Does Insurance Cover LASIK? By Gordon Wong, OD on January 29, 2020

An eyeLASIK eye surgery improves vision by directly addressing imperfections in the cornea, making it possible for many people to eliminate their need for eyeglasses or contacts.

Patients often have several questions about LASIK, but one of the most common questions Drs. Gordon G. and Wildon C. Wong hear is “does insurance cover LASIK?” For our patients in La Jolla, CA, neighboring Carmel, and throughout San Diego, the answer depends on several factors, primarily their insurance plan and reasons for LASIK.

Today, we'll take a closer look at LASIK eye surgery and what role insurance might play in funding this procedure.

About LASIK Eye Surgery

LASIK, which stands for laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis, is an eye surgery that uses a special laser to alter the shape of the cornea and improve vision.

When the cornea is improperly shaped, it causes a refractive error, meaning light does not bend correctly through the eye. This results in vision problems including astigmatism, nearsightedness (myopia), and farsightedness (hyperopia).

With LASIK, it's possible to correct many refractive errors by changing the shape of the cornea.

Insurance and LASIK

Generally speaking, insurance usually doesn't cover the cost of LASIK eye surgery. This is because LASIK is generally an elective surgery; this means that most people who have LASIK surgery choose to have it not because of a medical necessity but because they want to see clearer without wearing glasses or contacts.

Some insurance companies, specifically those that offer vision plans, may partially cover LASIK surgery, even as an elective surgery.

With that said, some insurance companies may cover LASIK surgery if it's medically necessary for the patient and not simply an elective procedure.

What Conditions Might Be Covered by Insurance?

Although not guaranteed, some insurance companies will cover LASIK in the event that surgery is considered medically necessary.

In order to be medically necessary, and therefore possibly covered by insurance, the patient would likely need to meet one or more of the following conditions:

  • Unable to wear glasses due to anatomical issue with the face, such as nose or ear deformity, and also unable to wear contact lenses
  • Suffers from an eye injury that caused a refractive error to develop
  • Severe refractive error
  • Treatment of refractive errors caused by a previous surgery

How Can I Find Out If LASIK Is Covered?

The only way to be know for sure whether LASIK is covered by your insurance is to speak directly with your insurance provider.

Even if you believe LASIK surgery is medically necessary for you, each insurance company has its own standards and criteria for approving coverage.

Other Financing Options

When insurance is not an option for paying for LASIK surgery, patients may consider other financing options, such as a health savings account (HSA) or a flexible spending account (FSA). Both are types of savings accounts that are tax-free but can only be used on medical expenses.

Other options include paying with a personal credit card or applying for and using a healthcare credit card, such as CareCredit.

A personal loan, either from a bank or family member, are other options some patients may want to consider to pay for LASIK surgery.

Schedule a Consultation

For more information about LASIK surgery, or to discuss financing options, please call (858) 454-4699 to schedule a consultation at Gordon Wong Eye Designs & Optometry.

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