LASIK surgery, medically referred to as laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis eye surgery, is a corrective procedure that can help improve vision. LASIK eye surgery can be pricey, but vision insurance may be able to help. Some plans could offer LASIK eye surgery coverage and it’s important to check your plan to see if it does before consulting an optician. Wondering, "does vision insurance cover LASIK?". Find out more here.
- LASIK surgery is not considered medically necessary in most cases, so your vision insurance won’t cover 100% of the costs if you do decide to get LASIK surgery.
- Some insurance plans offer partial coverage for LASIK surgery or discounts, while others offer no form of coverage at all.
- If your vision insurance provider does offer LASIK eye surgery coverage, you may be required to see a specific provider or office to use your benefits.
- In some rare cases, LASIK may be considered medically necessary if you suffer an eye injury. Even in these cases, your health insurance will cover the procedure — not your vision insurance.
What is Vision Insurance?
Vision insurance is a type of insurance that helps with the cost of preventive eye care and eyewear prescriptions, including eye exams, glasses and contact lenses. Most vision insurance plans offer benefits that are very specific or operate as discounts. These benefits and discounts essentially reduce the cost of basic eye care.
How Much is LASIK Eye Surgery?
The average cost of LASIK surgery is between $1,000 and $3,000 per eye. The cost is a 1-time payment and it includes everything from the preoperative care, the operation and postoperative care and examinations.
The cost of the surgery is dependent on a few different factors and it does vary from provider to provider. The factors that cause the cost to change include:
- The level of vision correction required
- The type of technology used for the surgery (newer technology will come at a higher price point)
- The specific surgeon and their experience level
Speaking with a surgeon who offers LASIK in your area can help you better understand the price that you’ll pay for your procedure depending on your unique vision needs.
How to Compare Vision Insurance
There are a few factors that you’ll want to consider when you decide which vision insurance plan best fits your needs. As you shop for plans, be sure to think about the following.
- Premiums and copays: Most vision insurance plans will charge a monthly premium in order to keep your coverage current. Depending on the services that you receive, you may also need to pay a copay to your vision care provider at the time of service. Be sure that both of these costs fit into your budget before buying a plan.
- Allowances: If you wear glasses or contact lenses, be sure to check each vision insurance’s allowance for these purchases. For example, if your vision insurance only includes a $200 allowance for contact lenses and you spend $300 annually, you’ll need to cover the remaining $100 out-of-pocket.
- Your network: Some vision insurance plans will require you to see a care provider within the company’s network. If you already have an optometrist who you want to continue seeing, be sure that they accept the insurance plan that you choose.
How to Buy Vision Insurance
You can buy a group vision insurance plan through an employer, school or government program. If you do not have access to group insurance plans, you can purchase a vision plan as an individual through independent coverage providers. If you purchase your own health insurance, you may have the option to add vision insurance when you enroll or renew your coverage.
The process to buy vision insurance is similar to how you would purchase any other type of insurance:
- Determine whether you want to join a group plan, then enroll through your company or organization. If you choose this option, you may only be able to enroll during a certain time of year, so confirm when that time period is with your employer.
- If you opt out of a group plan, begin comparing vision insurance options. If you aren’t sure where to begin, consider starting with the options listed below.
- If you already have an eye care provider you go to or like, be sure to confirm that the plan you choose has that provider in the network.
- Complete an application for enrollment.
Depending on the plan that you choose, you may be able to immediately begin using your benefits.
Best Vision Insurance
Ready to begin shopping for vision insurance coverage? You might want to consider getting started with the providers below.
Best for Extensive Network Coverage: VSP
Choosing vision insurance can be difficult, especially if you already have a care provider who you want to continue seeing. VSP is among the largest vision insurance providers in the United States, with 1 in every 4 Americans with vision insurance using a VSP plan. The company also boasts the country’s largest network of eye care professionals, with more than 36,000 doctors within the network.
If you don’t already have an optometrist that you want to see, finding one is exceptionally easy through VSP. Simply enter your ZIP code on the company’s search page to begin exploring your options. No matter where you’re located, there are likely multiple doctors in your area who accept VSP.
- Largest network of service providers
- Build your own plan options helps you customize coverage
- Same-day enrollment available
- Plan options and availability vary by state
AM Best Rating: A
Moody’s Rating: N/A
Best for Frame Allowances: Humana
If you love designer frames, you might be frustrated to find that most vision insurance plans don’t offer high allowances for your annual or bi-annual pair. However, when you choose Humana, you’ll receive a 20% discount on anything you spend above your $200 frame allowance. For example, if you find a great pair of glasses that cost $400, you’ll first use your $200 allowance. Then, Humana will pay 20% of the remaining $200, leaving you with a final bill of $160.
In addition to discounts beyond your allowance, Humana also offers affordable coverage in most parts of the country. Humana’s vision insurance plan is available for less than $15 per month, and there are no waiting periods. This allows you to begin using your coverage immediately.
- Straightforward plan and pricing information
- Available in most parts of the country
- Can combine with dental insurance coverage
- Only 1 vision insurance plan option available
- Requires an enrollment fee
AM Best Rating: A-
Moody’s Rating: A3
Best Discount Plan: EyeMed
When comparing the costs and benefits of vision insurance, you might find that a full vision insurance plan doesn’t fit into your budget. In this case, you might want to consider the EyeMed Healthy plan. This discount plan comes at a price of just $5 per month in most areas and includes an annual eye exam. You can also claim discounts on contacts, frames and lenses.
In addition to discounts for standard vision care services, this plan from EyeMed also includes LASIK discounts. All of EyeMed’s plans come with 15% discounts on LASIK procedures from participating providers. This can make the plan worth it only for this discount if you’re willing to stay in-network.
- Multiple affordable plan options
- 35% discount on frames with $5 discount plan
- Additional discounts on premiums when you pay annually
- Coverages and inclusions vary by state
- Cannot get a quote without submitting your email address
AM Best Rating: A
Moody’s Rating: N/A
Best for Glasses and Contact Lenses: UnitedHealthcare
If you wear both contact lenses and glasses, you probably know firsthand how frustrating shopping for a policy can be. Most vision insurance providers offer only 1 annual allowance that you can use for frames or contact lenses. This means that if you have a $200 allowance and you need a $200 pair of glasses and a $200 box of contacts, you’ll need to pay for 1 out-of-pocket.
UnitedHealthcare is one of the only vision insurance providers we’ve seen to offer a plan with coverage for both eyeglasses and contact lenses. The company’s Vision Plan B includes a $150 allowance for both contacts and glasses in 1 single year, so you won’t need to choose. If you’re only interested in one or the other, UnitedHealthcare’s more affordable Vision Plan A is also available.
- Benefits can be used both in and out of network (though you’ll save when you stay in-network)
- No waiting periods; coverage begins immediately
- No age limits on vision plans
- May not be able to cancel for 12 months according to policy terms
AM Best Rating: A-
Moody’s Rating: A1
Best for Combination Dental and Vision: Aetna
If you’re self-employed, you may want to buy your dental insurance and vision insurance together to keep your premiums manageable. Aetna offers comprehensive dental and vision insurance options, providing you with a one-stop-shop for coverage. Aetna currently offers 2 dental insurance plans in most parts of the country, and coverage is available for both individuals and families.
Aetna’s vision plan also includes a number of additional benefits, ranging from 15% off the retail price you pay for LASIK to 20% discounts on nonprescription sunglasses. If you need a 2nd pair of glasses, you can also get a 40% discount beyond the pair covered by your allowance.
Coverage can be used at any service provider, but you have the option to save more by seeing a doctor who is part of Aetna’s network.
- Plan has no waiting period or deductible
- Quick application process allows you to get dental and vision insurance in just a few minutes
- Discounts available on 2nd pair of glasses
- Available only as an add-on to dental insurance
AM Best Rating: A
Moody’s Rating: A2
Should You Buy Vision Insurance Before Getting LASIK?
If you have vision insurance already, it’s worth finding out whether LASIK surgery is covered or not if you are considering getting the procedure. If you are determined to get LASIK surgery, getting a vision insurance plan will lessen the overall expense.
At the same time, the cost is only a one-time cost and if you get vision insurance just to cover the surgery, you will be stuck paying premiums even after the surgery unless you cancel the policy. Ultimately, it’s up to you and your financial situation and desire for the surgery, as well as your overall eye health.
Frequently Asked Questions
Questions & Answers
Each insurance plan will offer different benefits, therefore there is no specific cost for LASIK surgery when you have insurance. However, vision insurance will likely not cover the entire cost of the surgery, so you will end up paying a portion of it. Some providers offer as little as 5% coverage of the cost, some can reach up to 20% off the cost, while others can offer up to 50% off the cost. Other insurance providers offer no discounts on LASIK.
The LASIK procedure itself cannot cause blindness. However, if you do not follow the correct aftercare protocol, complications can result in blindness.