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Guide to Affording LASIK Eye Surgery

Ways to Finance LASIK Eye Surgery
Susan Guillory
Susan GuilloryUpdated March 27, 2023
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If you’d like to have clear vision without having to wear glasses or contacts, LASIK surgery might be an option for you. LASIK generally corrects the vision of most patients who undergo the procedure. The surgery is not inexpensive, but fortunately, there are ways to pay for it. Read on to find out more about how the procedure works, the cost of the surgery, and financing for LASIK.

What Is LASIK?

LASIK stands for laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis, and it’s a type of refractive eye surgery. The procedure involves using a laser to change the shape of the clear tissue on the cornea of the eye to improve vision. LASIK takes about 30 minutes or less and is done as out-patient surgery.Your doctor can determine whether you’re a good candidate for LASIK.

Average Cost of LASIK Eye Surgery

While prices for LASIK can range depending on where you live and the surgeon who’s performing the surgery, you can generally expect to pay between $1,500 and $3,000 per eye.Because LASIK is considered elective surgery, many insurance companies won’t cover the cost. Your vision insurance may offer you a discount on LASIK, however, so be sure to check.If you don’t have the money on hand to pay for the procedure, there are several options for financing for LASIK you can explore.

How Does LASIK Financing Work?

With LASIK financing, you borrow money to cover the cost of the surgery. You repay the money with interest, and possibly fees, over a designated period of time. 

5 Ways to Finance LASIK Eye Surgery

There are different methods you can use to finance LASIK eye surgery. Each has pros and cons, so weigh the options carefully to determine which one is best for you.

1. Credit Cards

One method to finance LASIK is to charge the cost of the surgery to a credit card. If you have a credit card that earns rewards, this option might be worth exploring. However, credit cards typically have high interest rates, so you’ll want to pay off the full amount of the surgery as quickly as possible. Otherwise, if you carry a balance each month, the interest can quickly add up.

2. Financing Directly Through the Surgeon

Many doctors who perform LASIK offer their own financing. They might have a payment plan that lets you pay off the surgery over time, or they may partner with a financing company. Some doctors who perform LASIK work with CareCredit, a type of medical credit card that allows you to charge medical expenses to the card, including those not covered by insurance. There may even be a no-interest promotional period you can take advantage of. Check with your provider to see what financing, if any, they offer.Recommended: Guide to Medical Loans

3. Using an FSA

If you have an FSA (flexible spending account) through your employer, you can use it to cover qualified medical expenses. With an FSA, money is taken out of your paycheck before taxes to be used for medical care. However, there is a limit on what you can contribute in any calendar year. LASIK generally counts as a qualified expense. However, you may need your eye doctor to verify that the procedure is medically necessary first. Once that happens, you should be able to use your FSA to pay for some or all of the expense of your LASIK surgery.

4. Personal Loan

Another way to finance LASIK is by taking out a personal loan. With a personal loan, a bank, credit union, or online lender lends you money that you repay monthly with interest over time. Your personal loan qualifications will help dictate the amount you can borrow, as well as the interest rate you’re offered. If you have a high credit score and a strong credit history, you may be able to get a lower personal loan interest rate. When you’re applying for a personal loan, you can check around with different lenders to see what rate you can qualify for.There are benefits and drawbacks to personal loans. For instance, many personal loans are unsecured, which means they require no collateral. This is one difference between a home equity loan vs. personal loan. Also, personal loans are flexible and can be used for many different purposes. You can even use them for medical bill consolidation if you have more than one medical debt to pay off.Once you’re approved for a personal loan, you may expect to receive funds quickly, typically within one to five days. However, personal loans may come with an origination fee to cover the cost of processing the loan. And some lenders may charge a prepayment penalty if you repay the loan early

5. Personal Line of Credit

Taking out a personal line of credit (PLOC) is another option to consider for LASIK financing. A PLOC is a revolving line of credit. You apply for it, and once you’re approved for a specific amount, you have a certain amount of time to access the funds. A PLOC can be used to pay for medical bills.However, PLOCs do accrue interest that you’ll need to repay, along with the amount you borrowed. And they have variable interest rates, which means the rate can increase. Also, it may be difficult to qualify for a PLOC if you have poor credit.

Is LASIK Covered by Health Insurance?

Typically, health insurance does not cover LASIK because it is an elective procedure. Some vision insurance companies do offer discounted rates for LASIK, so be sure to check with your insurance provider to see what the options are. 

Finding the Right LASIK Financing Option

To determine which LASIK financing option is right for you, find out the exact cost of the surgery. Then, check with your vision insurance company to find out if they’ll offer you a discounted rate for the procedure. Next, if you have an FSA, consider using some or all of the money in your account to pay for LASIK.If you don’t have an FSA, or you can’t use it, find out if your doctor offers financing for LASIK. If they don’t, you may want to consider a personal loan to finance LASIK, especially if you can qualify for a low interest rate. Other LASIK financing options include credit cards, which typically come with high interest rates, or a personal line of credit, which has a variable interest rate. Do the math to see which one is best for you.  

The Takeaway

LASIK surgery generally isn’t covered by insurance. But fortunately, when it comes to financing for LASIK, you’ve got several options. Carefully weigh the pros and cons of each to choose the one that’s best for you.  If you’re exploring personal loans to finance LASIK, Lantern can make the process easier. By filling out one simple form, you can get offers from multiple lenders in our network all at once so you can pick the one with the best rates and terms.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does financing work with LASIK?
Is LASIK worth it financially?
How much does LASIK eye surgery cost?
Photo credit: iStock/Vladimir Sukhachev

About the Author

Susan Guillory

Susan Guillory

Su Guillory is a freelance business writer and expat coach. She’s written several business books and has been published on sites including Forbes, AllBusiness, and SoFi. She writes about business and personal credit, financial strategies, loans, and credit cards.
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