Will My Vision Insurance Cover Lasik Surgery?

Lasik surgery is a relatively new procedure for correcting several types of eye defects such as astigmatism, hyperopia, and myopia using laser precision to make minute adjustments to various parts of the eye. The word ‘Lasik’ is actually short for laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis. The procedure leaves no scars, has a very short recovery period and can mean an end to a lifetime of wearing glasses or contact lenses.

Lasik is performed by first making a cut on the cornea that allows it to be lifted away from the rest of the eye like a flap, then tiny incisions are made to the back of the lifted cornea to change the way it refracts light entering the eye. After this is done, the cornea is placed back in position and serves as something for a bandage for the eye during the healing process.

How is Lasik Classified?

Along with your typical health insurance or dental insurance plans, coverage is provided only for those procedures which are deemed medically necessary. Cosmetic surgeries under health insurance such as breast augmentation, or plastic surgery is not covered. Under dental insurance, whitening and capping teeth are considered cosmetic and not likely to be covered. As beneficial as Lasik surgery can be for people who have lived with a lifetime of nearsightedness or farsightedness, it has been classified as cosmetic in nature by most insurance companies, so it is not covered.

How Much is Lasik?

When it was initially developed, Lasik surgery could cost upwards of $10,000 per eye to get done. Like many medical procedures based on technology, however, the price quickly began to fall as the price of the machinery dropped and more and more people were trained in the process, increasing competition. In the early 21st century, Lasik surgery reached its lowest price at somewhere around $1,500 per eye. In 2008, the average cost per eye was approximately $2,100. Though not exactly a stick of gum, this makes the surgery affordable for many Americans, even without the insurance procedures to cover or defray the costs.

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