Wellness

How Much Does LASIK Eye Surgery Cost Without Insurance in 2021?

Talor Bianchini02 Oct 2021

LASIK eye surgery is an outpatient procedure performed to correct one’s vision to 20/20 or better. The average cost of LASIK eye surgery without insurance in 2021 is $2,385 per eye or $4,770 for both eyes. Other factors can also increase the surgery's cost, like the technology used or the patient’s vision quality. 

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The Cost of LASIK Eye Surgery

We collected data from five different LASIK surgery centers in major metropolitan areas across the United States. On average, it was found that LASIK eye surgery costs $2,385 per eye. This price is before any financial assistance from an insurance provider or a payment plan. The cheapest cost was found at LASIK Pro Eye Consultants in Orlando, Florida, for only $1,950 per eye. 

The prices included in the table below are the cost of the procedure for one eye, but there can be additional fees pre and post-surgery. Many people have poor vision in both eyes and may therefore choose to get surgery on both of their eyes. Before scheduling surgery, make sure to ask your doctor about all of the potential costs to help avoid surprise bills

Cost of LASIK Eye Surgery Without Insurance At Different Clinics

Clinic & Location

LASIK Cost Without Insurance (per eye)

Diamond Vision, New York City, New York

$2,200

UCLA Health, Los Angeles, California

$2,500

Kraff Eye Institute, Chicago, Illinois

$2,600

LASIK Pro Eye Consultants, Orlando, Florida

$1,950

Eye LASIK Austin, Austin, Texas 

$2,675

The fees listed above also cover the cost of any postoperative visits or checkups you may need for up to one year. These prices are only covered if the checkup checkups occur at the clinic that your surgery was completed. In addition, these offices all offer free consultations with a doctor before having the surgery to determine if you are a good candidate for LASIK. 

Additional Costs of LASIK Eye Surgery

In addition to the baseline cost of LASIK eye surgery, it is important to consider that you may run into other fees down the road to maintain your vision. Although LASIK eye surgery advertises ‘perfect vision without needing corrective lenses or contacts anymore, this is not always the case. Many people end up needing glasses for when they drive or at nighttime, especially as they get older. 

In addition, your doctor will likely prescribe you antibiotic eye drops pre-surgery, which you will need to pay for. If you don’t have insurance, Mira can help you access discounts to over 1,000 prescription medications.  

Below we outline some of the additional costs associated with LASIK eye surgery. Note that the price you pay can vary greatly depending on where you seek care, as well as the type of eyeglasses and contacts you use. 

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Additional Costs to LASIK Eye Surgery

Services

Average Cost Without Insurance

Annual Eye Exam

$100 - $200

New Eyeglasses 

$195

Contact Lenses

$200-700 (per year)

Antibiotic Drops

$30

Factors that Influence the Cost of LASIK Eye Surgery

There are a few factors that influence the cost of LASIK eye surgery. If you are on a budget, it’s essential to know what may be causing higher prices at some clinics over others. Three factors that we found that may be altering the cost of LASIK are the kind of technology used to perform the surgery, the patient’s prescription, and where the clinic is located. 

Wavefront and All-Laser Technologies

The type of technology used during LASIK can drastically increase the price of the surgery. There are two common types of technology used in these procedures: wavefront (also known as custom laser) and all-laser (also known as bladeless LASIK).

  • All-laser LASIK uses a laser to reshape the cornea. All-laser is typically less expensive than Wavefront LASIK and is sufficient for patients with basic vision problems.
  • Wavefront LASIK uses the most advanced type of laser. It creates a 3D image of the eye to allow the physician to develop an individualized treatment plan to reshape the cornea. Wavefront is usually expensive and a good fit for patients who require more correction to their vision.

The price of using these technologies is often included in the listed price of the procedure, which is why each eye is in the $2,000 range. If you go to a clinic that advertises a much lower price, they may not have included the cost of the technology upfront. 

Typically, wavefront LASIK costs more than all-laser LASIK. For example, at Eye LASIK Austin in Austin, Texas, the wavefront procedure is $6,400 for both eyes, while the all-laser procedure costs as low as $4,300 for both eyes. 

Patient’s Prescription

In order to qualify for LASIK eye surgery, you first need to have a prescription. Vision is measured in diopters, which is the unit used to measure the strength of the eye or lens. The procedure has the ability to treat farsightedness up to +6.00 diopters, astigmatism (blurred distance and near vision)  up to 6 diopters, and nearsightedness up to -12.00 diopters.  

Some surgeons will charge more money for patients who have a stronger or ‘worse’ prescription. This is something that will be discussed during the initial consultation with your doctor. 

Location of Clinic

The location of the clinic may also affect the price of the LASIK eye surgery procedure. All of the prices listed in the table earlier in the article were for clinics located in major cities around the country. Typically, surgeries and other procedures in metropolitan areas cost more than they would in a more suburban location. This is due to paying higher property taxes and keeping up with competitors. 

Although the price was pretty similar at the clinics we researched, you may find cheaper alternatives at a location further from the city. In addition, prices may vary from city to city, so it may be beneficial to check the prices of LASIK eye surgeries in your neighboring cities. 

Beware of Bargains for LASIK Eye Surgery

You may see advertisements online that list LASIK eye surgery as being less than $1,000 per eye. Although this may seem like a great deal, you should approach these advertisements with caution. Such ads don’t usually include all the costs associated with the surgery, so that you may be surprised by additional fees. Low costs that are advertised may apply only to people who have mild vision issues. Therefore, if you have very poor vision, you may not qualify for the advertised price.

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If you are considering getting LASIK eye surgery that is relatively inexpensive, be sure to ask about the technology being used. If the physician is using older technology, there may be additional risks post-surgery. 

LASIK Eye Surgery Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Before getting a major surgery like LASIK, you may have additional questions. Below we outline the answers to common questions about the procedure. 

What is LASIK eye surgery?

Laser-assisted in situ keratomileuses (LASIK) eye surgery is a procedure done to correct people’s vision. It can be performed at an ophthalmologist’s office or in a hospital. The goal of the procedure is to restore the patient’s vision to 20/20 or better. 

How long does LASIK eye surgery take?

LASIK is a relatively short procedure and takes less than 30 minutes. Typically, this procedure can be completed about 10-15 minutes per eye. You should plan to allot about one to two hours in your doctor’s office for this procedure. 

Is LASIK eye surgery always successful in correcting vision issues? 

LASIK successfully provides 20/20 vision in over 90 percent of patients and 20/40 vision to over 99% of patients. Someone will rarely need vision assistance following the procedure but discuss success rates with your doctor before getting surgery. 

If you still need assistance correcting your vision post-LASIK, you can use eyeglasses or contact lenses; both are safe to use, but it’s advised to wait at least six months before using contact lenses, and you should always speak to your doctor beforehand. 

What is the recovery process from LASIK?

The recovery from LASIK is generally quick and not painful. Immediately following the procedure, your doctor will conduct an eye exam to see if the surgery was successful. You will then be able to go home, but someone else must drive you. 

You will have a few follow-up appointments to assess the quality of your vision to determine when you can begin driving again. You will also be prescribed eye drops to help your eye heal properly. It’s recommended that you don’t participate in strenuous exercise or wear eye makeup for at least a week

Does insurance cover LASIK eye surgery?

Insurance typically does not cover LASIK eye surgery because it is considered a cosmetic and elective procedure. Your insurance provider may cover this procedure if your vision issues result from an injury or a previous surgery. 

If you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or a Health Savings Account (HSA), you can use this money towards the cost of your LASIK eye surgery. Depending on how much you have saved, you could cover the entire surgery cost with the funds from one of these accounts. 

What are the alternatives to LASIK eye surgery? 

LASIK is only one way to correct vision problems. There are several surgical alternatives to this procedure, including the following: 

  • LASEK
  • Epi-Lasik
  • Conductive Keratoplasty
  • Phakic Intraocular Lenses
  • Refractive Lens Exchange

These procedures all correct vision problems surgically but use slightly different techniques and technologies to do so. Talk to your doctor about which surgical procedure may be best for you. 

Bottom Line 

LASIK eye surgery is a corrective procedure that aims to give patients 20/20 vision or better. Because insurance doesn’t usually cover the cost, this procedure can be pretty pricey. The average price of LASIK eye surgery for one eye is $2,385.