Does Health Insurance Cover Eye Surgery?
The beauty of a flower is a joy to behold. Seeing happiness on the face of a loved one is something you never forget. Sight is considered by many to be the most important of all the five senses. Indeed, for most people, it’s hard to imagine what our life would be like if we could not see.
Therefore, when something goes wrong with your eyes, you want it fixed – immediately. If you have health insurance, you’re going to need to know whether it covers eye surgery.
What are the Different Types of Eye Surgery?
Since the eye is one of the more complicated organs in your body, there are many things that can go wrong. Sometimes, simply getting older can cause changes to the eye that require surgery. The eye can also become easily damaged.
One of the most frequent types of eye surgery is the removal of cataracts. This involves the lens of the eye and can contribute to partial vision loss. Surgery helps by changing the lens.
Another frequently found ailment is glaucoma, which affects the optic nerve in the eye and may require surgery to prevent loss of vision. Canaloplasty is one kind of surgery to correct the problem.
There is also eye muscle surgery for those who have issues regarding movement of the eye. Oculoplastic surgery works on the eyelid to correct aspects such as droopy eye and surplus skin.
Laser eye surgery has become very popular in recent years. A kind of refractive surgery, it has liberated many people from the inconvenience of glasses or contact lenses. Laser Assisted In-situ Keratomileusis or LASIK is the most common type.
Do Health Insurance Plans Cover Eye Surgery?
Most health insurance companies do not cover any procedures or supplies having to do with eye health. Those who need these things must usually purchase separate policies called vision care insurance. With this, you have coverage for essentials such as glasses and eye tests.
You may also want to find one of the numerous price reduction plans that have become available lately. These programs are not a substitute for vision care insurance but they can save you up to 40% on supplies if you cannot get or afford traditional insurance.
Eye surgery is not cheap and paying for these procedures out-of-pocket can put a huge dent in anyone’s wallet. Consequently, insurance coverage could mean the difference between receiving quality care and avoiding it altogether.
The cost for laser eye surgery, for example, can be quite pricey, and the range varies widely depending on where you have it done. Some facilities charge approximately $500 per eye, while others have a fee of $3,000 or more. When you factor in return visits for follow-ups and progress checks, this can result in a huge medical bill.
Most insurance companies are reluctant or unwilling to pay for any surgery that is not considered life-threatening. Unfortunately, several types of eye surgeries fall into this category. Even if you are considering elective eye surgery, you should check with your insurance provider to see what might be covered or consult your eye care professional to find out if they offer special discounts. A few may also have standing arrangements with larger insurance companies to provide unique pricing options.
There are some exceptions, however. For example, if you need surgery as a result of an accident or your eye somehow becomes damaged, it is often covered by the insurance company. Also, coverage is usually provided if you had a surgical procedure where something went wrong and additional surgery is needed to fix it.
Additionally, some people have to wear glasses or contacts but are physically unable to do so. This could occur due to an allergic reaction or handicap. In such cases, laser eye surgery might be covered.
What are Some Alternatives to Eye Surgery?
For people who are not comfortable with the thought of having surgery on their eyes, there are alternatives. Corrective contact lenses that are worn at night might be an option worth considering.
Perhaps the biggest question is whether you need surgery in the first place. There are several conditions, such as pink eye and eye fatigue, which can be quite painful but do not really require surgery. Some can be solved by over-the-counter or prescribed medications, while others will get better simply by making lifestyle changes like limiting computer time.
Other ailments are not painful but still require attention, like lazy eye or floaters. Treatment for such issues can often be as easy as an eye patch or wearing better sunglasses.
Eye surgery will have effects that last a lifetime, so a bit of extra research to find the one that is right for you is worth the effort. Talk to your ophthalmologist and your insurance company to discover all of the options available for your distinctive situation.