If you’re one of the over 60% of adults in the U.S. relying on prescription glasses to help you see clearly and adjust your vision, you may have considered the possibility of corrective eye surgery only to be intimidated by the cost. With insurance companies denying coverage, it’s not uncommon to abandon the idea of corrective eye procedures like LASIK and remain reliant on prescription eyewear.
Unlike with prescription glasses or contact lenses, insurance companies will not pay for corrective eye procedures. Although procedures like LASIK are health-related, they have been listed as medically unnecessary by a majority of insurance providers except in rare cases. Unfortunately, those rare cases do not have specified parameters and are exceedingly difficult to receive.
However, even if “no” is the answer you receive to “does insurance cover LASIK?”—that doesn’t mean you can’t afford to have the procedure. Here are a few financial options available to help you achieve clear vision.
1. Discounts from Your Vision Insurance
In recent years, LASIK has become one of the most popular cosmetic procedures undergone in the United States—pressuring insurance providers to come up with financial solutions and benefits. Although your insurance will not fully cover the cost of LASIK or any other corrective eye procedures, they may offer a vision plan that includes specials and discounts with specific corrective eye procedure providers to help alleviate some of the costs.
Depending on your coverage and your insurance provider, your discounts and financial assistance for corrective eye procedures will differ. For more information about your available options, reach out to your insurance provider.
2. Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
If available with your health insurance, an FSA allows you to divert a portion of your salary—pre-tax—to an account for out-of-pocket healthcare. This account covers any medical bills not already covered by insurance throughout the year such as doctor’s appointments, tests, procedures, or any other medical needs.
However, the total amount that is permitted in the account is limited. For 2018, the maximum amount an employee can contribute is $2,650. So, with the average corrective eye procedure costing $2,088 per eye, even with an FSA a portion of the procedure will need to be paid out-of-pocket.
3. Health Savings Account (HSA)
A Health Savings Account, or HSA, is similar to an FSA in that it’s a way to set aside funds for medical treatment, but the restrictions on the account are very different. An HSA allows you to add tax-free contributions to an account each period with a limit of $3,450 for an individual or $6,900 for a family for the year. However, unlike an FSA, a benefit of an HSA is if the money in the account is not spent within the year, then it rolls over to the following year.
While the 2018 HSA account limit might not cover all the expenses associated with a corrective eye procedure, the entire cost of the procedure may be paid for in a few years if enough money is held in the account.
4. CareCredit Credit Card
Finding out that your health insurance will not cover the cost of your corrective eye procedure can—for many people—mean that having the procedure is no longer an option. However, with help from a CareCredit credit card, many patients are able to receive the health care they need without worry.
After being approved, CareCredit members will receive monthly bills just like a credit card to help them pay for their procedure in smaller, easier-to-pay installments.
While paying for corrective eye procedures out of your own pocket might not be an ideal situation, it is an option. Before you schedule any procedure, meet with your physician. Many eye care clinics will provide a monthly payment plan option rather than having patients pay for the total cost of the procedure up front.
Paying out of your own pocket also gives you the most flexibility out of your many options due to your ability to negotiate and receive a potential discount from your corrective eye procedure provider.
While the cost of corrective eye procedures may be intimidating, the benefits of living a life with clear vision is priceless. To see if you’re eligible for a corrective eye procedure and to learn what your financial options are, speak to a professional. Don’t wait another day to see clearly.
At Williamson Eye Institute, we are dedicated to assisting our patients with their vision and eye-related needs throughout the years. To find out more about our services, visit our website or call our office to schedule a personal consultation. You can also find us on Facebook or LinkedIn.