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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.
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
Many surgeons charge more for custom LASIK procedures and bladeless LASIK surgery. You can expect to pay a few hundred more per eye for each option.
Does Insurance Cover LASIK Eye Surgery?
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.
What Factors Affect the Cost of LASIK?
Several factors can influence the cost of LASIK eye surgery:
Eye surgery costs vary from one region to the next. If your doctor is located in an area with a high cost of living, their prices will probably reflect that trend.
Surgeon’s Experience and Reputation
An experienced eye surgeon with a well-earned reputation is likely in high demand. Therefore, you should expect to pay premium prices for their service.
Initial Exam and Consultation
The cost may include the initial LASIK consultation. However, this service is provided for free at most LASIK practices.
Pre-and Post-Operative Care
The price may not include pre-and post-op visits. If a problem requires additional care, it may cost extra.
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. Insurance doesn’t cover artificial tears.
Type of Technology and Equipment Used
Newer technologies, such as laser devices, cost more than older ones. It’s common for eye centers to pass additional costs onto the patient.
If you're considering LASIK, get a written cost estimate that itemizes everything in the offer. Read the fine print and ask about potential additional fees before making a decision.
Degree of Correction Needed
Some eye surgeons base their prices for LASIK on the level of correction needed. Depending on the strength of your eye prescription, you may pay more or less than another patient.
Overhead Costs for the Eye Center
The type of equipment your doctor uses and whether they own or lease it can affect the overall cost. For example, if a doctor owns a laser device, they don’t need to pay to lease it. This lowers their overhead, and they may pass the savings on to their patients.
Follow-up Appointments and Procedures
Most people need at least one year of follow-up visits after LASIK eye surgery. In some cases, additional procedures may be necessary to fine-tune the vision correction.
What are the Costs of Different LASIK Procedures?
Here are the different types of LASIK surgery and their average costs per eye:8
Conventional LASIK, also known as traditional or standard LASIK, costs about $1,677 per eye.
Conventional LASIK is the most basic and least expensive of the LASIK procedures. This traditional approach involves using a laser or blade to make a corneal flap. In most cases, it also requires the least recovery time.
Only those with basic vision correction needs are typically eligible for conventional LASIK. A low prescription for nearsightedness is one example.
Farsighted people and those with astigmatism usually aren't good candidates for traditional LASIK.
Custom LASIK, also known as Wavefront, costs about $2,100 per eye. People with strong lens prescriptions, and those with irregularly shaped eyes, may need a custom procedure.
Also known as all-laser-LASIK, bladeless LASIK costs about $2119 per eye. This technique uses a femtosecond laser, which adds to the cost. Bladeless LASIK is available for conventional and custom procedures.
NVISION Eye Centers offer custom LASIK, affordable pricing plans, and a lifetime guarantee. Learn More
Are There Discounts For LASIK?
Some individual clinics offer discounts and special offers for LASIK surgery.
There are promotions for very inexpensive LASIK. However, most people don’t qualify for the procedure provided at a discounted price.
Other Financing Options For LASIK
Other financing options for LASIK include:
Many surgical practices offer financing plans to help patients cover the cost of LASIK.
There are affordable interest rates and payment plans for those who qualify.
FSA or HSA
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.
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:
- Cash refunds
You may find credit cards that enable you to transfer a balance and receive another interest-free period. This may allow you to pay off LASIK surgery costs over time. 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 few are not.
LASIK surgery is not without its risks. LASIK can cause side effects, including:
- Dry eye
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.
People who've had LASIK rarely lose vision due to:
- 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 $4,000. For example, at UCLA’s Laser Refractive Center, price estimates for PRK surgery total $2,500 per eye.
LASEK is similar to PRK in that no incision is needed. Instead, the doctor uses alcohol to remove the corneal tissue. This procedure causes less pain than PRK. LASEK costs about $2,000 per eye.
Small Incision Lenticules Extraction (SMILE)
SMILE eye surgery is another refractive procedure. It uses a femtosecond laser to create and remove a lenticule (a small piece of corneal tissue).
On average, SMILE eye surgery costs between $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.
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