Does Insurance Cover LASIK?

One question that is frequently asked over and over is “Does Insurance Cover LASIK.” Unfortunately, there is no medical insurance plan that covers LASIK, since it is considered completely elective. Similarly to how insurance plans do not cover glasses, contacts, or cosmetic procedures, LASIK is considered an elective procedure.
While there are certain instances in which LASIK may be indicated for medical reasons (a diagnosed narcoleptic continuously falling asleep in his contacts and causing corneal ulcers, for example), even under “medical indications” insurance still does not cover this procedure.

What Does Insurance Cover?

Insurance will cover the medications that you will take in the time before and after the procedure, including steroid and antibiotic drops, as well as the oral relaxing medication you will take beforehand. Additionally, insurance covers the entire diagnostic visit and any treatment needed beforehand. For example, if you have blepharitis or dry eye that is not properly controlled beforehand, insurance will cover evaluation and treatment of these conditions to optimize the surface prior to measurements and calculations.

The Alternatives Are Costly, Too

The alternative to LASIK is not cheap either – most people spend many thousands of dollars on contact lenses and glasses. In fact, if you wear daily contact lenses, the cost of your eye care, including contacts, glasses and eye exams, ends up being the same as LASIK after 4.5 years. What that means is that after 4.5 years, the cost of LASIK is cheaper than the cost of daily contact lenses and eye care.
While you can consider LASIK to be elective, there are some medical benefits to it as well. The cornea, the clear part of the eye through which light rays travel, is avascular, meaning that there are no blood vessels. This is what allows it to be clear. This is unique to the cornea; the structures in the rest of our body receive its nutrients from blood vessels, while the cornea receives its nutrients from the oxygen in the air in front of it.  Contact lens wear, even if done perfectly in which you remove contacts each night, deprives the cornea of oxygen and thus nutrients. After years of contact lens wear, tiny blood vessels start to grow in the periphery of the cornea. LASIK helps relieve this by removing the need for contact lenses.

LASIK Payment Plans

There are monthly payment plans that exist to help relieve the financial burden. The payments can be divided between 2 up to 12 payments.
There is no better feeling than waking up and not needing to put your contacts/ glasses on, and there is no better place to invest than in the well-being of your eyes.
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In the article “What You Need to Know About Dry Eye Syndrome”, Dr. Rapoport provides questions to ask yourself if you’re wondering whether or not you have dry eye syndrome.

Dr. Rapoport is interviewed for Women Crush Wednesday, a celebration of female movers and shakers in medicine.