly from one facility to the other, in the end, they all charge fees generally within the same range.

Do patients have to pay the full price of LASIK surgery up front?

Fortunately, they don’t. Patients often rule out the possibility of LASIK surgery because they see it as a costly procedure not covered by insurance. Moreover, they believe that they have to come up with the entire amount up front.

This is one of the biggest misconceptions about LASIK. At our office, there are in fact several options available to patients who want to get the procedure.

Payment options for getting LASIK surgery

Is lasik covered by insurance

LASIK via CareCredit

Patients can seek financing for their LASIK surgery with CareCredit, a credit card specifically designed to finance medical and dental procedures. Once a patient’s credit is approved, they can pay for the cost of the surgery in monthly installments.

CareCredit offers advantageously low interest rates, but it is important to pay the installments on time to ensure that these rates remain available throughout the entire credit period.

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs)

Patients who have flexible spending accounts (FSAs) can use these to pay for their LASIK eye surgery. The purpose of FSAs is to save money for medical procedures’ costs.

Money for an FSA is taken out of the employee's paycheck, and it is tax-free, which can result in some significant savings. Please note that the ideal time to use this payment option is towards the end of the year.

Pretax funds that employees set aside in their flex accounts accumulate over the course of the year. If these funds are not used at the end of the year, they go back to the company. Since this money belongs to the employee, using it for LASIK surgery or other medical procedures is certainly worth pursuing.

Health Savings Account (HSA)

A Health Savings Account is similar to an FSA, but allows contributions to roll over to the next year if you change employers or don’t use your funds by the end of the year. You can use these funds to pay for LASIK surgery.

LASIK surgery is tax-deductible

A lesser-known fact about LASIK is that it can be deducted from the patient's taxable income. Moreover, according to the IRS, its associated costs are also deducted. These include everything from the costs of transportation, the prescriptions for pre and post-operative care, and health insurance premiums.

It’s a good idea to consult your accountant or tax professional about these options..

Free LASIK for Military

When it comes to how much LASIK eye surgery costs, patients who serve in the US Military may be eligible for free LASIK surgery performed at a military facility. For more details about this option, we recommend talking to your commanding officer.

How expensive is LASIK surgery compared to treatment alternatives?

The main reason people rule out LASIK surgery is the cost of the procedure. Since it is not covered by insurance, it can be quite disarming for some patients. Plus, other treatment alternatives for vision correction, like wearing glasses or contacts, seem much cheaper.

However, the accumulated cost of glasses, contacts, and accessories, is actually comparable to the cost of LASIK eye surgery. Glasses get old and break, and contact lenses must be changed periodically, which results in additional costs.

LASIK’s significant benefits should also be factored into the equation. LASIK surgery brings immediate improvements to a patient’s vision from the very first day after surgery. After LASIK, patients might not need to wear glasses at all. In addition to being an immense improvement for the patient's wellbeing, this may also be a better financial decision in the long run.

Getting ready for LASIK surgery

If you are considering LASIK eye surgery, the first thing you need to do is talk to your ophthalmologist about it. After a quick exam, your doctor can tell you whether or not you are eligible for the procedure. Approximately 98% of patients with myopia, nearsightedness, hyperopia, farsightedness, and astigmatism are eligible for the procedure, but you have to make sure that you are among them.

Next, you should discuss with the doctor the type of LASIK surgery they perform. Keep in mind that all-laser LASIK methods come with significantly fewer complications compared to conventional LASIK. They may cost more, but they are a better option.

You don't have to pay for LASIK surgery upfront. You can pay in monthly installments using CareCredit.

Alternatively, you can pay from FSA if you have it to get significant discounts because the money is tax-free.

LASIK surgery is also tax-deductible, which is an additional benefit that you might not have considered.

Lastly, when reviewing the costs of LASIK eye surgery, compare them with the accumulated costs of your other vision correction solutions. LASIK might seem expensive, but compared to the cumulated costs of visits to the doctor, glasses, contacts, and accessories, it might actually be cheaper in the long run. It’s also a quick and painless way to attain superlative vision results.

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