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LASIK surgery uses a laser to remove a thin layer of the corneal tissue in the eye.
This realigns the shape of the cornea, allowing light rays to focus more clearly on the retina. An outpatient surgery, LASIK only takes 10 to 15 minutes to perform.
Because it successfully eliminates the need for contacts or eyeglasses in many of its recipients, LASIK eye surgery is very popular. Still, the high cost may deter some people from pursuing it as an option.
Understanding the different financing available may help you decide if it is the right option for you.
Cost of LASIK surgery
In 2015, the average price for LASIK and other types of laser vision correction surgery was $2,077 per eye, according to AllAboutVision.com. Many people need vision correction in both eyes, which doubles the price. Price can vary depending on your location, the technology used and the doctor performing the surgery.
Some doctors quote only a basic fee and then add on “extras” for the use of special technology, while others include everything in the initial price, including follow-up office visits.
If you’re comparing quotes from several providers, be sure to get an itemized list that shows what’s included and read the fine print ahead of time.
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Benefits of LASIK surgery
LASIK eye surgery is popular for a variety of reasons. The biggest benefit is that it works, with approximately 96% of patients receiving their desired vision after LASIK surgery. Additional advantages include:
- You get immediate results.
- There are no bandages or stitches needed after surgery.
- There’s very little pain due to numbing drops used during surgery.
- Further adjustments are possible years later if your vision worsens over time.
- Most patients no longer need eyeglasses or contacts.
How to pay for LASIK surgery
In many instances, insurance companies don’t cover LASIK eye surgery because it’s considered a cosmetic procedure.
Even though it often successfully corrects vision, LASIK surgery is optional since most people’s vision is corrected when using contacts or eyeglasses. Because of this, the individual is commonly left footing the bill for the procedure.
If you need both eyes corrected or you have special circumstances such as astigmatism — an imperfection in the eye’s curvature — the final cost can be hefty. Luckily, there are ways to secure outside financing.
Taking out a personal loan is one way to finance LASIK eye surgery without having to wait for a long period of time to save money for it. Personal loans are available from online lenders, as well as traditional brick-and-mortar lenders such as credit unions and banks, and they give you a set amount of money at a fixed-interest rate, which you must pay back over a predetermined period of time.
This allows you to get the money you need upfront without delaying the surgery.
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Health savings account
If you have money in a health savings account, or HSA, you may be able to use that to fund your surgery with pretax dollars. To be eligible for an HSA, you must have a high-deductible insurance plan.
As of 2016, annual HSA contribution limits are:
- $3,350 for an individual
- $6,750 for family coverage
Many eye doctors or medical practices may offer their own financing for LASIK surgery. This is a viable option if you want to receive care right away without saving up the funds on your own.
Like a personal loan, you will likely find financing with fixed rates and long-term repayments, so it’s worth it to compare this type of financing with personal-loan rates to ensure you’re getting the best deal.
If you’re serious about LASIK eye surgery and are comparing quotes from various providers, it can be tempting to go with the least expensive option. While finances play a big role in your decision, don’t base your final decision on money alone.
Look at patient reviews, consider the technology used and ask about a doctor’s bedside manner when choosing a provider to perform your LASIK surgery.