Laser vision surgery often is deemed as a cosmetic procedure and not medically necessary to maintain quality of life. Most insurance companies will not cover laser vision surgery through their insurance plans simply because vision can often be corrected by wearing contact lenses or (eyeglasses). This type of surgery is typically referred to as LASIK, or Laser Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis.
Consider the expense of LASIK surgery. The cost is approximately $1,500 to $3,000 per eye, depending on where you live in the country and the skills of your doctor. Since most people would have both eyes lasered, an insurance company is looking at a total cost of $3,000 to $6,000. These monetary figures likely do not factor in pre-operative and post-operative visits, prescription medications, or complications that might have to be resolved with a second surgery. Prescription glasses, even with all the bells and whistles such as anti-scratch and anti-glare, are just a fraction of the cost.
Exceptions to the Rule
A few exceptions to the rule exist when laser vision surgery is referred to as a cosmetic procedure. Some insurance companies will cover LASIK as long as it is deemed a medical necessity by your doctor. If certain health conditions, or perhaps even your profession, could be improved with LASIK, it may prompt insurance to pony up payment for surgery. It is important to check your insurance plan's fine print first before considering laser vision surgery as an option.
Contemplate professions such as firemen, policemen and professional athletes, which require excellent vision to perform their duties. Glasses would be a hindrance and could actually pose a threat to you if you held one of the mentioned positions. And when contact lenses are not well-tolerated, laser vision surgery, like LASIK, becomes a viable, insured medical procedure. Even with the surgery, (eye glasses) may still be needed for reading or viewing long distances.
Certain medical conditions could benefit from laser vision surgery, which can improve your quality of life. For instance, if you suffer from diabetes, this disease often affects vision, specifically causing structural damage to the eye. Deterioration of the cornea is a common occurrence, but damage could be halted with laser vision surgery. This is another instance where this surgery would be considered medically necessary.
If you just have a desire to undergo laser vision surgery to correct your vision, your flexible health spending account at work may be eligible for reimbursement. Each flexible spending account managing company rules and procedures are different, so it is important to determine your eligibility for LASIK first, before pursuing the possibility.
Thousands of people each year flock to eye clinics to have some type of laser vision surgery such as LASIK performed, even in those circumstances where it was deemed cosmetic. However, if you would rather keep your money in the bank or flexible spending account, (spectacles) are the best option. Because of the surgery cost and certain unpredictability in results, you could purchase designer (Calvin Klein eyeglass frames) along with special lenses for just a fraction of the cost.