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How to finance LASIK eye surgery
Finance your eye surgery so you never shell out for contacts again.
Paying for contacts, new glasses, yearly visits to the optometrist — it adds up. Getting laser eye surgery can save you a pile of money in the long run. But getting together the money to cover the immediate cost isn’t always that easy. Almost all insurance providers consider it an elective procedure so it isn’t always covered. And even if it is, it’s usually only partial.
We break down your financing options and costs of LASIK eye surgery to make your payments more manageable.
Can I pay for LASIK eye surgery with a personal loan?
Yes. A common reason borrowers take out personal loans is to pay for medical procedures that aren’t covered or only partially covered by insurance.
Some personal loan providers also offer financing specifically designed to cover the cost of medical procedures. Often healthcare providers have partnerships with lenders to offer financing packages to patients. When looking for a loan, check with your LASIK center to see what types of financing they offer in addition to other personal loans.
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How much does laser eye surgery cost?
Typical LASIK procedures can cost anywhere between a couple hundred to a couple thousand dollars per eye, though the average cost ranges from $1,500 to $2,500 per eye. This generally depends on what type of procedure you have. Here’s how they break down:
LASIK with blades
Some insurance companies partially subsidize the cost of LASIK surgery, however. Large vision providers like Blue Cross Blue Shield, Davis Vision, EyeBenefits, Aetna and VSP often offer discounts of up to 50% off the procedure.
How else can I pay for LASIK eye surgery?
You don’t necessarily need to take out a personal or medical loan to cover your LASIK costs. Here are some of your other options:
- A new credit card.If you qualify for a new credit card with a 0% intro APR, you might want to consider getting one to cover at least part of your LASIK costs — as long as you’re able to pay off your balance before the intro period is up.
- Save up. LASIK typically doesn’t cost more than $5,000 for both eyes and it’s not an urgent procedure. If you can deal with glasses and contacts for a little while longer, consider opening up a high-interest savings account and making monthly deposits toward your LASIK surgery periodically.
- Use your tax refund. If you get a tax refund, it might less than the entire cost of the surgery, but it could put a big dent in it.
- Flexible spending account (FSA). Some employers allow you to put pre-tax salary into an account for out-of-pocket health care.
- Health savings account (HSA). If you’re covered by a high deductible health plan (HDHP) at work, you may be able to set tax-free money aside in an HSA to pay for LASIK surgery.
- Discounts through your employer. Some LASIK companies have deals with large employers to provide discounted procedures. If you work for a large company, ask your HR department or benefits manager if a discount is available.
- Healthcare credit cards. Cards like CareCredit offer financing designed to make medical expenses easier to pay for, though they can come with high interest rates.
- Ask friends and family. LASIK isn’t an incredibly expensive procedure, so your friends and family might be willing to loan you the money you need without interest.
- Enter a contest. Some LASIK centers have contests awarding the winner free laser eye surgery. Just make sure it’s with a reputable surgeon before entering.
5 tips for choosing a LASIK surgeon
The last thing anyone wants is to have their LASIK procedure botched by a surgeon with a poor track record — or no track record at all. But you might wind up paying more than necessary if you go by reputation alone. Consider these key factors when deciding on a surgeon.
- Technology. Does your surgeon use up-to-date technology? You can usually find this information by calling or visiting their practice’s website.
- Experience. Look for a surgeon who specializes in laser eye surgery and has a long track record.
- Certification and licensing. Check to make sure your surgeon is both licensed to practice in your state and board-certified.
- Staff. Is the staff easy to reach and able to answer questions? Are they willing to put you in touch with your surgeon if needed?
- Reviews. What do past patients have to say? One bad review doesn’t mean anything, but consistent complaints could mean you should stay away.
Did you know LASIK stands for “laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis”? That’s the medical name for this vision-correcting eye surgery procedure.
LASIK eye surgery doesn’t have to be a huge one-time expense. Personal loans and financing from your medical provider can make paying for your eye surgery a lot more manageable. While you might spend a little extra in interest, the amount you save on contacts and glasses might make it worth it. Get started by asking your surgeon about financing options and checking out our personal loans guide.
Frequently asked questions
What are the side effects of LASIK surgery?
Check with your eye surgeon to get a medical opinion on what to expect with this procedure. Generally speaking, LASIK can temporarily cause dry eyes for the first six months after surgery. For the first few days or weeks after surgery, you might also have trouble seeing at night, get double vision or see halos around bright lights. You might also have trouble seeing things in dim light.
Is there an age limit for laser eye surgery?
No, but it’s not common for people younger than 18 or older than 80 to get LASIK. You might want to wait until you’re at least 21 to get the procedure because that’s when your eyes have completed most of their normal growth, according to medical professionals.
Do you have to be awake for laser eye surgery?
Yes, performing eye surgery on a sleeping patient can be risky. Surgeons typically give you anesthetic eye drops and a mild sedative to help you relax during the procedure, which typically takes less than 10 minutes per eye.
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