LASIK surgery is considered an elective procedure in most cases. This means that it is not deemed medically necessary; therefore, insurance coverage will usually not offer to help offset the costs of the surgery. There are, however, several budget-friendly options to make the procedure a viable option financially.
LASIK surgery has a high success rate, as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) report that over 95 percent of people who undergo LASIK are happy with the results. LASIK can improve your quality of life and save money in the long run. Glasses, contacts, and other corrective vision tools and doctors’ visits can add up over time. Corrective eye surgery like LASIK can eliminate many of these costs and therefore lower the long-term financial burden.
There are several options for financing LASIK as well as some things you should know ahead of time.
Financing for LASIK
LASIK surgery financing can take many forms.
- Using a health savings account (HSA) or flexible spending account (FSA): An HSA is a kind of savings account that you can put money in pre-taxes in order to pay for healthcare costs. If you have a high-deductible health plan (HDHP), you can set up an HSA to use untaxed money to pay for qualified medical expenses. You can then put money into this account on a monthly, bimonthly, or even more regular basis. Often, employers will match HSA funds. Another option is an FSA, which is an account that can be set up to pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses as well. An FSA is established through health plans offered by employers. The money in an FSA is not taxed, and employers can contribute to them as well. Funds in an HSA or FSA may be used to pay for LASIK surgery. Often, funds from these accounts can be rolled over into the next year, allowing you to save up funds for procedures like LASIK. Be sure to check with your particular coverage to see what procedures and medical expenses are eligible.
- Paying with a credit card: A credit card can be a good option to pay for LASIK surgery especially if you have a card that has a low-interest rate. This allows you to pay back the money over a period of time. Generally, this isn’t the most desirable option since credit card interest rates tend to be higher than other forms of credit.
- Applying for and using a healthcare credit card such as CareCredit: There are third-party financing options, such as CareCredit, that offer a healthcare credit card to help finance LASIK surgery. This type of credit card can often provide funds with no interest as long as payments are set up ahead of time and paid on the set schedule. Just like a regular credit card, a CareCredit card can allow for low minimum monthly payments for healthcare procedures, so you can get LASIK now and finance the surgery over time at a comfortable rate.
- Receiving and using a personal loan: You may decide to apply for a loan, either from your bank or even from a friend or family member in order to finance LASIK surgery. Personal loans from a bank, loan company, or credit union will have an application process and be based on eligibility requirements. They may also request a form of collateral. Private loans from a friend or family member can be set up based on mutually agreeable terms.
What to Expect When Financing LASIK Surgery
When you use any of these aforementioned options to finance LASIK, there are a few things you should understand. LASIK surgery will need to be paid for upfront. This means that you should work out all budget and financing options ahead of time.
When you finance LASIK through a loan or with some form of a credit card, those companies (or people if it is a private loan) will pay the costs for you initially, and you will then be paying them back. Usually, payments are expected monthly, and there will be a fee in the form of interest as well. Some loans or credit cards may have a period of 0 percent interest, which means that as long as you continue to cover the monthly payment amount and pay on time, you will not incur interest. Some loans or credit cards may also have a grace period where 0 percent interest is offered, and this rate will expire in a set period of time. Be sure to closely check the terms of the loan, credit card, or financing option ahead of time, so you can prepare for all eventualities.
Tax-free specialized medical savings accounts or personal savings accounts can provide you with the funds needed to finance LASIK surgery. Patient counselors at NVISION can help you to better understand your exact costs for LASIK through a detailed assessment. With this information, you can then determine how to best finance the procedure. They can lay out your options and work with you to come up with a payment plan that will work with your personal budget.
Lowering Costs for LASIK and Additional Payment Options
LASIK surgery can have many benefits in the long run, both physically with better vision and also financially as you save money on glasses and contacts that need to be replaced and repurchased regularly. In addition to financing for LASIK procedures, there are some other options to lower costs and help you pay for the surgery.
- Consider using your tax return to pay for the surgery. This money is often something that is not accounted for ahead of time; therefore, it can be used to pay for expenses that may not fit into the regular budget, such as LASIK surgery. The long-term rewards can outweigh the temporary financial strain.
- Check with your accountant to determine whether or not LASIK is tax-deductible. In some cases, the procedure itself may have some tax benefits, and your accountant can help you determine if this is the case for you.
- Paying the full cost upfront instead of financing may result in discounts and other cost-related benefits, such as no interest payments. Financing plans often incur interest over time. By paying for the procedure in full, you will generally end up paying less for the surgery overall.
- Insurance companies may offer discounts for coverage when you undergo LASIK surgery. Check with the insurer and your policy, and/or look into new insurance coverage that offers a reduced rate for coverage after LASIK.
There are many ways to finance your LASIK surgery. With a bit of research, you can determine the best way to cover the cost of the procedure that will give you the ultimate benefit of improved vision.
LASIK Quality of Life Collaboration Project. (September 2018). U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Health Savings Account (HSA). HealthCare.gov.
Using a Flexible Spending Account (FSA). HealthCare.gov.
CareCredit. (2018). Synchrony Bank.