LASIK Costs and Payment Options
By Gordon Wong, OD on June 30, 2014
Although LASIK surgery has successfully improved the vision of millions of patients worldwide, a significant percentage of patients choose to not undergo this life changing procedure. Why? In many cases, it is because of the cost of surgery. The one time cost of eyeglasses and contact lenses is less than that of LASIK surgery. However, LASIK eye surgery permanently improves nearsighted, farsighted, and astigmatic vision, meaning that the procedure only needs to be performed - and paid for - once. Eyeglasses and contact lenses, on the hand, must be replaced on a regular basis. In the end, most patients end up spending more money on eyeglasses, contact lenses, and cleaning solutions.
At GW Eye Associates Inc, an ophthalmology practice in La Jolla, we discuss LASIK costs and payment options with patients so they can move forward with surgery and minimize or eliminate their need for visual aids such as eyeglasses and contact lenses.
LASIK surgery generally costs anywhere from $1,800 to $5,000. Patients often wonder why there is such a wide price range for this surgical procedure. The cost of LASIK varies for patients based on a number of factors. Patients may find that their LASIK quote is on the higher end of the cost range if:
- They undergo custom wavefront LASIK, which corrects for both lower and higher order vision aberrations.
- The surgeon uses a laser, instead of the bladed microkeratome, to create the corneal flap.
- The patient has a higher degree of nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism.
- The patient has nearsightedness or farsightedness in combination with astigmatism.
Patients may find that their LASIK quote is on the lower end of the cost range if:
- They undergo traditional LASIK surgery, which can only correct for lower order vision aberrations.
- The corneal flap is created with the bladed microkeratome rather than a femtosecond laser
- The patient has minor to moderate degrees of nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism.
- The patient has nearsightedness or farsightedness without astigmatism.
Other factors that account for the range in price include the geographic location of the practice (LASIK centers in big cities are associated with higher prices) and the experience of the surgeon.
LASIK Payment Options
LASIK patients have the option of paying for the full cost of surgery upfront with cash or check. For those who prefer to pay of the cost of treatment in more reasonable monthly installments, the following options are available:
- Personal credit card: Most LASIK centers accept credit cards as a form of payment. Patients who choose this option should use a card with a low interest rate, and make all payments to the credit card company on time to avoid any late payment fees.
- Financing: CareCredit offers healthcare financing plans to patients who undergo LASIK. Patients can obtain no-interest or low-interest plans as long as they have good credit and pay the loan off within the indicated timeframe.
- FSAs: Patients can open up a flexible spending account through their employer. Any money that is diverted into this account is tax-free. However, patients must use the full amount of the funds by the end of the year.
To schedule a LASIK consultation, contact GW Eye Associates Inc.
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Dr. Wong and his staff have proven to be the best eye doctor that I have ever visited. He is extremely thorough and up-to-date professionally. He gives you plenty of time. I never feel rushed.Kathrine Holladay