Feb 23, 2023

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Patient and eye doctor reviewing papers

Getting rid of your glasses forever might be tempting. You’ll want to consider your financial options, including a potential laser eye surgery loan, as carefully as your treatment plan.

You’ll discuss potential risks, side effects, and whether you are a good candidate for laser eye surgery (LASIK) with your doctor, of course.

Once your eye doctor has walked you through all your options, including alternative procedures, such as glasses or contact lenses, it’s time to think about how you’ll finance LASIK.

Can I use insurance for LASIK?

LASIK surgery can cost thousands of dollars per eye.1

Each insurance program is different, but LASIK is almost always elective surgery, meaning the procedure is not considered medically necessary. That means it may not be covered by insurance. You’ll want to call your insurance provider for your coverage details. Then, ask your doctor’s business office what experience they may have had getting some of the costs defrayed.

Some insurance companies, for example, may negotiate with providers for discounted costs for procedures such as LASIK. Consult with your insurance company to determine if you qualify for a discount. They may require that you go to a preferred (in-network) provider to benefit from their negotiated rates.

Can I use my health spending account for LASIK?

Do you have a health spending account, such as an FSA or HRA? If so, it may be a great way for you to pay for the procedure. These are pre-tax dollars, so you may save a little money by using these funds.

Check with your health spending account administrators to understand if LASIK is an eligible expense in your program. Be sure to inquire if there are any restrictions like what kind of physician prescribes or performs the procedure, or if it must be deemed medically necessary.

If it is an eligible expense, you’ll also want to think about what other out-of-pocket medical expenses you anticipate and whether you’ll want to rely on your health spending account to cover those. And mark your calendar so that you submit your documentation in time.

Does my doctor offer financing options?

Your doctor’s office may have a financing plan available to you. Generally, doctors who offer financing won’t charge interest. This allows you to spread the payments out over several months.  You’ll need to budget carefully to ensure timely payments, but it can be a good option. And be thoughtful about whether you want to write a check, debit a bank account, or charge it to a credit card. Each option has its own benefits and drawbacks.

Can I use a personal loan for LASIK surgery?

Even if you get some partial insurance reimbursement, you should be prepared to cover some of the costs of LASIK surgery. If you don’t want to hit a higher-interest credit card, or tap your savings, consider the benefits of a personal loan. For example, if your doctor offers a discount for a partial or complete cash payment, then a personal loan can help you take advantage of that benefit.

Because a personal loan offers fixed terms and fixed interest rates, you can budget for set regular monthly payments and circle the calendar for the day you’ll pay off your loan. Plus, most people get a decision the same day. And the money can be deposited directly into your bank account.

Want to learn more about the benefits of using a personal loan for medical expenses not covered by insurance? Read about personal loans for medical bills.