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Will my insurance pay for LASIK surgery? Consumer Q&A

By on August 31st, 2012
Filed: Advice, Consumers, Health Insurance, Vision Insurance, You

I overheard a conversation at the grocery store the other day. The checker, a young woman wearing glasses, asked the man in front of me if he’d had LASIK surgery. She said she wanted to get her vision fixed, but the doctor was making her wait. Apparently, you’re supposed to be at least 23 years old before having corrective vision surgery.

“But twenty-three is just SO FAR AWAY!” she said.

Twenty-three is pretty far away for me too, in the other direction. But overhearing this not only made me feel old, it also made me wonder if I should look into LASIK. Is it covered by my health insurance company?

As it happens, we took that same question last week on Yahoo Answers. The asker (who mentioned that she had a Blue Cross Blue Shield plan) was sick of her glasses. They were all scratched up and they gave her headaches.

She wanted LASIK surgery. Was it covered? How much would she have to pay out of pocket? The eHealthInsurance reply was selected as Best Answer:

Some health insurance policies may cover LASIK surgery, or at least a portion of it. Many will not. Since most health insurance companies sell numerous different plans and those plans can differ quite a bit in what they cover, you’ll need to talk with your agent or health insurance company directly to find out if you have any coverage. You may also want to contact your vision insurance company, to see if they will pay a portion of the surgery fee.

Be prepared to find out that LASIK is not covered, but it’s worth asking.

If you get your health and vision insurance through an employer, you may also ask your HR department or benefits administrator to see if they can provide you with more information about coverage of LASIK surgery.

Image by Flickr user DorkyMum


About Douglas Dalrymple

Doug Dalrymple is a member of the communications team at eHealth, Inc. and has worked in the health insurance and technology industries for fifteen years. He works on communications strategy, content creation and management, project management, and corporate messaging.

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