LASIK Eye Surgery Cost And How to Pay for It
Does the idea of not having to wear glasses or contacts anymore excite you? If so, you may be a good candidate for LASIK eye surgery. During LASIK, a special laser is used to change the shape of your cornea (your eye’s clear, protective outer layer) and improve your vision.
If you have nearsightedness, farsightedness or an astigmatism, LASIK eye surgery may resolve your vision issue and allow you to see well without glasses or contacts. Although the cost of LASIK eye surgery depends on a variety of factors, the average cost per eye is $2,200. Here’s how you can pay for the medical procedure.
- What affects the cost of LASIK?
- Choosing a LASIK surgeon: 5 questions to ask
- Paying for LASIK surgery
- Is LASIK worth it?
What affects the cost of LASIK?
There most common factors that will affect the cost of your Lasik eye surgery include:
- Your surgeon’s level of experience: If you choose a surgeon that has been performing LASIK since its inception in the 1990s, they’ll likely charge you more than a surgeon with less experience. Since the surgery involves your eyesight, an experienced surgeon is well worth the extra cost.
- The technology used: Whether your surgeon uses bladed or bladeless technology will play a role in the cost of your procedure as well. Typically, bladeless LASIK is pricier because it involves the use of a second laser.
- Your geographic location: You can expect to pay more for LASIK if you live in an area with a higher cost of living, like New York or San Francisco. LASIK may be more affordable if you live in a rural area, though your options may be more limited.
- Any additional services provided: While some LASIK packages include just the eye surgery itself, others also include post-operative checkups or lifetime enhancement packages. The cost of your surgery will likely go up if extras are included.
Insurance won’t cover LASIK eye surgery costs
Unfortunately, insurance rarely covers the cost of LASIK eye surgery. However, if your job requires you to have perfect vision, there is a chance that your insurance will pay for it. The good news is that many LASIK providers offer discounted rates for patients with certain insurance plans so your insurance may still help you save money on Lasik.
Choosing a LASIK surgeon: 5 questions to ask
Rather than choosing the first LASIK surgeon you find, do your research and shop around. Read surgeon reviews online and ask friends and family members who have had LASIK eye surgery whether they recommend their surgeon.
You can also schedule complimentary LASIK consultations with various surgeons and ask them important questions such as:
- How much experience do you have performing LASIK eye surgery? An experienced surgeon will have conducted 25,000 or even more procedures.
- What results can I expect? Ask the surgeon to describe the best- and worst-case scenarios.
- How many of your patients required re-treatment? You want to choose a surgeon who has a track record of providing patients with great results and eliminating the need for re-treatment.
- What technology do you use? Not all LASIK surgeons have access to the highest quality technology. Learn about the technology a surgeon uses and why they believe it is ideal for your specific surgery.
- How much will my LASIK surgery cost? Find out the surgeon’s total cost for LASIK eye surgery and what that cost includes. Don’t hesitate to negotiate costs before treatment.
Paying for LASIK surgery
If you decide that Lasik eye surgery is worth the investment but you don’t have the cash to pay for it upfront, consider these options.
Borrow money with a personal loan: You can get a personal loan through a private company to help pay for LASIK. Personal loans are typically unsecured loans with fixed monthly payments and fixed interest rates, which allows for predictability. Interest rates for personal loans depend largely on your credit score, though. Rates can be as low as 4.99% for those with excellent credit and may increase to 35.89% or higher for those with lower scores.
Still, there are personal loan options for those with bad credit. Before you commit to a loan, make sure to compare interest rates and terms from various lenders so you can find the ideal loan for your needs.
Finance through your surgeon: Most surgeons work with third-party financing companies such as CareCredit or Alphaeon Credit to help make LASIK eye surgery more affordable for their patients.
CareCredit is essentially a credit card that offers special financing options you may not be able to get with other credit cards. It offers short-term financing on purchases of at least $200 with terms of six, 12, 18 or 24 months and no interest if you pay off your balance in full during the promotional period. Alphaeon Credit works similarly as it offers no interest if you pay off your balance in full in six or 12 months.
Find out if you can get a low interest rate and favorable terms through your surgeon.
Use money from your HSA or FSA: Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Flexible Savings Accounts (FSAs) are tax-advantaged accounts offered to help you save for medical expenses. Even if an HSA is not offered through your employer, you may be able to open one if you meet the eligibility requirements outlined by the IRS. For 2019, the contribution limit is $3,500 for an individual or $6,700 for a family.
While the FSA is managed by your employer and allows you to save money via automatic deductions from your paycheck, you can control how much you contribute to it. For 2019, you could save up to $2,700 in your FSA.
If you have an HSA or FSA, you may be able to use your funds to pay for LASIK eye surgery. If you currently don’t have enough money, you can increase your savings during your employer’s open enrollment period and opt for the procedure at a later time.
Get a 0% APR credit card: If you’re eligible for a new credit card with a 0% introductory APR, this is one option to pay for at least some of your LASIK expenses. These offers are typically reserved for those with excellent credit, though. Additionally, you’ll need to make sure you’re able to pay off your balance before the introductory period is up and your interest rate increases. Certain credit cards may also charge you back interest if you carry a balance after the promotional period.
Enter a contest: Some LASIK providers host contests that you can enter to try to win free LASIK eye surgery. To enter, you typically have to fill out a form with basic information. Be sure to do your research and only enter a contest if the surgeon is reputable and has positive reviews.
Is LASIK worth it?
By undergoing LASIK eye surgery, you can wake up every morning and see without having to slip on your glasses or put in your contacts. If this makes your life easier and more convenient, dishing out a couple grand for this procedure may be well worth it. Just make sure to research all of your options to ensure you find a way to pay for LASIK that’s right for your financial situation.