What’s up with Ads that Offer LASIK for $220 or $250 per Eye?

If you are interested in LASIK, it’s likely that you have seen ads from national LASIK providers for “LASIK starting at $220 or $250 per eye.” But can you really have LASIK for $220 or $250?

We are frequently asked about these ads at 20/20 Institute. It’s important to know a few things about the national providers using low prices to attract potential patients.

Bait and Switch LASIK Providers

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines bait and switch as “a sales tactic in which a customer is attracted by the advertisement of a low-priced item but is then encouraged to buy a higher-priced one.”

National LASIK providers that dangle low fees in their marketing to attract potential LASIK patients not only meet the deceptive nature of the bait and switch definition above, they stoop to an even more disappointing level.

In part, the above definition states, “…but is then encouraged to buy a higher-priced one.” In the case of $220 or $250 LASIK advertising, these national providers many times skip the “encouraged to buy a higher-priced one” by eliminating that super low-price option for most patients.

When patients visit these low-ball price advertising providers, the majority are told that they do not qualify for the $220 or $250 per eye price.  They are told that their LASIK procedure will be much more than the advertised $220 or $250 by 5 to 10 times.

Yes, 5 to 10 times!

By their own admission, only a very small percentage of patients that have LASIK performed by these providers qualify for the $220 or $250 per eye price. The vast majority do not qualify.  It’s not uncommon for these advertisers to routinely charge their patients $1,700 to $2,300 per eye for LASIK services.

Here are a few ways to spot a national LASIK provider that uses these bait and switch tactics.

Price and Item Advertising Technique

These national providers advertise a low-price dollar amount per eye in their LASIK advertisements or on their website, but they disclaim the advertised dollar amount with the words “starting at.”

In addition, their disclaimers state that patients “must qualify” for the low, advertised price. The most common low-ball price amounts advertised for LASIK are $220, $250, $299 and $499 per eye.

Price Not Valid For Most Prescriptions

Most eyeglass prescriptions do not qualify for their low teaser price. Their disclaimers state that the $220 or $250 LASIK is only for very low prescriptions. In addition to the very low prescription limitation, some of these providers place even more qualifying requirements on a patient which makes qualifying for the advertised low fee that more difficult.

After all of those qualifying hurdles, even if a person qualifies for the low cost $220 or $250 surgery, many times the patient has to agree to use older technologies for their procedure.

They Don’t Voluntarily Provide Success Rates

These national providers usually do not spend much time mentioning the actual visual results that they achieve for their patients on their websites.  

By actual visual results, we mean the percentage of their patients that have achieved 20/20 vision or better after having LASIK at their facility.

In essence, they do not choose to voluntarily report their visual outcomes to the public.

What About Vision Insurance to Cover the Cost of LASIK?

Since LASIK is considered an elective procedure, many medical insurance and vision insurance policies don’t pay for LASIK. However, there are insurance plans that claim to provide a discount for LASIK.

In fact, insurance discounts for LASIK have nothing to do with the patients’ insurance company providing funds to the LASIK provider.

Some insurance plans do list preferred LASIK providers.

However, patients are not required to go to those preferred providers to utilize their LASIK discount. Each LASIK provider just decides for themselves if they will honor the 5 to 15 percent LASIK discount that an insurance company claims to offer. The discount is given to the patient by the provider, not the insurance company.

How Much Does LASIK Really Cost?

As mentioned previously, LASIK is an elective medical procedure and as such, the patient pays for it out of pocket. So, one of the most important aspects of LASIK is its real cost to an individuals’ budget.

Multiple national surveys show that, in spite of what is advertised by these $220 or $250 per eye LASIK advertisers, the average price for LASIK is between $3,000 to $4,000 for two eyes even at these national low-ball price advertiser facilities.  

These days, with all the confusing messages surrounding the cost of LASIK, many find the transparent pricing approach at 20/20 Institute refreshing. At 20/20 Institute, we honor all insurance discounts and we are happy to give you an exact quote for your LASIK procedure over the phone.

20/20 Institute’s Lowest Price Guarantee

To boot, 20/20 Institute offers an amazing Lowest Price Guarantee.  We set our LASIK fees to be the lowest in the marketplace.  Yes, even lower than the average fee that the $220 and $250 per eye advertisers end up charging.

However, if a patient finds a lower price, we invite them to bring us a bona fide quote from a LASIK competitor using the same technology and we promise to beat it.

Of course, every patient would still need to attend one of our free LASIK consultations with the doctor to ensure they are a good candidate for LASIK. Your price for LASIK will not change after your consultation at 20/20 Institute.

Our transparent approach to LASIK pricing can save you the time of not having to come into the office to find out your individual price. Give 20/20 Institute a call today to discover more and start your journey toward visual freedom.