The cost of laser eye surgery can vary widely depending on the area of the country in which LASIK is performed, the level of experience a surgeon possesses, the technology used during the surgery, and the degree of your refractive error. Your cost can range anywhere from $499 per eye to $2,500 per eye. However, it is important to remember that you should not base your choice of a surgeon solely on the cost of LASIK; a less skilled ophthalmologist may charge a lower price, but he or she may not have the same experience, training, or precise equipment as a more expensive doctor.
Cost of LASIK by Region
Many patients are curious if the cost of LASIK varies by region, and to some extent it does. Patients will encounter a higher price in larger or more metropolitan cities, where doctors are trying to stay ahead of their competition by utilizing the latest laser technology. However, despite these influences, the average price in the United States remains relatively consistent from region to region.
The cost of LASIK can be influenced by any of the following factors:
- Royalties owed to laser manufacturers.
- Purchase and maintenance of surgical and technical equipment.
- Cost of medications used before, during, and after surgery, including anesthesia, eye drops, and oral pain medications.
- Rent for surgical and office facilities.
- Surgical and office staff salaries.
- Advertising fees.
- Cost of pre- and post-operative evaluations for up to one year after surgery.
- Cost of post-surgical enhancement, if necessary.
Since many of these price quotes are variable according to office location, the technology employed, and other factors specific to each surgeon, it is important for prospective patients to fully research what they are paying for when they have surgery. Be sure to ask surgeons to clearly outline what is and what is not included in their prices for LASIK before agreeing to any payment plans or methods.
What Increases Price?
Another cause for variations in price is the type of laser and technology used. LASIK with IntraLase®, which uses a laser rather than a microkeratome blade to create the corneal flap, costs between $250 and $500 more per eye. Custom LASIK, which employs wavefront technology to map the patient’s cornea, can cost between $200 and $500 more per eye. While many patients find these increased fees worthwhile, it is important for patients to fully research these new techniques to see if they are right for them.
LASIK Eye Surgery Price Discounts – What You Should Know
Many experts recommend avoiding discount laser eye surgery centers with aggressive advertising campaigns. Such centers often employ bait-and-switch tactics by bringing customers in with the promise of a low price, then tagging numerous added fees onto the final cost of the surgery. Some surgeons advertise a low price, but patients come to realize this price applies only to patients who need very minimal corrections, and more extensive corrections boost the cost of LASIK significantly. Furthermore, some surgeons may charge less because they do not have the experience or technology that other, more expensive surgeons may possess.
On the other hand, paying a higher price does not necessarily guarantee that you will get the best surgeon. To ensure that you find a skilled LASIK surgeon to perform your surgery, spend ample time researching the credentials of the eye surgeons in your area.
The cost of surgery can be daunting for many patients interested in undergoing vision correction treatment. However, what many patients don’t know is that LASIK financing is available for those who can’t afford to make the full payment up front. Financing allows you to break the total cost (which can range from $499 to $2,500 per eye) into smaller monthly payments that work with your individual budget. Financing may be available through your provider or via a third party, such as CareCredit®. Learn more about financing the cost by reading the sections below.
In-House Payment Plans
Talk to your surgeon about the cost of laser eye surgery and what financing options may be available. Eye surgeons usually offer a variety of payment options to their patients. Many surgeons work with local and national banks to provide low interest monthly payment plans, or allow patients to cover the cost of the laser eye surgery procedure in installments. Be sure to tell your surgeon if you have a flexible spending account – he or she may have forms for you to fill out. Even if you cannot afford the cost of treatment upfront, you should consult with a local refractive surgeon; most are willing and able to help make the cost of treatment more affordable.
Third-party LASIK Financing
LASIK is considered an elective procedure by most medical insurers and is not covered under the majority of insurance policies. If you have existing medical insurance and are considering refractive surgery, we encourage you to contact your provider and see if they will cover the treatment. In some cases, insurance may cover LASIK, but in most cases the patient will have to provide for the cost him or herself. Nevertheless, LASIK financing options are available for most patients in such cases.
CareCredit® is a company that provides patients with credit to help them pay for the cost of LASIK procedures over an agreed upon time frame. CareCredit® offers short-term, no-interest LASIK financing plans and low-interest, extended-payment plans. Patients can check online to see if their eye surgeon works with CareCredit®. As with home purchases and car purchases, elective medical procedures can be expensive and many individuals are unable to pay for them in full. Financing companies such as CareCredit® recognize this and provide a solution so that you can receive the treatment you deserve.
Find a Surgeon
When researching the cost of LASIK, it is important to ask surgeons what factors contribute to the pricing. If you would like to contact highly qualified LASIK surgeons in your area, please use our DocShop directory.