Most Insurance policies will not cover LASIK surgery because it's considered elective and it is not a medical necessity, besides refractive errors can be corrected in a less expensive manner (glasses or contact lenses). All policies plans have exclusions or limitations, and elective surgeries are almost always excluded. This shouldn't come as a surprise, after all many policies don't even fully cover glasses which are a medical necessity.
Since most people get coverage through employers, and given the frequency with which people change jobs, insurance companies believe that people won't be on their policies long enough to make the cost worth it. Even if they did, LASIK doesn't prevent the eyes from natural aging, besides, If someone had the procedure, he or she may still need a retouch or enhancement right after or later in life.
Considering that national average price for a traditional procedures can be at list, eighteen hundred dollars and from the insurance company's perspective, it's likely that an individual won't spend that much money on glasses or contacts in one year time frame or even for the time they have their policy, besides we all know that having this particular procedure, we are exposing our selves to certain level of risk. Potential complications could always occur, even after the procedure, no matter how healthy you are. Just remember that policies were design in way that risks are completely well-calculated, in order to make money and not to lose money. Evidently makes sense the fact that if any policy cover the procedure, they automatically trigger the possibility of post operative care coverage, which is not good specially if something goes wrong, for which the insurance company would have to pay. So they would essentially pay twice for the same thing? I personally don't think so. But why take that risk if never existed in the first place? Besides there are so many different technologies and perhaps prices also vary, and so as you can imagine there's not an easy or sooner fix.
Some policies do offer "LASIK coverage" or rather discount "is what they say", but actually is not really true, because they won't pay any money for it, instead what they do is participate with different alternative or third-party companies such as (Davis Vision, Qualsight or LASIK Benefits USA).
They offer it as a value added program, which in turn helps them to increase member satisfaction and loyalty. These programs basically works with the insurance company in order to give you a big discount on top of the price, but to have this big discount, you have to expose yourself to some restrictions, one of them, and the most important one, is the selection of your doctor. You are able to select your doctor as long as the doctor is participating with one of these programs. That’s mean no matter if your doctor is in network with your insurance company but if he/she doesn’t participate with one of them, you have to pay full price anyway. Obviously these LASIK programs will recommend the near surgeon according to your location.
Regardless of how policyholders feel about it, it's simply not in the interest of insurance companies to pay for surgeries they deem unnecessary when alternatives are cheaper as we mention before. But honestly, you don't need them in order to have coverage or in other words enjoy these programs benefits, in fact medical Insurance are only a channel to use one of these services, in other words you can call directly to them and they will treat your as good as they treat some body with Insurance, but if you go to their website, be aware that one of them it doesn't have a very professional look, however it has a lot information about LASIK surgery and the customer service is great. Many doctors stay away from Qualsight, Davis vision and LASIK Benefits USA, because these LASIK programs, cut their fee up to 50% in a few cases, so that means you will probably pay no more than $1800 for a traditional LASIK in both eyes, with a payment plan of one year without interest.
But no everything is too bad for doctors because all these alternatives program after all are great as a referral.
Imagine that your doctor want to do as many LASIK as he/she can in order to increase their revenue, well they need to spend a few thousands in marketing in order to have patient flow. Well, Davis Vision, Qualsight and LASIK benefits USA does all the marketing for themselves. That way doctors don't have to spend any money to receive a new patient.
Page updated August 20, 2010