Financing Options for LASIK
By Gordon Wong, OD on September 15, 2014
Although LASIK eye surgery is one of the most effective and rewarding ways to achieve permanently clearer vision, very few patients qualify for insurance coverage. As a result, patients must find a way to afford their own procedure, which can seem financially daunting to many people. Fortunately, you are not necessarily on your own. With the right financing plan, you can receive treatment without the need to pay for all of it at once.
Our San Diego optometry practice is committed to delivering top-of-the-line treatment that is affordable for all potential patients. We therefore suggest one or all of the below financing options, so that you may benefit from LASIK surgery without sacrificing your financial freedom.
Predicting the Cost of Treatment
The first step toward financing LASIK surgery is to get a clear idea of what your treatment will cost. By accurately estimating your cost, you can appropriately plan your payment options and, if necessary, seek approval from a creditor.
While it may be helpful to do some online research to gain a ballpark figure, LASIK is a highly customized procedure that is prone to variation among patients. For instance, some patients may undergo wavefront-guided LASIK, which corrects for more complex vision problems and is therefore more expensive. Additional costs may arise from the use of bladeless surgery, a higher degree of vision correction, and correction of astigmatism. In general, patients can expect surgery to cost anywhere between $1,500 and $5,000 per eye, but it is important to visit your optometrist for a personal exam before drawing any conclusions about your own cost of treatment.
Personal credit cards are often the first option that patients consider. After all, they are already familiar with the credit company and have a prior history with them. This tends to be a convenient option, as patients only need to use their preferred card before continuing to make monthly payments. In some cases, patients may gain additional benefits or “rewards” from using a specific card, depending on pre-existing contracts.
The most common downside to this option, however, is interest rates. Interest rates tend to fall anywhere between six to 36 percent, depending on the type of card and the user’s credit history. For patients who have not sought or earned a low rate, the sudden increase in credit balance may result in relatively unfavorable interest expenses. Similarly, patients who have not increased their credit limit may be unable to afford LASIK surgery through a single personal credit card.
The best way to finance an elective medical procedure is often through a line of credit specially designed for such purposes. Companies like CareCredit® offer loans with low interest rates and fixed, long-term payment plans so that patients can more easily afford a procedure. Additional benefits include:
- No up-front costs needed at the time of treatment
- Previous credit history is not taken into account
- Payment plan based on your income
- Loans may extend for up to five years
- Pre-approval and instant decisions
In some cases, patients may not be charged any interest at all if the expenses are paid within the allotted time. To see if you qualify for a CareCredit® card or financing plan, first determine your estimated cost of treatment. Then, simply fill out an online application, and a personalized plan will be sent to you.
Flex Spending Accounts
A flex spending account, or FSA, can be a great way to pay for some or all of your treatment. If you have a job that offers an FSA, you can opt to have a portion of your paycheck put aside over the course of the year. By planning in advance, you can have funds readily available for procedures that may not otherwise be covered by insurance. More importantly, FSAs are not subject to taxation, allowing you to keep a larger percentage of your gross earnings. By using the maximum-allowed funds from your FSA, you can effectively save hundreds of dollars by putting them toward your procedure, as opposed to losing them to taxes.
Learn More about Your Options
We want your LASIK treatment to be satisfying in every way possible. Come in for a consultation to learn what you can expect from the procedure and its expenses. Contact us to inquire further and to set up your first appointment.
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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