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Many people who contemplate the options for correcting their vision naturally consider LASIK. But does insurance cover LASIK eye surgery? Some vision insurance policies offer benefits that can help cover the cost of laser eye surgery, but sometimes only in specific situations. If you're considering this procedure, it’s important to carefully study your insurance policies to determine what kind of coverage you have for laser vision correction. Here's what our team at the Kraff Eye Institute wants you to know about vision insurance plans.
Is LASIK Covered By Insurance?
Does vision insurance cover LASIK? The answer is completely contingent on your individual or employer's insurance plan. LASIK eye surgery is an elective procedure, meaning it is a choice, and therefore not medically necessary. However, in some cases, insurance coverage may be possible depending on your insurance policy and provider.
Health insurance companies will generally cover the cost of contact lenses and glasses, but vision-specific insurance plans are created to help cover additional eye care costs. Vision plans are more likely than health plans to provide eye insurance for surgery. Some vision plans include benefits that can cover a significant portion of the cost of laser vision correction.
Does Insurance Cover LASIK for Astigmatism?
Unfortunately, it's difficult to get vision insurance to cover LASIK for astigmatism. As we mentioned, most insurance companies classify LASIK as an elective procedure and consider contacts and glasses acceptable alternatives to surgery.
How Does Insurance Cover LASIK?
Many people believe that an insurance provider might cover the cost of LASIK eye surgery under certain circumstances, such as occupation or having medical conditions like severe allergies or severe dry eyes. But keep in mind that LASIK surgery is elective, and therefore, vision surgery insurance is uncommon since it's not considered medically necessary.
Does Illinois Medicaid Cover LASIK Eye Surgery?
Considering federal and Illinois state assistance for surgery begs the next question: Does Medicaid cover LASIK? Does Medicare cover LASIK surgery? The answer to these common questions is most often no. Neither covers elective eye surgery unless it can be certified as medically necessary. Again, because surgery is elective, it's difficult to establish necessity. If proven, you'll want to find a practice that accepts Medicare and or Medicaid. It would be beneficial to speak with your Medicare and Medicaid provider beforehand to get a better understanding of how LASIK surgery would be covered.
Insurance Providers for Laser Eye Surgery
How much will insurance companies cover, if anything? Checking with your individual or company insurance carrier and policy will give the most accurate answer as to whether you have any benefits that cover LASIK eye surgery.
For example, large unions may provide financing options and often help cover a significant part of the cost of vision correction surgery.
Does VSP insurance cover LASIK? The Vision Service Plan (VSP) insurance company may also assist in paying for a LASIK procedure if the eye doctor is in-network.
Below you’ll find a list of providers and benefits and the discounts they may offer.
Ways to Save on LASIK Surgery
Below are a few options to help manage the cost of LASIK.
In order to help patients pay their part of the cost, many surgical practices offer financing options for patients who qualify. Financing plans are essentially payment plans with affordable interest rates. Often, patients will choose to use their no or low-interest credit cards, which offer air travel miles or other rewards.
FSA or HSA
Some companies and employers offer FSAs (Flexible Spending Arrangements) or HSAs (Health Savings Accounts) so employees can set aside tax-free money that they can later use for any qualified procedure, including LASIK eye surgery. Be sure to check with your benefits manager to determine your company’s policies on using FSAs and HSAs for LASIK.
Bonuses can be another way to help cover the cost of LASIK. Bonuses can be in the form of tax refunds, a signing bonus for a new job, a bonus from a current job, financial windfalls, or even cash gifts. The recent stimulus checks given during the COVID-19 pandemic are an excellent example of an unexpected financial gain that can be utilized for laser vision correction procedures.
Check-In with HR-Manager
There's usually someone at your place of employment, generally a human resource manager or an office manager, who's responsible for knowing the company's benefits. Your HR manager will be able to answer your questions regarding your vision plan, including the most pressing: “Does my insurance cover LASIK?” This person will also be able to discuss other benefits with you that can help to cover the cost, like FSAs and HSAs.
When considering LASIK eye surgery, it's essential to consult an experienced ophthalmologist who specializes in laser vision correction. A complete eye exam that measures vision function and evaluates the health of the eyes will help assess the medical need for the procedure. So, is LASIK eye surgery covered by insurance?
If you're a good candidate for LASIK, consult your individual or employer's benefits manager to review your policy and determine potential coverage. At the Kraff Eye Institute, we will help you untangle complex vision insurance policies so you can get the vision care you need. Contact us today at 312-262-7818 to make an appointment and get all of your questions answered about LASIK from a leader in the field.