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Pricing for eye care procedures varies depending on the type of procedure, location, and your insurance provider. Some procedures are covered by insurance, while others are considered "elective" and are not covered by your provider.
Generally, insurance companies have considered LASIK an electoral procedure and haven’t covered the operation. However, that is beginning to change in some vision insurance plans.
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Some larger vision insurance carriers offer laser vision correction benefits, including discounts on laser vision correction procedures with specific providers and frame benefits for non-prescription sunglasses after vision correction surgery. UnitedHealthcare vision insurance offers its members 35% off LASIK at over 900 locations.
The average cost of LASIK surgery in the United States is approximately $2,200 per eye or $4,400 for both. Read more about your LASIK options and potential costs in this guide.
While LASIK can be purchased without insurance, you may be able to find a better price by enrolling in a vision insurance program. Several vision insurance plans offer discounted pricing on LASIK procedures. Most require you to visit a surgeon in-network or offer higher discounts on surgeons in their network.
FSA stands for Flexible Spending Account. An FSA is an account that allows you to set aside pre-tax dollars towards healthcare expenses. You can open an FSA through your employer if they offer the option, and contribute up to $2,750 in 2020. You can use your FSA to pay for LASIK surgery; however, there are a few things to consider.
A Health Savings Account is a tax-exempt bank account used to pay for certain out-of-pocket medical expenses. You must enroll in a high-deductible health insurance plan to qualify for an HSA. You may be able to open an account through your employer. Otherwise, you can sign up on your own if you are eligible for an HSA. According to the IRS, you can use HSA funds for LASIK because it is an eligible medical expense.
Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) is an elective procedure that uses a laser to mold the cornea's shape so that the eye can bend (refract) light correctly. With PRK surgery, individuals may not need eyeglasses or contact lenses as much as before surgery. PRK may be more suitable for individuals with thin corneas or with a corneal surface irregularity. On average, individuals can expect to spend between $1,750 and $5,000 for PRK.
The average cost of cataract surgery is between $3,500 and $7,000 per eye in the United States. Medicare and private insurance plans often cover all, or at least a significant portion of the costs.
Medicare covers 80 percent of expenses related to cataract surgery, as well as one pair of eyeglasses or contact lenses after the surgery. Private insurance companies will also cover a significant portion of your surgery costs.
The biggest benefit of having vision coverage is the reduction in the cost of eye exams and vision products. The average cost of a vision plan ranges from $15 to $20 per month depending on the plan. Some plans also offer cost savings for eyeglasses or contact lenses and vision correction services, including LASIK.
In many cases, the best plan for you is the same as the best for a family with children. Some vision plans cover eye exams, preventative care, contact lenses, and some lens enhancements, such as scratch-resistant treatment.
Most optometrists and ophthalmologists recommend that you get a complete eye exam about once every two to three years. You may get your eye exam done at a retail vision provider for under $100, but independent eye doctors may charge you more.
If you have vision insurance, your vision care plan may cover some or all of the costs of an eye exam. You can get a vision test without insurance, though prices will vary, though you will have to have co-pay.
Unfortunately, about 30 million people in the United States don’t have health insurance. Additionally, many insurance plans do not include vision benefits. An eye exam's average cost without insurance is around $200 for a new patient and $100-$150 for an established patient.
Tele-optometry is providing patients with new options for digital eye exams. The exams are not quite as comprehensive, but they are much more convenient since they can be performed from the comfort of your home via cell phone, tablet, or computer. If you need eyewear to correct your vision, you will need to see an optician to be fitted for eyeglasses.
There are several types of contact lenses to choose from that cater to different vision problems and come at various price points.
Typically, daily disposable contacts cost more over time than extended-wear contacts because you have to keep purchasing them. Daily contacts range from about $20 to $50 per box. Extended-wear contacts may cost lens wearers $10 to $20 more upfront, but they can save money over time because they last longer. Therefore, the annual cost of extended-wear contacts is likely cheaper than single-use contacts.
The cost of contact lenses goes beyond the actual lenses themselves. Learn more about the costs associated here.
There are many different types of eyeglasses to choose from. It’s important to find a pair of glasses that not only fits your vision needs but also fits your budget.
The price of your pair of glasses depends on the type of lenses and frames you choose, any add ons you buy, and whether you buy them from certain retailers or your eye doctor. Whether or not you have vision insurance that covers the cost of your new glasses also affects the price.
Learn what to expect when buying a new pair of glasses.
Annual eye exams are important to protect your eye health. Some issues don’t present any obvious symptoms, and require a careful analysis from a medical professional to recognize.
An eye exam’s average cost is about $200, but you can find reputable vision health establishments that do it for much less. Learn more about your options.