Traditionally, insurance companies considered LASIK eye surgery an elective surgery. This means it’s not a medical necessity.
Health insurance companies typically don't cover most elective procedures. However, these policies are starting to change, and some vision insurances now offer discounts on LASIK.
Does Insurance Cover LASIK?
Some larger vision insurance companies 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.
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LASIK Cost Without Insurance
LASIK cost can vary depending on several factors. This includes the surgeon's experience level and facility fees, to name a few.
The average LASIK cost in the U.S. is around $4,500 for both eyes.
While your health insurance likely won't pay for the procedure, they may cover certain prescription medications, such as:
- Steroid eye drops
- Prescriptions needed before or after the procedure
Is LASIK Ever Considered Medically Necessary?
There are some special circumstances when LASIK surgery can be qualified as medically necessary. Special cases in which health insurance may cover the cost of surgery include:
Traumatic Eye Injuries
Some traumatic injuries require surgery to save an eye's vision. If this occurs, and LASIK is the only option, a doctor can certify it as medically necessary.
Vision Problems Caused by LASIK
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.
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What Insurance Covers LASIK?
There are several vision health plans offering insurance coverage for laser vision correction. This is not a comprehensive list as benefits and plans vary from state to state.
It's important to compare multiple insurance providers before purchasing a vision plan.
Participating vision insurance policies include:
- Vision Service Plan (VSP)
- Davis Vision
Most of these insurance plans require seeing an in-network surgeon. This is because they have contracts with specific LASIK clinics. Or, they may offer special offers if you stay in-network.
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LASIK Cost With Insurance
Each vision insurance plan may provide slightly different benefits. Remember that your primary health insurance may contract with some of these vision plans to offer coverage.
If you already have health insurance, you can contact the company to see if they provide vision coverage.
Here is an overview of what different insurance plans offer:
VSP Vision Care provides 15 to 20 percent off standard prices or 5 percent off promotional LASIK pricing.
Under this plan, members will not pay more than $1,800 per eye for conventional LASIK or $2,300 per eye for custom LASIK. Enhancements or touch-ups are included at no additional cost.
EyeMed provides 15 percent off standard LASIK pricing or 5 percent off promotional pricing.
They also offer $800 off a custom LASIK treatment, but you cannot combine this with other discounts. You get free lifetime enhancements on most LASIK procedures.
EyeMed members can access these LASIK benefits through the U.S. Laser Network, which partners with over 600 LASIK surgeons nationwide.
Davis Vision partners with QualSight to offer members up to 40 to 50 percent off traditional LASIK procedures compared to national pricing.
They also offer significant discounts on custom or bladeless LASIK procedures.
According to Davis Vision, their members pay less than $1,000 per eye for traditional LASIK. They pay about $1,400 per eye for custom LASIK. QualSight has an extensive network of about 1,000 LASIK surgeons to choose from.
MESVision partners with QualSight to provide LASIK benefits.
The discounts are similar to Davis Vision’s offerings. MESVision also works with LASIKPlus, which is another LASIK provider network. LASIKPlus offers $800 off or up to 20 percent off certain LASIK procedures.
Spectera vision insurance is offered through United Health Care. They also partner with QualSight to provide their LASIK discounts. You may receive 40 to 50 percent off traditional LASIK surgery.
Can I Use My FSA or HSA for LASIK?
Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA)
An FSA allows you to set aside pre-tax dollars for medical expenses. You can open an FSA through your employer if they offer that option. You can use your FSA to pay for vision correction surgery, though it might not cover the full procedure.
Health Savings Accounts (HSA)
If you are self-employed, you cannot set up an FSA. However, you can set up an HSA, pre-tax savings accounts for medical expenses. You can use your HSA to pay for LASIK, eye exams, and other eye care procedures.
- Health insurance companies typically don’t cover LASIK because they consider it an elective procedure
- LASIK may be medically necessary if it treats a medical condition, such as an injury
- Several vision insurance plans offer coverage for laser vision correction (the specific requirements and details vary based on the insurance provider)
- Flexible spending accounts (FSAs) and health savings accounts (HSAs) can help cover the out-of-pocket costs of LASIK
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