Will Your Lasik Surgery Be Covered By Insurance?
By Miodrag Trajkovic
Lasik vision correction surgery is increasingly becoming a preferred method for individuals wanting to improve their vision. The Lasik procedure takes just a few minutes, is painless and has a very high success rate. There is no need for hospitalization and patients can walk out of the surgery center a few hours after the surgery. Post surgery there are just a few restrictions and that too for a limited period of time. All these do not come cheap though. Lasik vision correction surgery comes with a rather high price tag, which escalates further in case of eyes that have deteriorated to a great extent. The cost of Lasik surgery varies greatly from place to place. Since Lasik surgery is elective, you will find that most insurance companies do not cover this procedure.
You should check your insurance plans before you decide to go in for Lasik eye surgery. Even if you have vision insurance you may find that your plan may not cover Lasik eye surgery as it is considered an elective procedure. You should also check with your employer. Some employers have an agreement with certain Lasik centers to give their employees special rates and discounts.
Some insurance companies now offer a new kind of plan called ‘expanded vision insurance program plan’. This covers more than just the basic eye examinations, contact lenses and eyeglasses and could also include Lasik surgery in the plan. An expanded vision insurance program plan may not always pay the entire amount needed for the procedure, but it could offset a percentage of it and if you are lucky that could be 50%. If you do have an expanded vision health plan, go through it and see if it covers Lasik surgery.
After you’ve decided to go ahead and have Lasik surgery to correct your vision, the next step is to check out the various surgeons that perform this surgery and the cost of the surgery. Lasik surgery costs differ greatly form one place to another and Lasik ads are often deceiving even though they may not be outright lies. What most Lasik ads quote is just the basic Lasik surgery price, which would apply to individuals who need a small degree of corrective surgery. But the higher degrees of vision correction incur higher costs. The average cost of Lasik surgery is around $2000, but it could cost more. Also a more experienced surgeon would charge much more for performing the surgery than a surgeon with less experience. Do not base your choice solely on the doctor’s fees. The extra money may be well worth it if it means choosing an established and
reputed doctor who has a lot of experience and access to the latest technology.
You should also explore the possibilities of having your Lasik surgery in a more Lasik-friendly country. Most insurance plans in Africa, Europe, Latin America and Asia do cover Lasik surgery even though it is an elective procedure. However this is not the case in Canada and the United States, so your personal financial burden could prove to be much higher in these two countries.
If possible you should opt to pay for your Lasik surgery through the flexible spending account offered to you by your employer. If you have enough money saved in your flexible spending account it could help pay for the entire surgery or at least partially cover the cost of the surgery. You need to inform your Lasik doctor if you are paying him in this manner, as there could be some paper work involved between the surgery center and your employer. You should also check the possibility of deducting the costs of Lasik surgery from your federal income tax. Your tax accountant should be able to help you out with this.
It is a good idea to explore the various payment methods to help you defray the high cost of Lasik eye surgery. Talk to your Lasik doctor who will be glad to work out the most appropriate plan for you.
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