Financial Planning for LASIK Eye Surgery

LASIK eye surgery is a long-term investment that pays off over the long run. But, many people cannot afford to pay the costs upfront. Fortunately, there are several options to consider when deciding on your financial planning for LASIK.

The cost of LASIK eye surgery can be made accessible through various payment solutions. Additionally, you can often combine several solutions to help you afford a substantial portion of the LASIK cost. Investigating your options for financial aid could be the first step toward better eyesight through LASIK eye surgery.

Does health insurance cover LASIK surgery?

Most insurance providers do not cover LASIK and other corrective laser eye surgeries since they are considered elective procedures. However, your insurance provider may pay for refractive or laser eye surgery in some cases, such as if it’s required to correct errors caused by an injury or surgery.

What does LASIK eye surgery cost?

Because you’ll be paying for LASIK out of pocket, it’s critical to be aware of the financial implications. The average cost of LASIK surgery is $2,000 to $3,000 per eye. The average cost of LASIK in the United States is $2,199 per eye. However, this can vary depending on various criteria such as the surgeon, location of the treatment, equipment quality, and specific eye conditions.

While the price may appear high, it is a one-time expense that covers everything from pre-surgical treatment through the operation and any post-op checkups and care, which may be less expensive in the long term than glasses, contacts, and other supplies if you do not undergo surgery.

Financial Planning for LASIK Options

With LASIK costing a few thousand dollars from your own pocket, various financing and payment options are available, so you don’t have to pay in one payment.

When considering financial planning for LASIK, some LASIK financing companies offer incentives such as no down payment, $200 monthly installments, or no interest. There are many options for both the treatment and how to pay for it, so do your research and find what works best for you.

Consider the following 4 options for covering the cost of LASIK eye surgery.

1.      Flexible Spending Account (FSA)

You can pay for LASIK eye surgery with funds from your FSA account. It may not pay for the entire cost depending on the procedure. However, you can combine funds from previous years with funds from the current year.

A flexible spending account is also known as a flexible spending arrangement. It is a tax-free arrangement through your employer that allows you to pay for multiple out-of-pocket medical expenses. The maximum amount your employer can contribute to the program in 2022 is $2,850.

You, your spouse, and your dependants have the following allowed expenses available:

  • Insurance co-payments and deductibles
  • insulin
  • approved prescription drugs
  • medical devices

Up to a limit specified by your employer, you select how much to deposit into an FSA. This money is not subject to taxation. If funds are available at the end of the year, the employer has two options:

  • Carry over up to $500 for the following plan year
  • Have another 2.5 months to spend the remaining funds

You need to be mindful when financial planning for LASIK of the following when it comes to FSAs:

  • Not eligible if you are self-employed.
  • Can’t change your contribution amount for the year after selecting it.
  • These funds cannot be used to pay for insurance premiums.

2.      Health Savings Account (HSA)

A health savings account (HSA) is similar to an FSA, but some differences define them.

HSA financing options are accessible without a time limit, and you can utilize them whenever you have the money to finance the treatment. Another option is to fund the surgery with a combination of your FSA and HSA.

A health savings account (HSA) is a tax-advantaged bank account that allows you to save money before taxes through payroll deductions. You can put those monies toward out-of-pocket medical expenses. You must be registered in a high-deductible health plan (HDHP) to be eligible.

A wide range of medical, dental, and mental health services are all eligible expenses. You, your employer, a relative, or anybody else who wishes to contribute to your HSA can do so. The IRS does, however, impose restrictions.

Contribution Limits

The following are the contribution limits for 2022:

  • $3,650 for individuals
  • $7,300 for families
  • $1,000 “catch-up” payment for anyone 55 years or older by the end of the tax year

When financial planning for LASIL, you need to keep in mind that if you want to pay for your LASIK surgery, you must ensure that contributions have been deposited into the HSA before using the funds.

Even if you change health insurance plans, change employers, or retire, the funds in your HSA remain available for future eligible medical expenses. In essence, your HSA is a personal bank account in which you control how and when the funds are used.

You also need to keep in mind the following when it comes to HSAs:

  • HDHPs have higher annual deductibles but lower premiums than other health plans. The minimum deductible necessary to open an HSA is $1,400 for an individual and $2,800 for a family.
  • Keep receipts to show that your withdrawals were for eligible medical expenses. If the IRS audits you, this will be required.

3.      CareCredit Credit Card

CareCredit can assist you in paying for medical expenses for yourself, your family, and your pets. The credit card can be used more than once as long as you’ve been approved. The CareCredit card functions similarly to a credit card, except it can only be used to pay for regular medical insurance copays on eligible services.

The card can be used for various medical procedures and wellness services, including:

  • vision care (including LASIK eye surgery)
  • dermatology services
  • cosmetic surgery
  • hearing care
  • dental services

Why Care Credit

Consumers who pay using the CareCredit card are eligible for short-term financing solutions to spread payments over 6, 12, 18, or 24 months. Furthermore, no interest is charged if customers spend at least $200 and settle the entire payment within the agreed-upon time frame. Extended payment terms of up to 60 months are also available for minimum purchase amounts of $2,500, with interest rates as low as 17.9%.

You need to be mindful when financial planning for LASIK of the following when it comes to applying for a CareCredit credit card:

  • These cards come at a high price. If you don’t pay off your balance in full by the end of your initial promotional period, using CareCredit can be costly.
  • These cards have a substantially higher indicative APR of 26.99%.

4.      Traditional financing options

Traditional financing options are also available and include personal loans. Before applying for a loan, ensure you read the fine print to determine what the loan entails.

You don’t want to be stuck with debt you can’t afford for LASIK surgery. It’s essential you do your research and compare interest rates, term length, and monthly instalments.

Conclusion

LASIK eye surgery can be expensive, but much financial planning for LASIK is available to you. Compare the various options available and make a decision th

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Dr. Thirion

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