Is Lasik Surgery Covered by Vision Insurance?
Lasik surgery is a corrective eye surgery that has become popular among those who want to better their eyesight. The results can give people enough of an enhancement in their vision they can go without glasses for the first time in many years. It's been touted as an inexpensive fix for a permanent problem. The cost is prohibitive for many patients. While ads may make the surgery sound inexpensive, it actually may cost thousands of dollars for a simple corrective procedure, with more costs being associated to worse cases. Since Lasik surgery doesn't come as a necessary surgery, but an elective, most insurance companies do not cover the procedure.
Insurance companies consider Lasik surgery an elective, meaning they do not cover any of the costs. If you have vision insurance you can confirm this by looking through the covered operations. A quick phone call to the insurance company can clarify any misleading elements of the policy. This doesn't mean any insurance wouldn't cover part of Lasik Surgery costs. An advanced vision insurance policy may cover a portion of the Lasik surgery procedure. A very good plan may cover 50% of the cost, with most covering much less.
Some patients have used flexible spending accounts or health savings accounts (HSAs) to pay for the cost of Lasik surgery. As was mentioned, the procedure can be costly. For this reason, many patients use a health plan they pay into directly to cover the costs.
Why is Lasik Surgery So Popular?
Lasik surgery offers patients treatment for eye problems, like myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. By correcting these problems, many patients' eyes improve drastically. The popularity of the procedure has not transferred into insurance company's offering coverage for the procedure. This could be due to the cost, but may also be related to the many complications that can occur as a result of the procedure.
Lasik surgery may create the following complications:
- Sensitivity to light
- Double vision
- Halos or starbursts
- Overcorrection or undercorrection of vision
- Problems with the flap including growth under the flap or wrinkles.
There are other complications being reported with Lasik surgery. It may be why most insurance companies consider it an elective. The procedure did gain popularity for its ease. A patient can enter a Lasik clinic, and within two hours of finalizing the procedure, leave with little to no problems. The short laser assisted procedure makes it very appealing to busy professionals.
Due to its cost, many have found Lasik surgery to be a reason for a vacation trip to Mexico, Africa, and other developing countries around the world. Since the procedure can be done in a day, many find the services in these countries to be well worth the lower cost. The cost may be less, but a patient should always be concerned about their quality of care. We do not recommend visiting other countries to have elective procedures performed. It's best to work with a doctor who you trust and can question extensively.
When considering Lasik surgery, it's best to look at the cost and complications as part of the equation. Since most vision insurance policies won't cover the procedure, many decide to hold off on the procedure. We may wait for a price drop, but advances in the procedure may prevent some of the complications as a result.
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