As the end of the year approaches, many patients want to know if laser vision correction fits in their budget. Whether you plan to pay for it yourself or you've set aside FSA benefits for the procedure, one sentiment is absolutely true when you decide where to get LASIK: "You get what you pay for."
The price tag is not the only factor to consider when deciding on your LASIK provider. Cost is influenced by a variety of factors, and it's worth considering the lifetime savings of different vision correction options.
Understanding Discount LASIK Prices
If you're considering LASIK, you've likely already seen ads for bargain rates on the procedure. Before you jump at the low, low price, however, keep the following in mind:
- Bargain prices on LASIK are generally for patients who require only minimal correction for nearsightedness. Procedures for more complex errors, like astigmatism, are all but guaranteed to cost more.
- Expense generally correlates with experience. The more experienced an eye surgeon is in performing LASIK, the more he or she is often able to charge. Experience with a procedure typically results in better outcomes, as well.
- Discount pricing may not be inclusive. The advertised price might only cover the procedure itself. The initial consultation and any followup visits may carry separate charges beyond the price you thought you were paying.
- The technology may not be state-of-the-art. LASIK is a proven surgical procedure for correcting vision. However, techniques and technology have evolved over time to provide more customized vision correction. Advanced technology may improve results, but it can also mean a higher price for the procedure.
LASIK is an investment in your eyesight. Everyone wants to save money, but it is very important to balance your budget with considerations about quality of service, experience, and the results you can expect.
What Do You Spend on Eyecare?
For most patients first considering LASIK, a certain amount of "sticker shock" is to be expected. You may think the money you spend every year on the cost of glasses and contacts is more manageable than what you pay upfront for vision correction with LASIK.
However, let's look long-term. The vision correction you achieve with LASIK is a one-time cost. You may require a revision procedure decades later to accommodate age-related changes such as presbyopia, but the bulk of what you pay is one-and-done.
Compare this to the relatively small but ongoing costs of regular eyecare. Eyeglasses are durable and stylish, but they don't last forever. In addition to changing fashions and wear-and-tear, you'll likely need multiple pairs of glasses over your lifetime to keep up with changes in prescription.
Contact lenses carry additional costs in the form of contact solution, eyedrops formulated for contacts, and other products. Vision insurance plans generally include an annual allowance for a year's supply of contact lenses, but toric and other specialized lenses are more expensive. So, you may have to pay out of pocket for what insurance doesn't cover.
What's more, your vision insurance plan may allow you to put your yearly allowance for corrective lenses to a pair of glasses or contact lenses, but not both. If you wear contacts every day but want new glasses for a backup (or vice-versa), you will likely have to pay something out of pocket.
Over time, these costs add up. Within several years, you may find that what you pay for glasses and contacts (and everything that goes with them) is close to the cost of LASIK surgery.
Let Northeastern Eye Institute Help with Your Decision
The ophthalmologists at Northeastern Eye Instititute have decades of experience with LASIK. More importantly, however, we take the time to get to know our patients and identify the vision correction option that fits not only their budget but their lifestyle, eye health, and more.
Contact NEI by calling 800-334-2233 today. We have locations in Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Hazleton, and a dozen other communities in northeastern Pennsylvania.