If you are considering LASIK eye surgery, and all the different price options you see advertised are confusing you. Rest assured, it’s understandable. With LASIK surgery, price can vary from provider to provider. We hope the information included in this article with help provide answers many people have regarding value versus price in a surgical procedure such as LASIK.
A discount provider may claim to offer LASIK as low as $299 per eye, while premium providers may not promote a price. What does this mean to you as a consumer, and how do you know who to trust your eyes to?
How Much Does LASIK Cost?
Understanding Discount providers approach to the price of LASIK can be compared to that purchasing a car, similar in that you have a base price and all your upgrades are available to you at an additional cost. The advertised LASIK price at $299 per eye is similar to this experience.
The “as low as $299 per eye” offer comes with fine print.
Typically, this price is only available to a very small percentage of patients, while the majority of patients end up paying a much higher price. This discounted price typically starts with a low myopic correction. The fine print outlines the additional fees and upcharges. These upgrades may include advanced technology laser platform (for additional cost), or possibly the surgery is performed by a more experience surgeon (for additional cost).
At the end of the day, the typical patient visiting a Discount provider may end up spending close to, if not the same as what they would spend going to a premium provider for LASIK.
LASIK from a Premium Provider
Everyone’s vision requirements and expectations are unique. While many patients would benefit from LASIK, some may achieve better results from an Implantable Contact Lens. Others may need a procedure called a Refractive Lens Exchange. With something as valuable as your vision, it’s important to understand the value and the price. Although this premium provider may appear to be higher priced, they offer a quality LASIK experience with a solution to deliver the best possible outcome without compromising patient care.
The decision to have LASIK is a personal choice based on a patient’s research and understanding of the process. At the end of the day, both the discount provider and the premium provider have similar average selling costs. The difference between the two is in the value of treatment you receive for that price.
Five Things that Affect LASIK Surgery Cost
Completing a comprehensive examination of your vision is the first step towards better vision. Below are five things to consider if price is a deciding factor for you:
1. Your Prescription
Your eyes are different from anyone else’s eyes, so your prescription is, too. How much vision correction do you need, and what kind? Are you near-sighted or far-sighted? Do you have astigmatism?
Some providers may advertise a lower price for people with lower vision correction requirements (only), the price will go up from there based on your prescription. In reality, very few patients actually qualify for the advertised $299 price.
2. Technology Makes a Difference
Many discount providers quote a price based on the laser platform used. They will offer you advanced technology, at an additional cost. Premium providers like Barnet Dulaney Perkins Eye Center, are constantly on the forefront of advanced technology.
Compromising a patient’s visual outcome for an older generation laser is NOT an option. The latest advancements in LASIK technology include:
- Femtosecond lasers to create the initial flap, considered to be the pinnacle of laser technology
- Wavefront guided lasers that allow surgeons to map defects in the optical system of the eye.
- Topography guided LASIK which has proven to enhance the effects of LASIK.
3. What Procedure Will Provide the Best Results?
While LASIK surgery has provided millions of people great vision results, it’s not always the right choice for everyone. The Implantable Contact Lens (ICL) may be an alternative for patients with thin corneas or higher myopic nearsightedness. Should your prescription change, ICL is replaceable to maintain your vision for years to come.
The Refractive Lens exchange is a procedure very similar to Cataract Surgery, where the natural lens of your eye is replaced with a corrective lens. Patients electing for the refractive lens exchange will never need cataract surgery. Understanding what treatment option with provide you with the best possible outcome is one of the most important factors in correcting your vision.
4. Qualifications of your Eye Surgeon
Don’t forget that eye surgery is, in fact, surgery. The skill of your doctor is an important factor for the success of the procedure. Has your surgeon done 100 LASIK procedures or 15,000?
With more options now available than ever before for vision correction, you owe it to yourself to consult with a physician with an outstanding reputation.
5. Are There Any Hidden Costs?
Part of the reason prices can vary so widely is that discount LASIK providers do not publish their fees for the initial visit, the full screening exam, follow-up visits or any adjustment needed in the 12 months after the original surgery.
They may also request a partially or completely non-refundable “deposit” to ensure you will show up for your original consultation. Doing so encourages a consumer to believe that since he or she has “already” spent money with the company, they should go ahead with that company.
What Can a Consumer Do to Make the Best Decision for LASIK?
There are a few items you can put on your checklist to make sure you make the right decision about finding the best LASIK surgeon.
- Complete a self-evaluation: Find out first if you are a candidate for LASIK.
- Check your health insurance: LASIK is usually considered a cosmetic procedure rather than a medically necessary one, so many health insurance policies WILL NOT cover it. However, some WILL cover a portion. Be sure to check your employee benefits for vision care, as well.
- Use a flexible spending account or health savings account: This means that up to $2,500 of the cost could be in pre-tax dollars.
- Check for financing options: Many vision centers offer these. Be sure to check interest rates, the length of time you have to pay back the loan and any penalty if you are late with a payment.
- Print out a questionnaire: There is a Cost Considerations Consumer Checklist available that helps prospective patients determine whether the LASIK provider they want includes all additional fees.
- Download a LASIK Guide: A FREE LASIK Guide that provides you with all the comprehensive information you need to make an informed decision on LASIK.
Lastly, be smart about advertising, and don’t give in to high-pressure tactics; you aren’t negotiating over an appliance or a vehicle. Contact us, or call 1-866-742-6581 if you want to ask questions about cost and feel more comfortable.