Updated on 

May 6, 2022

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LASIK Surgery Cost

How Much Does LASIK Eye Surgery Cost?

The average cost of LASIK surgery in the United States is approximately $2,200 per eye or $4,400 for both.

Thinking about LASIK? Start a conversation with an experienced Patient Counselor to find out if laser eye surgery is right for you. Learn More

How Much Does LASIK Eye Surgery Cost With Insurance?

Most health insurance plans don't cover LASIK surgery. They consider laser eye surgery as not medically necessary.

Neither Medicare nor Medicaid pays for elective eye surgery like LASIK surgery.

diagram showing six steps of lasik eye surgery

Some larger vision insurance carriers offer laser vision correction benefits.

These benefits include:

  • Discounts on laser vision correction procedures with specific providers
  • Frame benefits for non-prescription sunglasses after vision correction surgery

UnitedHealthcare vision insurance offers its members 35% off LASIK at over 900 locations.10

While the procedure is not likely to be covered by insurance, health insurance may cover the cost of certain prescription medications used in after-care following the procedure. These medications include prescription antibiotics and steroid eye drops.

There are some special circumstances when LASIK surgery can be qualified as medically necessary. In these cases, the surgery is covered by health insurance.

Suppose a traumatic injury requires surgery to save an eye's vision, and LASIK surgery is the only option. In that case, a physician can certify it as medically necessary.

Another example is if an initial LASIK surgery for cosmetic reasons created a vision problem. If a physician confirms that LASIK surgery is the only remedy, it will be deemed medically necessary and covered by insurance.

How Much Does LASIK Eye Surgery Cost Without Insurance?

LASIK's price has remained stable for the past 10 years, while other economic factors have risen.

It's estimated that today's LASIK is approximately 20 to 30% less expensive than it was just 10 years ago.5

The average cost of LASIK surgery in the United States is approximately $2,200 per eye or $4,400 for both.

There may be additional out-of-pocket costs after LASIK surgery. Patients may need to buy artificial tears for a couple of months post-surgery. Artificial tears are not covered by insurance.

Questions about LASIK? Call NVISION to speak with an experienced Patient Counselor who can answer all your questions and set up a free consultation. No commitment required.

LASIK Surgeon Using Laser

What Is Included In The Cost of LASIK?

The factors in the cost of LASIK eye surgery include:

  • Market region
  • The specific procedure used
  • The technology used
  • LASIK surgeon experience 
  • Medications and supplies
  • Professional liability (malpractice) insurance
  • Overhead for the eye center
  • Post-operative care and the number of follow up appointments needed
  • Pre-treatment diagnostic testing

The cost may include the initial LASIK consultation. However, this service is provided for free at most LASIK practices.

The price may not include pre-and post-op visits. If there is a problem that requires additional care, it may cost extra.

If you're considering LASIK, get a written cost estimate that itemizes everything in the offer. Read the fine print and ask about all potential additional fees before going ahead with the procedure.

Conventional LASIK involves using a laser or blade to make a corneal flap. It's typically the most affordable type of laser refractive surgery. In most cases, it also requires the least recovery time. 

Typically, only those with straightforward prescriptions (low nearsightedness) and vision correction requirements are eligible for conventional LASIK.

Conventional LASIK is the most basic and least expensive of the LASIK procedures.

Generally, farsighted people and those with astigmatism aren't good candidates for traditional LASIK.

Here are the different types of LASIK surgery available and their average costs per eye:8

  • Conventional LASIK costs $1,677
  • Custom LASIK (which uses wavefront technology) costs $2,100
  • All laser or bladeless LASIK (which uses a femtosecond laser) costs $2,119
  • LASEK or epi-LASEK costs $2,000

Are There Discounts For LASIK?

Some individual clinics offer discounts and special offers for LASIK surgery.

While there are promotions for very inexpensive LASIK, most people don’t qualify for the procedure provided at that discounted price.

NVISION Eye Centers offer custom LASIK, affordable pricing plans, and a lifetime guarantee. Learn More

Other Financing Options For LASIK

Fortunately, there are other financing options for LASIK:

Financing plans

Many surgical practices offer financing plans to help patients pay their portion of the cost of a laser surgery procedure.

There are affordable interest rates and payment plans for those who qualify. 

Flexible spending or health savings accounts

Many employers offer flexible spending accounts (FSA) or health savings accounts (HSA). These accounts provide a tax-free way to save for the procedure.

LASIK is a qualified medical procedure for using FSA or HSA funds. Using FSA or HSA funds to pay for LASIK saves money overall on taxes.

Credit card

Using a credit card for LASIK surgery can be an excellent way to cover the costs. Some new cards allow you to have a year or more to pay off your balance. Others may be interest-free.

Other credit cards allow you to earn the following from your payment:

  • Rewards
  • Points
  • Miles
  • Cash refunds

You may find credit cards that enable you to transfer a balance and receive another interest-free period. This may give you the chance to pay off LASIK surgery costs over time.

Be sure to check with your credit card for specifics.

Is LASIK Worth The Cost?

Most people who have LASIK achieve 20/20 vision. Over 99% of people who've had the procedure say they are pleased with the results.12

Although most patients are satisfied with LASIK surgery outcomes, a small number of patients are not.

LASIK surgery is not without its risks. LASIK can cause side effects, including dry eye, itching, and burning. These symptoms affect 20% to 40% of people who have the procedure.11

LASIK may also cause patients to experience glare and halos around lights at night. These symptoms typically last for a month or two after the procedure.

In a small number of cases, LASIK may not be effective in completely correcting vision.

Some people will still need glasses or contact lenses after surgery. This is especially in low-light conditions and as they age.

Those who don't achieve full vision correction can return to their doctor for an additional procedure.

Rarely, people who've had LASIK can lose vision due to:

  • Infection
  • Scarring
  • Poor healing

Costs of Other Laser Eye Surgeries

Here are some costs of alternative laser eye surgeries:

Photoreactive Keratectomy (PRK) 

PRK is a type of refractive surgery that reshapes the cornea's surface.

Unlike LASIK, there is no incision made in the cornea.

PRK costs between $1,750 and $5,000. For example, at UCLA’s Laser Refractive Center, price estimates for PRK surgery total $2,500 per eye. 

Small Incision Lenticules Extraction (SMILE)

SMILE eye surgery is another refractive procedure.

It uses a femtosecond laser to create a lenticule that then gets removed. A lenticule is a small piece of corneal tissue.

On average, SMILE eye surgery costs $2,000 and $4,000. At UCLA’s Laser Refractive Center, SMILE surgery costs approximately $2,500 per eye.

Refractive Lens Exchange

RLE is also called lens replacement surgery. It is not laser eye surgery.

This type of surgery is for people with presbyopia or extreme farsightedness. RLE replaces your eye's natural lens with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL).

RLE costs between $2,500 to $4,500 per eye.

Still not sure about LASIK? Talk with an experienced Patient Counselor at NVISION to find out if it's right for you.

Surgeon performing LASIK Procedure
12 Cited Research Articles
  1. “Does Insurance Cover LASIK? The Update for 2020.” American Refractive Surgery Council, American Refractive Surgery Council, 22 Sept. 2020
  2. “Evaluating A LASIK Bargain: 4 Facts You Need To Know.” American Refractive Surgery Council, American Refractive Surgery Council, 9 Mar. 2016
  3. “How Much Does LASIK Eye Surgery Cost?” American Refractive Surgery Council, American Refractive Surgery Council, 9 Apr. 2020
  4. Joy, Kevin. Pros and Cons of LASIK: Are the Risks Worth the Cost? 13 Dec. 2017
  5. “LASIK Isn't As Expensive As You Might Think.” American Refractive Surgery Council, American Refractive Surgery Council, 29 Oct. 2018
  6. “LASIK Surgery: What to Expect.” Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School, June 2020
  7. Pawlowski, A. “What's It like to Have Lasik? Patient Shares Surgery, Recovery, Cost and More.” TODAY.com, 22 Aug. 2018
  8. Price, Sterling. “Average Cost of Lasik & Laser Eye Surgery.” ValuePenguin, ValuePenguin, 17 Sept. 2019
  9. Schultz, Jessi. “Going into LASIK with Eyes Wide Open, Doctors Say Have Realistic Expectations.” News 5 Cleveland, Scripps Local Media, 24 Feb. 2020
  10. “Vision.” UnitedHealthcare, United Healthcare Services, Inc.
  11. Wilkinson, John M., et al. “Refractive Eye Surgery: Helping Patients Make Informed Decisions About LASIK.” American Family Physician, American Academy of Family Physicians, 15 May 2017
  12. LASIK Quality of Life Collaboration Project, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), June 2021
Melody Huang is an optometrist and freelance health writer. Through her writing, Dr. Huang enjoys educating patients on how to lead healthier and happier lives. She also has an interest in Eastern medicine practices and learning about integrative medicine. When she’s not working, Dr. Huang loves reviewing new skin care products, trying interesting food recipes, or hanging with her adopted cats.
Kyra is a freelance writer based in California who specializes in copywriting and content writing. She enjoys writing about health & wellness, science, and medical topics. She graduated from Rutgers University with a degree in English literature.
https://www.visioncenter.org/author/kyra/
Author: Kyra Willans  | UPDATED May 6, 2022
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Medical reviewer: Dr. Melody Huang, O.D.
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Dr. Melody Huang, O.D.
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The information provided on VisionCenter.org should not be used in place of actual information provided by a doctor or a specialist.

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