LASIK eye surgery cost
The average cost of LASIK surgery performed in the United States in 2019 was $2,246 per eye, according to a report prepared for All About Vision by eye care industry analytics firm Market Scope.
This number is slightly higher than the average price for LASIK performed in the U.S. in 2018, which was $2,199 per eye.
(Keep in mind these prices are for LASIK performed on one eye only. To estimate your total LASIK cost for both eyes, you need to double these prices.)
The actual price you pay for LASIK surgery will depend on many factors, including the experience and reputation of your surgeon and the type of technology used for your procedure.
WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT LASIK? Find a LASIK surgeon near you. Use the Services filter at top right of our doctor locator to find LASIK surgeons in your area.
LASIK cost may vary depending on technology
Most refractive surgeons in the U.S. (71.3%, according to Q2 2019 survey data) charge one price for all vision correction procedures performed with ancornea of the eye.
In other words, additional automated technology — such as use of abladeless LASIK — is included in this comprehensive fee and not priced separately as an "extra."
But some LASIK surgeons (26.2%) have variable pricing depending on the specific technology used. For example, they may charge more for all-laser LASIK or custom LASIK that employs wavefront technology for a more customized procedure.
Also, some surgeons (2.5%) may have variable pricing for LASIK and other types of laser surgery depending on your refractive error.
For more about variables that affect LASIK costs, read How to compare laser eye surgery costs.
Are cheap LASIK prices a good value?
It's not unusual to see advertisements promising LASIK for less than $1,000 per eye, which may sound like a great value. But it’s likely that:
- The "bargain" LASIK price is only for the correction of mild nearsightedness. If you have farsightedness, astigmatism or moderate to high amounts of nearsightedness, the cost of LASIK may be significantly higher than the advertised price.
- The offer price doesn't cover all fees. For instance, you may have only a limited number of follow-up visits, and if there's a problem, additional post-op care could cost extra. Also, the cost of enhancement/retreatment surgeries probably is not included, and you may even be charged extra for your initial consultation.
- Your procedure may be performed with older technology. This isn't necessarily bad, but newer technologies do offer the possibility of a more precise LASIK procedure, with less risk of complications. For example, for $499 per eye, you likely won't receive custom LASIK or bladeless (all-laser) LASIK.
If you're considering low-cost LASIK, make sure you get a written quote that itemizes everything in the offer. Read the fine print, and ask about all potential extra fees before going ahead with the procedure.
How to reduce your LASIK surgery cost
There are a number of ways to make the cost of LASIK more affordable. Some eye care practices offer special pricing and incentives for LASIK and other vision surgeries.
For example, according to a 2019 survey of refractive surgeons in the U.S., 29.3% offer special pricing. Of those:
- 88.2% offered no-interest financing
- 64.7% had limited-time offers
- 41.2% offer special group pricing
There are finance companies that specialize in elective surgical procedures like LASIK and offer fixed rates and long-term payment plans. Many LASIK surgery centers and private medical practices offer financing plans administered by these companies.
Most vision insurance plans do not cover refractive surgery because insurance companies consider it cosmetic and therefore medically unnecessary. However, some employers arrange for special discounts for their employees at a given LASIK or refractive surgery center.
Also, some large employers offer subsidized health plans that cover at least part of LASIK costs. If you work for a major company, ask about possible benefits that might cover elective corrective eye surgery procedures.
Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) are often used to pay for laser eye surgery. An FSA allows you to divert pre-tax income from your job into an account for out-of-pocket health care expenses.
In 2019, the maximum annual employee contribution to an FSA is $2,700. But, with the average cost of LASIK surgery at $2,246 per eye in 2019, it's likely you will need more than the FSA to pay for your procedure.
Another option is to set tax-free money aside in a Health Savings Account (HSA) to pay for LASIK surgery. To be eligible for an HSA, you must be covered by a high-deductible health plan (HDHP) at work.
You can add tax-free contributions to your HSA each pay period, up to an annual limit of $3,500 for individual coverage and $7,000 for family coverage (2019 limits; includes employee and employer contributions). And, unlike an FSA, any unspent money in your HSA at the end of the year "rolls over" so you can use it the following year or even further in the future.
Depending on your budget, you could save enough money to pay the entire cost of your LASIK surgery by contributing money to your HSA over a period of two or more years.
If you serve in the U.S. military, LASIK and other corrective vision surgery options may be available to you free of charge. Your eligibility would depend at least partly on the nature of your duties.
A final note: You may be tempted to choose a surgeon based only on the fee charged, but that may be unwise. It's better to choose the best surgeon you can find and then, if you need it, get the most affordable financing you can.
READY TO LEARN MORE ABOUT LASIK? Find a LASIK surgeon near you. Use the Services filter at top right of our doctor locator to find LASIK surgeons in your area.
Beth Duff updated this page with the latest Market Scope vision surgery figures for Q2 2019.
Page updated October 2019