LASIK (Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis) is a popular refractive surgery that corrects vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. It is a safe and effective procedure that has helped millions of people worldwide to see clearly without the need for glasses or contact lenses. However, the cost of LASIK can be a barrier for many people, and some providers use misleading tactics to entice patients to choose their services.

One such tactic is telling patients that insurance will cover the cost of LASIK. Is LASIK covered by insurance? The reality is that insurance rarely covers the cost of LASIK, and patients end up paying the same price for the procedure whether they have insurance or not. This tactic is often used by LASIK centers to make their services appear more affordable and to convince patients to choose them over their competitors.

The truth is that LASIK is an elective procedure, and health insurance companies typically only cover medically necessary treatments. This means that unless a patient has a specific medical condition that requires LASIK, such as a corneal abnormality or a traumatic injury, your insurance company will not likely cover the cost of the procedure. Many vision insurance plans only cover routine eye exams, glasses, and contact lenses and do not cover the costs of LASIK, even if it is considered medically necessary.

Despite this, many LASIK providers still advertise that they accept insurance and that patients can get LASIK for a discounted price if they have coverage. However, what these providers fail to mention is that the price of LASIK is often inflated to account for the insurance discount, so patients end up paying the same price they would without insurance.

How is the cost of LASIK determined?

To understand why LASIK providers use this tactic, it’s important to know how the cost of LASIK is determined. LASIK is a highly specialized procedure that requires expensive equipment and highly trained surgeons. The cost of LASIK varies depending on the technology used, the surgeon’s expertise, and the location of the LASIK center.

In general, the cost of LASIK ranges from $1,000 to $3,000 per eye. This price includes the pre-operative evaluation, the surgery itself, and post-operative care. However, some LASIK providers charge more, and some charge less. Providers that charge more often do so because they use the latest technology and have highly experienced surgeons, while providers that charge less may use older technology and a less experienced LASIK surgeon.

Why do some LASIK centers say they accept insurance if LASIK isn’t covered by insurance?

LASIK providers that claim to accept insurance often use this as a sales tactic to make their services appear more affordable. They know that many people are hesitant to pay the out-of-pocket expense for the procedure, and by offering the illusion of insurance coverage, they can convince patients to choose their services. So does insurance cover LASIK eye surgery? No. Your insurance provider may offer a discount for using certain providers.

However, what these providers fail to mention is that the cost of LASIK is often inflated to account for the insurance discount. For example, a LASIK provider may advertise that they offer a 20% discount to patients with insurance, but in reality, they may charge 20% more than their competitors who do not accept insurance. This means that the LASIK cost with insurance that patients end up paying is the same whether they have insurance or not.

Furthermore, LASIK providers that claim to accept insurance often have strict eligibility criteria that patients must meet in order to qualify for the discount. For example, some providers may only accept certain types of insurance or require patients to have a certain level of coverage. They may also require patients to undergo a pre-operative evaluation, which can be costly and time-consuming.

Another issue with LASIK providers that claim to accept insurance is that they may not be transparent about the actual cost of the procedure. They may only provide patients with a quote that includes the insurance discount and not the actual cost of the procedure. This can be confusing for patients, as they may not realize that they are still paying the same.

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What payment options are there for LASIK eye surgery?

LASIK eye surgery is a worthwhile investment that will last a lifetime. Many of our patients at Brinton Vision have reported that laser eye surgery drastically improved their lives. There are many options to consider when determining how to handle the expense of LASIK. Consider these six alternatives for covering the cost of LASIK eye surgery.

Tax refunds

Put this year’s tax returns to good use by paying for LASIK surgery with your federal and state tax refunds. When we’ve finished filing our taxes, we can all look forward to receiving our refunds. You may have used your tax refunds to plan a vacation, make house improvements, or simply save. But did you know it’s possible to use your tax refund to pay for vision correction procedures? Using your tax refund may be another excellent payment option for LASIK eye surgery!

Flexible spending accounts and health savings accounts

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) and Health Savings Accounts (HSA) allow you to pay for laser vision correction with funds set aside for medical expenses. The funds in your health savings account or flexible spending account are normally not subject to taxes and can be used to pay for health care at your discretion. Please consult your specific FSA or HSA plan for specific guidelines.

Financing options

To make LASIK more reasonable, some patients prefer to set up payment plans with LASIK eye surgery financing companies such as Care Credit or Wells Fargo Health Advantage. Typically, these businesses offer interest-free payment arrangements if you comply with their terms.

At Brinton Vision, we also work with multiple financing companies to provide monthly payment options to fit most budgets to make the LASIK surgery cost in St. Louis possible for you. Our most popular monthly payment options are:

  • Zero Down Payment & Interest-deferred for 24 Months
  • Zero Down Payment & Low Monthly Payments with a Fixed Interest Rate for 60 months

Credit cards

You might not have thought of using a credit card to pay for a LASIK procedure before, but it’s actually a wonderful option. Some new credit cards may give you a year or longer to pay off the bill, while others may be interest-free. Some credit cards allow you to earn rewards, points, miles, and even cash back.

You may find credit cards that allow you to transfer a balance and obtain an additional interest-free period, allowing you to pay off the expense of laser eye surgery over time. Please check with your credit card for specifics.

At Brinton Vision, we accept the following credit cards: MasterCard, Visa, American Express, and Discover.

Personal savings

When determining how to pay for LASIK eye surgery, it is easiest to use the funds you already have. Using this strategy, you will not have any debt following your surgery. If your resources are insufficient to meet the cost of LASIK eye surgery, you can consider making a partial cash payment. Payments in cash may be made by check, debit card, or cash. Some medical facilities provide discounts for paying in cash for laser vision correction procedures because doing so saves them money on credit card processing fees.

Personal bank loans

Personal loans are secured loans from a bank, credit union, or loan company, typically depending on your credit and income. They can lend you money at a specified interest rate and according to a specific payback schedule but typically require collateral (an asset you own) prior to issuing. This can be a great way to pay for your vision correction surgery at a lower interest rate and affordable payments.

Vision correction procedures, such as LASIK, are considered elective by insurance providers; therefore, they are not covered. The costs of laser eye surgery might vary widely across the market’s numerous providers. These LASIK providers may or may not incorporate the most up-to-date technology, post-operative care, and patient satisfaction guarantees in their claimed prices. It’s easy to get confused by the distinctions.

Brinton Vision urges you to explore your options and determine for yourself if customized vision correction is the right choice for you. Our fees at Brinton Vision are all-inclusive, transparent, and reasonable. Dr. Brinton and his exceptional staff are equipped with the necessary skills and technology to provide excellent results for every patient. To learn more about LASIK eye surgery, visit our website or call to schedule your Brinton Vision Ocular Analysis. Clear vision is an affordable investment from which you will reap long-term benefits. Call us today!

Dr. Jason P. Brinton is an internationally recognized specialist in the field of LASIK and refractive surgery. He is a graduate of Harvard College, earned his medical doctorate from the Harvard Medical School and is board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology.