LASIK eye surgery costs one bajillion dollars.
Well, no. It can’t be that much. “Bajillion” isn’t a number. But it’s not cheap, that’s for sure. Right?
The average cost for LASIK is around $4,200, or $2,100 per eye. That’s nothing to sneeze at, but there are things you can do to make the cost much more manageable.
First, consider your existing budget
If you already wear contacts or glasses, believe it or not, LASIK may actually be a savings for you over the long run.
Think about how much you spend on solution, contacts, frames, over years and years. You may already be spending the same amount on your vision care. Use this handy tool to assess your existing costs as compared to the cost of LASIK.
Finance it through your LASIK surgeon
Many LASIK surgeons have payment plans, some directly with the doctor’s office itself, others through third-party providers.
You can find a LASIK provider here to discuss financing options. You can discuss any other questions you may have while you’re at it. These doctors are smart. Ask them a bunch of stuff.
Use your Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
We’ve written about this in the past, but if the option is available, you can use your employer’s FSA to use tax-free income toward certain medical expenses, LASIK included. According to one report, only about 80% of employees take advantage of their FSA, and 22% identified as not very or not at all knowledgeable about their employers’ FSA program.
This is an employee benefit, just like insurance or a retirement plan, and it can save you serious dough if you know how to use it. As an example, a single person in California making $55,000 can save more than $870 using the maximum amount allowable for an FSA. You can calculate the savings an FSA will afford you here. Talk to your employer if you have further questions.
Use your tax refund
The pain of crunching numbers and sweating the paperwork every Tax Day is well worth it when that sweet, sweet return is safely in your wallet. The temptation is to blow it all on a quick impulse buy. Resist that temptation.
According to the IRS, the average refund is more than $2,700. That’s more than halfway toward the average LASIK procedure! The right timing can make a big difference. And in that same vein…
Consider a Healthcare Credit Card
This isn’t like the credit card you sign up for at the checkout stand of a big-box store.
A Healthcare Credit Card is designed to help pay for out-of-pocket healthcare costs like LASIK (and other expenses too, like going to the dentist), and many feature 0% interest as long as you make your monthly minimum payments on time. There are a number of options, and you can talk to your LASIK doctor further about this avenue.
Now that we’ve cleared things up and you know LASIK does not, in fact, cost a bajillion dollars, what’s holding you back? There are a lot of options out there to help you pay for the procedure. Seriously consider losing contacts and glasses and learn more about LASIK vision correction at www.backinfocus.com, where you can also use this calculator to calculate the cost of LASIK against other vision correction solutions.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
Indication: LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) is a laser surgery procedure that permanently changes the shape of the cornea to reduce or eliminate nearsightedness, farsightedness, or mixed visual irregularities due to an abnormal curve in the cornea (astigmatism). Only an eye care professional trained in laser vision correction can determine if you are a candidate for this procedure. The iFS® laser is a surgical laser that can be used to create flaps for use in LASIK surgery.
Contraindications: You should not have LASIK if you have collagen vascular (such as rheumatoid arthritis), autoimmune, or an immunodeficiency disease because they affect the body's ability to heal. You should not have this procedure if you are pregnant or nursing, show signs of corneal thinning, or take medications with eye-related side effects, such as Isotretinoin (Accutane®) for acne treatment or Amiodarone hydrochloride (Cordarone®) for normalizing heart rhythm.
Warnings: LASIK is not recommended if you have diabetes, a history of herpes simplex or herpes zoster keratitis, significant dry eye, or severe allergies.
Precautions: Your doctor will examine your eyes to determine if you are a candidate for this procedure. Talk to your doctor about any eye-related conditions, injuries, or surgeries you have had, as well as any changes to your vision in the past year. These may result in poor vision after LASIK. Tell your doctor about any medications you are taking. After surgery, you may find it more difficult to see in conditions such as dim light, rain, snow, fog, or glare from bright lights at night. LASIK is for patients 21 years of age and over.
Side effects: Possible side effects include dryness, which may be severe; loss of vision or the possible need for glasses or contact lenses after surgery; and visual disturbances such as halos (hazy rings around lights), glare, starbursts, double images, and other visual irregularities that may be debilitating. Possible complications resulting from LASIK flap creation include swelling, inflammation or pain in your eye, infection, or flap-related complications. Mild to severe light sensitivity occurred in 1% of patients between 2 and 6 weeks after surgery. Some patients (0.03%) noticed a temporary spoke-like band of light in their peripheral vision.
Please consult with your eye care professional regarding the potential risks and benefits of this procedure. Results may vary for each individual patient.
The iLASIK® platform utilizes the STAR S4 IR® Excimer Laser System, WaveScan WaveFront® System, as well as the iFS® Advanced Femtosecond Laser during the LASIK procedure.
Caution: U.S. Federal Law restricts these devices to use by practitioners who have been trained in their calibration and operation, and who have experience in the surgical treatment and management of refractive errors.
For U.S. Consumers Only