How to Make LASIK More Affordable
If you’re someone who relies on glasses or contacts for vision correction, you’re probably contemplating a change. Perhaps you’ve grown tired of dealing with the inconvenience of glasses and contacts, or maybe you’ve realized that the long-term expenses associated with them outweigh the cost of LASIK surgery.
Regardless of your reasons, it’s important to consider the upfront cost of LASIK. This article aims to provide you with strategies to make LASIK more affordable and help you budget for this investment. For detailed information about the specific price range of LASIK in the Denver metro area, you can refer to our other blog post, “How Much Does LASIK Cost?“
Get LASIK with Your Tax Refund From Uncle Sam
When it comes to using tax refunds, people have various options like vacations, big-screen TVs, or paying off debts. However, another increasingly popular choice is to use the tax refund to pay for LASIK surgery. It’s one of the few purchases that a person can make that will be with them for the remainder of their life.
From a return on investment (ROI) perspective, using your tax refund for LASIK can be one of the best choices you make. Not only can LASIK significantly improve your vision, but it can save you thousands of dollars in the long run by eliminating the need for costly eyeglasses and contact lenses. Consider investing in yourself this spring by using your tax refund to reduce or even eliminate your dependence on glasses and contact lenses in the future.
Can You Use FSA or HSA For LASIK?
LASIK can be paid for using a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or Health Savings Account (HSA), which are tax-advantaged insurance programs. These accounts allow you to save money on LASIK because you contribute to them with pre-tax income.
When you have an FSA or HSA, a specific amount of money is deposited into the account before taxes are deducted from your paycheck. For example, if your paycheck is taxed at 30%, depositing $1 into an FSA or HSA is equivalent to putting 70 cents in a savings account after taxes.
It’s important to note that both FSAs and HSAs have annual limits on the amount of money you can deposit. Your employer may offer these types of accounts, so it’s recommended to discuss your options with them to understand how the plan works and what limitations may apply.
How Much Can I Save On LASIK By Using Pre-Tax FSA or HSA Dollars?
The amount of money that an individual can save on LASIK by using FSA or HSA accounts is dependent on their specific tax bracket. While we provide an example below, it’s crucial to understand that everyone’s tax situation is unique. It is advisable to consult with a tax advisor to get specific details about the potential savings you could achieve by purchasing LASIK with your FSA or HSA account.
Using FSA or HSA Savings
In the United States, the average cost of LASIK for both eyes typically falls within the range of $3,600 to $5,600, regardless of your eyeglass prescription. It’s important to note that medical services are not subject to sales tax, so the fees you pay to your LASIK provider should not include any sales tax charges.
Let’s consider a hypothetical cost of LASIK at $4,500. If a patient in this example has an effective federal tax rate of 25 percent and a Colorado state tax rate of 5 percent, they would save a total of 30 percent on their LASIK expenses. Without an FSA or HSA account, this patient would need approximately $6,430 of income to cover the $4,500 LASIK cost with post-tax dollars. However, by utilizing pre-tax dollars from their FSA or HSA account, they would only need to use $4,500 from their funds, resulting in a net savings of $1,930.
If your FSA or HSA account does not have sufficient funds to cover the entire LASIK fee, you can pay the amount available in your account with pre-tax dollars and cover the remaining balance with post-tax dollars.
It’s important to keep in mind that FSA and HSA accounts have specific rules and limits. Some plans may not allow the use of all the funds required for LASIK from these accounts. It’s advisable to consult with your employer’s HR representative to understand the details of your specific plan.
How FSAs Work
A Flexible Spending Account (FSA) is a savings plan that allows you to cover certain healthcare expenses for yourself or eligible dependents.
FSAs operate within a specific time frame, typically referred to as the Plan Year. Before the start of the Plan Year, you decide how much money you want to contribute to the FSA. This total amount is then deducted in equal portions from your paycheck before taxes are applied.
However, FSA plans often follow a “use it or lose it” policy. This means that you can utilize the full amount of funds accumulated in your FSA at any point during the Plan Year. However, any money remaining in the account after the expiration date will be forfeited.
How HSAs Work
An HSA (Health Savings Account) functions similarly to an FSA account. You, as the employee, determine the amount of money to deposit into the HSA on a tax-free basis, and these funds can be utilized for qualified healthcare expenses.
One notable difference is that money in an HSA accumulates and carries over from year to year. Additionally, you can only spend or be reimbursed for expenses up to the amount of money available in your HSA account.
Financing Plans For LASIK
For LASIK patients looking to manage the cost of the procedure, there are several financing options available. One advantageous option is zero-percent interest payment plans, especially when the loan is paid off promptly.
Similar financing plans already exist for home improvement loans or furniture purchases, and they can be equally beneficial for financing LASIK. However, it’s important to note that not all LASIK providers offer 0% interest terms. At 20/20 Institute, we offer attractive 0% interest financing plans for 24 months.
Zero-percent payment plans are sometimes referred to as deferred interest payment plans. To avoid paying any interest, borrowers must adhere to specific rules. This typically involves making on-time payments and paying off the loan within a specified timeframe. By doing so, any accrued interest on the loan is forgiven by the bank. However, failure to meet these conditions may result in the borrower being charged high-interest rates by the bank.
It’s important to use this financing tool prudently to avoid paying any interest. Setting up automatic payments can be a helpful strategy to ensure timely payments and prevent interest charges. These zero-percent payment plans can be an excellent way to align your budget and make LASIK more affordable. In many cases, the cost of LASIK can even be less than what you spend on your daily trip to Starbucks.
Vision Insurance for LASIK
Having vision insurance can lead to a reduction in the cost of LASIK, typically based on the coverage percentage specified in your plan. However, some vision insurance plans may limit LASIK coverage to specific providers.
At 20/20 Institute, we offer a discount of up to 15% for ALL vision and medical insurance plans, regardless of whether your plan explicitly covers LASIK or not. Feel free to contact us directly for more detailed information about the specifics of your insurance plan.
“On Sale” LASIK
LASIK providers often employ pricing strategies to attract cost-conscious patients. You may come across various Denver providers offering limited-time discounts, such as “$1,000 OFF LASIK,” through online searches or advertisements.
However, it’s essential to be aware that these “limited time” offers tend to be renewed on a monthly basis. In many cases, providers inflate their base prices to create the illusion of substantial savings through discounts. Similar pricing tactics are employed by retailers who have faced scrutiny for their perpetual sale strategies.
It’s natural to seek a good deal when making a purchase but the truth is that the cost of modern LASIK typically ranges from $1,800 to $2,800 per eye, even after factoring in the advertised discounts. However, LASIK procedures using older technology may be slightly less expensive per eye.
Low-Cost LASIK Watch-Outs
When considering LASIK, it’s crucial to have accurate information in order to make an informed decision.
It’s common to encounter “bait and switch” tactics in Denver advertisements, with LASIK ads claiming starting prices as low as $250 per eye. However, in reality, very few patients qualify for such a low fee. Most providers end up charging fees within the national average range of $3,600 to $5,600 per eye once patients visit their facilities.
Only a small number of premium LASIK specialists utilize older, low-cost LASIK techniques. While these older technologies and methods are FDA-approved, the LASIK procedure has advanced significantly over the past 20 years. Advanced LASIK procedures offer improved safety, higher chances of achieving 20/20 vision, and fewer issues related to night vision after the surgery. Thus, it’s crucial for patients to understand the risks associated with older technology before opting for discounted LASIK.
Furthermore, it’s critical to inquire about a surgeon’s past outcome results. Top surgeons and providers are proud of their results and will readily share specific information. At 20/20 Institute, our patients have achieved 20/20 vision or better 99% of the time*. Our exceptional visual outcomes are a result of our expertise, conservative candidacy criteria, and ongoing investment in advanced laser technology.
To learn if you are a suitable LASIK candidate or to have your questions answered and receive an individualized price quote, you can call (303) 202-0669 to speak with one of our experienced LASIK counselors. Alternatively, you can contact us online, and we will reach out to you promptly.