Will insurance pay for lasik?

Published On: Oct 14 2011 04:10:41 PM EDT
Updated On: Jun 02 2010 11:40:48 AM EDT

iStockPhoto / tbradford

Laser eye surgery such as Lasik can have clear benefits -- especially seeing more clearly.

And having near-perfect eyesight can even save money, since you won't have to pay for glasses or contacts again.

But the big up front cost can make it impossible for some people to get a correction. If you have health insurance, though, you might think your provider will pick up part of the bill.

Usually, however, it will not. Most insurance companies consider Lasik a cosmetic procedure and do not pay for it, according to The Lasik Directory.

Some people -- such as those who cannot wear contacts because of dry eyes or people who cannot wear glasses at work -- can have it covered.

The only way to find out is to contact your insurer and ask about the policy.

And USAEyes.org says that even if your plan won't pay for the work, it could help with the cost.

Sometimes, a program such as an HMO or PPO will negotiate a price with certain doctors. They don't give any money, but try to provide the benefit. However, USAEyes cautioned that if you find a negotiated rate, you should check to make sure it is actually lower than the current market price.

Another option is to check into an employer's flexible spending account. That could allow you put money aside from your salary before it is taxed and use it to pay for your surgery.

Also, medical expenses can sometimes be tax deductible, so you could ask an expert or check with the IRS to see if you can save that way.

USAEyes had one final note: People who experience complications from laser surgery will usually have care for those expenses covered under a medical plan.

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