Laser eye surgery cost

How Much Does LASIK Eye Surgery Cost?

Last Updated on February 13, 2023 | Written by CPA Alec Pow
First Published on June 27, 2014 | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popivker

LASIK Prices Can Vary Significantly by The Procedure Type and Region

Before you have the actual laser vision correction, one of the most important factors you will need to consider is the LASIK eye surgery cost. You will need to take into account the fact that the total price of LASIK will vary for every procedure type and also take into account a few other facts that will determine the final cost of the procedure which could be within your budget or more than you can afford.

The procedure will consist of two distinct surgeries, one for every eye, and each of the two will have its own price. If you have problems with both eyes and need both of the procedures, you will have to pay for each of them individually. The type of technology that you want to be used during the procedure will have the biggest impact on the final cost of your LASIK.

The newest technologies that will be the most advanced and FDA-approved will have a higher cost, in most cases. If you can afford a higher cost for your LASIK, you can opt for either IntraLase or Wavefront, two of the most recent advances in laser vision correction.

The Average Cost of LASIK Eye Surgery by Procedure Type 

In 2020, the US national average LASIK eye surgery price for doctors that only offer one type of procedure was $2,632 per eye, an increase of around $54 from 2019. QualSight, on the other hand, has a national average price of less than $2,500 for every eye. Before opting for any of the procedures, you need to do your research and understand the types of procedures being offered, because many of them are FDA approved but some are better than others.

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  • Traditional – is the lowest-priced procedure, also known as Standard LASIK or Conventional LASIK. It features a national average price of around $2,632 per eye, with a QualSight price of under $2,000.
  • Custom Wavefront – will add around $200 to the final price. You can expect to pay around $1,866 per eye, this being the national average, with a QualSight price of under $2,500
  • Bladeless “all-laser LASIK” – is typically the highest-priced procedure, because it uses an additional femtosecond laser that will add a few extra hundred dollars to the final price. It is also known as I-LASIK, Ziemer, or IntraLase. You will find Bladeless procedures in either Traditional or Custom Wavefront technology
  • PRK – is also available in either Traditional or Custom technology, is a bladeless LASIK procedure, but the pricing will vary by provider 
  • Bladed – is also available in Custom or Traditional tech, but uses a microkeratome instrument for the procedure. Will usually cost a few hundred dollars less than Bladeless 
  • Warranty, Retreatment, or Assurance Plans – for around 3% – 5% of the patients that will require retreatment, doctors will most likely offer either a one-year plan or a conditional lifetime plan.

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The final cost of LASIK procedures will vary greatly by region and practice, but do expect to pay anywhere between $1,500 and $4,000 per eye for your LASIK, depending on the region of the country, the surgeon, and the type of procedure. There are some online offers with prices of $399 or $695, that are considered to be unrealistic and usually are known as bait and switch pricing. These pricing models are misleading and can have increasing costs based on your astigmatism or prescription.

Another aspect not covered when the price is too low is the postoperative visits, which are usually the next day after your surgery, 1 week, 1 month, and 3 months post-surgery. Also, be sure to check out all of the details of the retreatment & enhancement plan that you are offered and the limitations.

In the last decade, the average cost for LASIK has increased slightly in the last ten years. Another aspect that adds a few hundred dollars for each eye to the surgery is the new LASIK technology used, like IntraLase, also known as “all-laser LASIK”. Over 50% of the surgeons that perform LASIK will only offer a “one price model”. How Much Does LASIK surgery Cost when using the services of surgeons that offer a single price?

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Where You Live Can Determine How Much You Pay for LASIK

Many of the products that you use on a daily basis have different prices in different regions of the United States. Prices to rent, gas and basic services also vary significantly depending on where you live, which will also influence the final cost of LASIK. LASIK eye surgery will cost more in metropolitan cities like Boston, New York or Chicago. Higher rent and facility expenses will bring the price up for any serious surgeon. These differences are best illustrated below. In this list you can see what could you expect to pay for LASIK outside of QualSight Program:

Other Contributors to LASIK Eye Surgery Cost

LASIK eye surgery explainedThe cost of LASIK eye surgery will vary from one provider to another, depending on several important factors. Among the most important factors will be the experience of the surgeon, the technology being used for the surgery, as well as the level of vision correction you would need. So let’s take them one by one:

  • LASIK Surgeon Skill – A big influence on the price for LASIK eye surgery will have the expertise of the eye surgeon. Considering that more experienced surgeons will usually bring the higher level of skill to the procedure and higher rates of success, they are also more expensive.
  • Laser Technology – The second component of a LASIK eye surgery in terms of cost is the technology that is being used. You will usually spend more on custom LASIK or other newer technology types than on older ones. This is because surgeons will oftentimes pass any additional charges incurred from manufacturers of laser devices. The costs can also increase based on the preferences of each patient. Although it might impact the final cost of the LASIK eye surgery, your surgeon will usually recommend what works best for your individual case. Before you commit, you should go for a consultation with your doctor and ask for a price breakdown of the LASIK procedure, so that you know exactly what you will be paying for and in what amounts.
  • Required Vision Correction – People that have extremely poor vision will also pay more for LASIK eye surgery. You might have to pay more or less than a patient depending on your condition and your prescription.

Does Insurance Cover LASIK?

LASIK is considered elective surgery, so it won’t be covered by insurance in most cases, aside from prescriptions. Even so, a lot of employers will offer a flexible savings account called an FSA or a health savings account known as an HSA, that would allow you to put aside pre-tax funds across the year that you can use on different medical expenses, including LASIK.

This means that LASIK will be more popular in January when people have access to their FSA funds for the starting year.

Are There Financing Plans for LASIK?

There are a few financing options available that can transform the full cost of the surgery into monthly payments, to minimize the financial burden.

There are even plans that would charge a $0 down payment and 0% interest for the first two years.

Alec Pow
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