Deals, discounts and Groupons aside, the average price of LASIK today is less than $4,200. That represents a significant investment for most of us, making it difficult to believe that LASIK is less expensive today than ever before.
But, it turns out, that is the truth. In fact, the price of LASIK has remained relatively stable for the past 10 years, while many other economic factors have risen. So much so, it is estimated that today’s LASIK is approximately 20-30 percent less expensive than it was just ten years ago.
In 2008, the cost of LASIK was also about $4,000, but in today’s dollars that would be closer to $4,700. However, today LASIK costs about the same – about $4,000. That alone is about a 15 percent reduction. Plus, today’s average hourly wage has increased 20 percent over the same 10-year period to $22.50. In 2008, the average American worker needed to work 225 hours to afford a LASIK procedure; today that figure is 178 hours – a 20 percent decrease in terms of work time.
But, there is more to the story. While the price of LASIK hasn’t changed, there has been a tremendous amount of innovation that has gone into today’s advanced LASIK technologies – making what was already a very good procedure even safer and with better visual outcomes.
Today’s LASIK treatment profiles are significantly more precise, achieving 20/20 vision for more than 90 percent of patients and more than 50 percent achieving better than 20/20. This precision translates into an even higher safety record. LASIK’s exceptional safety is further supported with more advanced diagnostic technology that helps to not only guide a more customized vision correction procedure but also provides valuable information to surgeons to help screen out those patients who aren’t good candidates for LASIK.
The fact is, that while the LASIK procedure has improved tremendously over the past decade, the cost has remained essentially the same. This is excellent news for anyone who has been considering investing in laser vision correction for their nearsighted, farsighted, or astigmatism prescription. If this describes you, and you are wondering about how to make the cost of LASIK more affordable, here are a few tips:
- First, find a LASIK surgeon you are confident in and have a thorough consultation which includes an evaluation to make sure your eyes are healthy, if you are a good candidate, and what the surgeon recommends.
- While at the consult, here are a few questions to ask your surgeon about the cost of LASIK.
- Then, check with your insurance carrier to find out if you have any vision care benefits that may help and if your surgeon is in your provider network.
- Look into your employee benefits to see if you have access to Flexible Spending Arrangements (FSA) or Health Savings Accounts that allow you to set aside tax-free money for qualified health expenses, such as LASIK.
- Think about any bonuses, gifts, or tax refunds you may be entitled to; for example, the recent CARES Act stimulus checks. These unexpected windfalls are terrific opportunities to invest in your better vision and quality of life.
You can learn more about the cost of LASIK, how to evaluate deals and ways to make LASIK fit in your budget by visiting the Investing in Vision Correction category on this blog.