Cost to Get Laser Eye Surgery
Some people could need glasses as young as elementary school but other people’s eyes don’t start to lose eyesight until they begin to age into their thirties or forties. Glasses or contacts can be a reasonable solution for the short-term but most people won’t want to deal with that hassle for the rest of their lives. A more permanent solution to the loss of eyesight or blurry eyesight is laser eye surgery. Technology has advanced substantially in the past couple decades; not too many years ago laser eye surgery did not even exist but thanks to modern technology it is now possible.
What’s the Cost?
Depending on your personal situation, you may only need laser eye surgery for one eye. For this reason, this procedure is typically priced per eye. When laser eye surgery first became available to the public, the price was very expensive. Over the years as technology and their procedures have improved, the cost has dropped substantially, making it more affordable. In 2007, the average cost per eye was between $1,500 and $2,500. The cost seems to have plateaued because as of 2010, the average cost per eye to have laser eye surgery performed was $2,150.
There are two main different types of laser eye surgery. Lasik will be done by the use of a laser which reshapes the cornea underneath your eye. The other type is Lasek laser eye surgery. This is typically a more customized procedure which ends with higher quality results but may be a bit more expensive. No matter which type of procedure you choose, don’t count on your insurance covering the costs. Although most insurance companies will cover glasses and contacts, laser eye surgery is not considered to be medically necessary.
Like with any invasive medical procedure, the chances of pain and discomfort in the days following are substantial. Pain killers along with anti-inflammatory medications will be prescribed to you by your doctor to help you manage through the few days after the procedure. With a simple procedure like this one though you may or may not need the extra medication. If you do, it should only be for a few days and cost no more than $20.
Follow up visits are highly recommended to be sure your eye healed properly and the procedure was successful. At this time you may find out there was a complication and additional visits or procedures may be necessary. None of this will be included in the initial price and will all cost extra.
Ways to Save
Since your insurance most likely won’t cover the procedure and saving up $2,000-$4,000 to pay a one lump sum can be difficult, ask about financing programs your doctor may offer. These usually come interest free which saves you the hassle of paying that much at once. On the other hand, if you can pay the full amount in cash up front, your clinic may offer you a substantial discount. Don’t forget to ask about both options as they may only offer one or the other.
Shop around with at least three different clinics. Choosing the cheapest may seem like the best route to take in the short-term but be sure to consider the experience of the doctor, the location of the clinic, and any extras that may be included in the price. Saving a few dollars now could cost you hundreds in the future.