How to Save Money when Getting LASIK Surgery

Save Money Lasik

For those who have lived behind glasses all their life, the thought of throwing them away and living unencumbered is a big temptation. Contact lenses are inconvenient at times and they can be expensive. The long-term benefits of LASIK surgery must be fully considered against the alternative of living with eye glasses, but unfortunately LASIK surgery, which stands for Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis, does not come cheap. Expect to pay several thousand dollars per eye for the surgery and follow-up checks, and you may still need reading glasses for close work. Here are some tips on how to save money, and what payment options are worth researching.

Shop Around
Like all major purchases, it is worth shopping around. Prestigious eye surgeons with expensive surgeries in high class areas will of course load their prices to reflect their position. Whilst cut-price healthcare is not recommended, there will be other, well-established eye surgeons with good reputations operating outside the city center or in states with a lower cost of living. All initial consultations are free, so make appointments with a couple of different practices, and go along for an initial assessment. Prices are not standard, as each patient may be recommended a different procedure. Ensure the price covers everything - the surgery, the follow-up appointments, and if it is not successful, any further adjustment surgery too.

Cash Payments
At this time, every business is feeling the pinch as people tighten their belts and cut down on unnecessary spending. This includes the LASIK business. Once you have ascertained a price for the whole package, if you are in a position to fund the procedure in the foreseeable future, ask what discount there will be for cash. Don't be embarrassed; people negotiate all the time. It might be a first time for you, but it will be a daily occurrence for the surgeon and he will have a discount policy. If his order books are low right now, that could be quite generous. Cash payment up-front is a big negotiating point.

Budget Payment Plan
If you are unable to finance the deal over the next few months even with a discount, ask whether the surgery has a payment plan. There may be interest, but it should not be excessive as there is no middle man or agent to pay. Expect to make most of the payments up front before having the surgery done, but this is sometimes negotiable. A credit check will be made before the plan is agreed. A budget payment plan commits you to the LASIK procedure, but it may make it more manageable financially.

Finance Funding
You may be comfortable with finance to buy a car, why not for your LASIK surgery? Finance companies offer loans for all sorts of purchases, including health payments. Choose a low interest deal and only commit to what you can easily afford. Consider adding insurance to put your mind at rest if you were to lose your job or became long-term sick, then cash the check and make your LASIK appointment.

Flexible Spending Accounts
Often company health insurance policies include a Flexible Spending Account, known as an FSA. The best part about drawing from a plan like this is the money has been designated for your health pre-tax. If you paid for the surgery from your savings, you would have first had to pay tax on these funds, so this option is well worth looking into, even if you can afford to pay cash for the surgery. Look upon it as a subsidy or discount from the IRS! Money allocated to an FSA must be spent on health during that year, so it makes sense to use it rather than possibly losing it. Make sure that LASIK is one of the procedures that is covered by your FSA before committing to the process.

Medical Tourism
The latest growth industry appears to be in medical tourism. For the price of a budget flight you can fly to Central America, the Caribbean or even Canada to get certain procedures, including LASIK, done for a fraction of the cost of the price in the USA. Costa Rica, Panama and India all have top-notch facilities with American trained doctors who of course speak excellent English. Lower building costs, lower wages and the absence of an insurance claiming culture means you pay for what you get. LASIK is a very straight-forward operation, usually lasting just 15 minutes. Spend a day or two in the spa or on the beach recuperating, get an initial check up and you are good to go.

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