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How can I pay for my refractive surgery procedure?

By Kristina Oneill on April 15, 2013

 

How can I pay for my refractive surgery procedure? This is a question that every patient must work out before they feel that they can commit to having the surgery.  In our economy today, it is scary for most no matter what your income is to make the decision to have an elective surgery.  What patients are not fully given are their options for covering the cost of their procedure in full.  I have done some research to help give your options in hopes that this will help you take the leap and begin to enjoy new vision without the burden of cost.

In the Washington DC metropolitan area, there a many Laser Eye Centers and surgeons.  Some advertise a very low price for LASIK, PRK and other refractive surgery procedures.  Without a doubt this advertising influences many patients regarding the centers offering discount LASIK.  What the patient is given is a misperception that going to a laser eye center that advertises LASIK or other refractive procedures at a low cost or discount means that a patient will in fact get low fees!  

More often than not, low cost  or discount LASIK advertisements that offer a low price have neglected to disclose all of the terms and conditions to a patient.  The truth is the advertisement fails to tell you that you must meet a very strict criteria to get that low price for your procedure.  The practice of hiding the criteria eligibility requirements to obtain the low price procedure is one that many patients do not find out about until after they have committed to having the surgery.  Low cost LASIK very well may cost you far more in the long run and often does so think carefully before you act.

All refractive procedures require a series of post operative follow-up visits. It is extremely inappropriate for a discount center to ONLY include 1 or 2 follow-up visits and then tell you to "call us" if you have any issues.  If a laser center is only seeing you for 1 or 2 follow up visits, RUN do not walk to the nearest door!  We are talking about your eyes.  You should be followed up for one year post operatively to ensure that you are healing properly and to ensure that your doctor knows what is going on with your vision.  You are not an eye doctor.  How are you going to know if you are not healing as you should be? For a center that specializes in giving the gift of sight to put that responsibility on you after having a laser vision procedure is frankly absurd!  In our area you will on average pay $1900 to $3000 per eye for a comprehensive all inclusive service related to laser eye surgery.

Below are options for patients for paying for your laser vision correction:

Apply for Financing – Thousands of people finance some of their healthcare related expenses.  Examples include orthodontia for themselves or their children, gastric bypass surgery, plastic surgery procedures like liposuction, rhinoplasty, and so forth.  Many of these elective surgical procedures are not usually covered by health insurance. With financing, the monthly loan payments are very reasonable and will make the cost of paying for your procedure less of a burden. 

Talk to your LASIK center about your options. Our centers offer very reasonable in-house financing and partner with a reputable financial institution.  You will be surprised to find that we have low or even no-interest loan options, some requiring no down-payment or no payments at all for a few months.  The application process is simple and usually is done online and take less than 15 minutes.  Another option is to go directly to your bank, credit union or an online lender to apply for a personal loan or line of credit. Whichever decision you make, be sure the lender has no prepayment penalty if you think you will be able to pay the loan off early.  We work with Wells Fargo:  

Financing LASIK at TLC
Plan on Better Vision 

 

We are pleased to offer Wells Fargo Health Advantage financing options from Wells Fargo Financial National Bank. TLC lets you begin your procedure immediately, and financing plans from Wells Fargo can help you pay for the LASIK eye surgery cost over time with a low monthly payment that fits into your budget.

The Wells Fargo Health Advantage is a practical, affordable way to pay for the LASIK eye surgery cost. The Wells Fargo Health Advantage is an open, revolving line of credit that can be used at TLC Laser Eye Centers, as well as other participating healthcare providers throughout the United States. With the Wells Fargo Health Advantage, you’ll have the flexibility to choose the payment plan that works best for you. In most plans the payment remains the same from the first payment to the last, without surprises.

Apply online for your Wells Fargo Health Advantage account today.

Credit Cards – Unfortunately, most credit cards usually charge you a high interest rate.  If you think you will be able to pay off your credit card before you end up paying triple the cost of LASIK surgery in credit card interest then go for it!  A perk is that many credit cards offer sky mileage, gas rewards or money back on large purchases.

Use Your Savings – If you have the available funds, the best way to pay the cost of LASIK surgery is from your savings. Paying for it out of your own pocket will mean that you will not be accumulating any debt that you’ll need to pay off later. 

 

Make the Most of Your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) – Some employers offer a Flexible Spending Account, where you can put aside pre-tax dollars to offset the cost of LASIK surgery.  Your employer makes a payroll deduction and deposits the money into a tax-free account.

 

Is LASIK tax-deductible? – The IRS considers the cost of LASIK surgery to be a tax-deductible medical expense. Depending on your income, you may be able to deduct your refractive surgery expenses from your income taxes. The key is that your health related expenses have to exceed 7.5% your adjusted gross income or they are not deductible. Talk to your accountant or tax adviser to see if you would qualify.

 

Having laser vision correction is a life changer, but it is also a financial commitment.  Know your options and research them thoroughly.  Do not compromise on your vision!  

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