How much does LASIK cost? LASIK eye surgery has never been more available to people with all types of visual impairments, even astigmatism. And, of course, the price has decreased quite a lot in the last few years, but out-of-pocket costs are still the greatest obstacle between most people and perfect vision.
Laser surgery costs can range anywhere from $1000 and $3000 per eye, and insurance usually considers it an elective procedure and therefore not eligible for coverage. However, there are certain benefits you might have through your insurance coverage or benefits offered by your surgeon that will help control your out of pocket costs.
Below you will find a general breakdown of laser eye surgery costs, and also factors that can cause prices and expenses to vary.
Average LASIK Eye Surgery Costs Per Eye
First of all, it’s important to understand exactly what LASIK is when you’re breaking down the costs. Visual impairments like nearsightedness and farsightedness are the result of light entering through the pupil falling either short or long of its intended target on the retina.
LASIK uses small lasers to reshape the cornea, directing light to the proper spot. The procedure itself takes only a few moments of a surgeon’s time. However, it requires medications as well as expensive and sophisticated equipment, not to mention an experienced surgeon; thus, there are some steep fees and expenses associated with it.
On the low end of the LASIK spectrum, you can expect your LASIK surgery costs to reach maybe $1000 per eye. At the upper end, that number grows to $3000. These fees often include:
- Pre-surgery care
- The surgery itself, including any medications given during the surgery
- Post-operative examinations and care
- Follow-up surgeries if you don’t obtain the desired outcome from your initial surgery
These seem like excessive costs, but it can be helpful to think of it this way: this is a permanent solution to your vision problems. Once you’ve had LASIK, you won’t be spending any more money on contacts or glasses. This one-time investment can have a huge effect on your yearly healthcare budget.
Variables That Can Change Laser Eye Surgery Costs
Most physicians will give you a piece-by-piece financial breakdown of their specific laser eye surgery costs, and if you speak to multiple physicians, you will start to notice that the price will vary considerably. This could be due to the individual surgeon or to the techniques they intend to use to correct your vision.
Basic LASIK surgeries use a sharp tool to create an incision in the eye and then use lasers to reshape the cornea. More advanced LASIK procedures will use lasers to make this initial incision, which, while reducing the risk of complications, could increase your laser eye surgery costs. Some surgeons even map out the surface of your eye before the procedure in order to further increase their accuracy.
If your surgeon intends to use any of these advanced methods for your LASIK surgery, you can expect to pay a premium for that experience. Not only will the equipment used for your LASIK procedure be more sophisticated; these methods usually mean your surgeon is particularly skilled and experienced.
There is also some price variability based on simple geography or the office in which your surgeon practices. It’s completely legal for different facilities to charge different prices for the same procedure, and sometimes these costs are due to things the patient can’t help, such as building costs and salaries demanded by employees of the building.
For instance, an MRI can vary from $475 to $6221, all depending on location. This holds true for all medical procedures, including LASIK.
When you’re looking at laser eye surgery costs, it can be helpful to shop around in other cities or even other states for a LASIK surgeon. However, make sure to figure in your travel costs to your budget; if you’re saving $200 on the surgery but spend $300 on a plane ticket, you’re savings are pretty much moot.
Will Insurance Pay My Laser Eye Surgery Costs?
Short answer: not usually.
Most insurance companies consider LASIK to be an elective procedure, meaning that they believe you should continue wearing glasses or contacts rather than undergoing surgery. You’ve elected to undergo the surgery, and therefore your insurance will not cover your laser eye surgery costs.
However, this doesn’t mean LASIK is completely inaccessible to anyone without a huge surplus of income. You should still talk to your health insurance company, as they might have a business relationship with certain providers in the area, and offer you a discount if you choose to undergo LASIK with that specific provider.
Some clinics also offer discounts or promotions based on the time of year. Some providers also offer financing plans that will allow you to pay off your costs over time.
Choosing Your LASIK Provider
Finding the best laser eye surgery cost is all about shopping around and asking questions. This work on your eyes cannot be undone, so it pays to research and to invest in your health.
The surgeon that offers you the lowest cost might perform the procedure with a slightly more dated method that increases the risk of complications. So paying a bit more upfront to get the vision you’re hoping for maybe the better option.
Regardless of technological fees and geographical location, every single LASIK provider you speak to should be completely upfront about their laser eye surgery costs. Armed with that information, you will be able to make an informed choice about the surgeon you want to work on your eyes.
Contact Shreveport Eye Specialists!
If you’ve struggled with vision refraction issues, you don’t need to struggle anymore. Dr. Russ Van Norman at Shreveport Eye Specialists is an experienced and highly-trained ophthalmologist in the Shreveport area with over 10,000 ophthalmic procedures under his belt.
For more information about laser eye surgery costs or any questions about LASIK, call Shreveport Eye Specialists at 318.771.7597 to schedule an appointment.