Prescription eyeglasses and contacts are a necessity for many people. While those glasses and contacts help bring life into focus, many find that after years of depending on contacts or glasses, they would love the ability to see clearly without them. LASIK surgery makes that possible for a multitude of people.
LASIK (Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis) surgery uses an extremely accurate and precise cutting laser to basically reshape your cornea, resulting in improved vision for those who suffer from nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness hyperopia) and astigmatism.
The surgery is quick, painless, and takes much longer to prepare for the surgery than the procedure actually takes.
Does Medicare Cover Lasik?
Unfortunately, LASIK is NOT covered by Original Medicare. LASIK is considered “elective” surgery, and therefore not a covered expense.
However, if you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, SOME of those plans MAY offer coverage for LASIK surgery (this varies according to a carrier and you would need to confirm with your specific Medicare Advantage company).
Traditionally, insurance carriers have NOT offered coverage for LASIK surgery. However, in recent years, some vision insurance companies may offer special benefits like:
- Discounts on laser vision procedures
- Larger discounts with specific “in-network” providers
The cost for LASIK surgery varies due to several factors:
- Correction needed. Those who require more correction may pay more than individuals who require minimal correction.
- Equipment/Technology used. LASIK equipment is not cheap. Those surgeons who offer the latest state-of-the-art equipment may charge more than those who are using older equipment.
- Expertise. The reputation and skill level of the surgeon performing the procedure can affect the cost.
You can expect to pay anywhere from $1,500 – $3000 per eye for LASIK correction. This figure can vary depending on the area you live in as well as the expertise of the surgeon.
While Original Medicare won’t pay for LASIK, there are ways to save on the costs:
- Inquire about financing. Many facilities will allow you to work out payment plans or special financing.
- Do you have an FSA (Flexible Spending Account) or HAS (Health Savings Account)? You can use those accounts to set aside money for things like LASIK.
- Check around your area for trusted LASIK facilities that offer special promotions during the year
- Ask about discounts. Many are available; you just have to inquire about them!
If you are considering LASIK surgery, make sure that you understand what the price includes.
Are pre-and post-op visits included?
If you require a touch-up, is that included in the original cost or will you pay extra?
Are medications extra?
Is Lasik Right For You?
Start out by asking your eye doctor if your vision problems can be corrected with LASIK. If you are a candidate, do your homework. Research the surgeons in your area and ask others about their experience. Spend time gathering as much information as you can, making every effort to ensure a successful experience.