Yes, You Can Afford Cost of Laser Eye SurgeryJuly 25, 2013
Don’t let worries about the cost of Laser Eye Surgery slow down your desire for the freedom and convenience that LASIK can give you. Laser Eye Surgery is more affordable than ever, thanks to an array of health care savings plans and insurance benefits available to consumers.
To better understand the actual cost of Laser Eye Surgery, first examine the health care savings plans or discounts offered by your employer or health insurer. If you are unsure where to begin, your benefits manager or human resources department can help. The most common health care savings plans in the United States include Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs). These plans can significantly lower the cost of LASIK by allowing you to pay for your procedure using tax-free dollars.
The ABCs of FSA, HSA and HRA
The most popular plan is the FSA, an à la carte plan offered by many employers.
FSAs allow U.S. workers to set aside up to $2,500 per year of pre-tax earnings to pay for medical, dental, pharmaceutical and vision expenses, including the cost of laser eye surgery.
- Be sure to confirm with your eye doctor that you are a candidate and to request an estimate from your preferred LASIK provider before determining the amount of your yearly contribution, as any unused funds will expire at the end of the year.
If your employer does not offer an FSA or you are self-employed, you may consider signing up for an HSA. HSAs are tax-exempt accounts for U.S. workers enrolled in qualified high-deductible health plans (HDHPs).
Unlike funds in an FDA, funds in a HSA can be rolled over year to year.
- Contributions to HSA accounts are tax free.
Some employers offer an HRA, an employer-funded account used to reimburse U.S. employees for qualifying health care expenses, including LASIK.
HRAs are not available to those who are self-employed, employee partners or spouses, shareholders or certain types of company stockholders.
- There’s no limit to the amount employers may contribute, and employer contributions generally do not count toward an employee’s taxable income.
Other ways to lower the cost of LASIK
Remember to ask your local LASIK center about its partnerships with insurance companies. While LASIK surgery is often considered to be an elective procedure and, therefore, not usually covered by insurance, some health or vision insurance providers offer discounts on the procedure to their members.
Many LASIK centers in the United States and Canada offer financing programs that can make the cost of LASIK more affordable. Be sure to ask about this if you are concerned about paying the entire cost of laser eye surgery up front.
Finally, you can usually put some or all of the cost of LASIK on a credit card. This can be a way to earn valuable credit card points or take advantage of promotional interest rates. Ask your LASIK provider if it will allow you to pay for laser eye surgery by using a credit card.
Laser eye surgery might look costly at first glance, but you can lower the cost of LASIK by doing a little homework before having your procedure. Use the information in this article to give you a head start in saving hundreds of dollars on your surgery.
Brought to you by TLC Laser Eye Centers®. TLC is North America’s most experienced provider of laser vision correction. Surgeons at TLC have performed more than 2.2 million laser eye surgeries since TLC’s founding 20 years ago. To learn more or to find a U.S. or Canada center near you, visit www.tlcvision.com.