Monthly Payments Make Corrective Eye Surgery Affordable

How can you pay for corrective eye surgery if it’s not covered by health insurance or vision programs?

One option is to use monthly payment plans to make the cost more manageable, and you’ll also save money by no longer needing to buy contact lenses.

This article will introduce two innovative methods for enhancing your vision while further reducing the strain on your finances.

Patients correcting refractive errors in both eyes can reduce expenses by using personal loans in combination with Health Savings Accounts (HSA).

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) provide financing without a credit check for individuals with poor borrowing histories while offering significant tax breaks.

Personal Loan for Eye Surgery

Personal loans make laser vision correction more affordable by enabling monthly payment plans. Loans also allow tax breaks for the procedure from a Health Savings Account.

Upfront Decision

Taking out a personal loan for corrective eye surgery allows patients to shop around before choosing an ophthalmologist, garnering two benefits.

  1. Compare financing terms: origination fees, interest rates, and repayment periods.
  2. Improve approval odds: connect to a vast network of online lenders.

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Requesting an unsecured personal loan puts you in control. Many online lenders compete for your business, potentially giving you more options.

If approved, the lender will deposit the funds directly into your bank account. Choose the ophthalmologist with the best record and most experience rather than one that “offers financing.”

Health Savings

Using personal loans to pay for corrective eye surgery allows tapping hidden savings in a Health Savings Account (HSA), significantly reducing costs. An HSA is a tax savings program linked to a High-Deductible Health Plan (HDHP).

Procedure First

You must enroll in a qualified HDHP before your procedure, but you do not have to fund the HSA first. Provided your HDHP remains active, you can reimburse yourself in future years using tax-favored contributions.

Sign up for an HDHP and HSA at during the annual open enrollment if your employer does not offer medical insurance. Otherwise, enroll at work if available. You can get started anytime if you have a qualifying life event.

Use the personal loan proceeds to pay the provider. Reimburse yourself as you make tax-favored contributions to the HSA, subject to annual limits.*

  • Single: $3,850
  • Family: $7,750
  • Over 55: additional $1,000

As you can see, the cost to correct refractive errors in both eyes simultaneously can exceed the annual HSA contribution limit, depending on the procedure recommended by the surgeon. Hence the need for financing.

ProcedureTypical Cost per Eye
LASIK (laser in-situ keratomileusis)$2,000 to $4,000
PRK (photorefractive keratectomy)$1,500 to $2,000
RLE (refractive lens exchange)$3,000 to $8,000
Phakic IOL (intraocular lens implant)$3,000 to $5,000

Savings Later

Using personal loans to fund laser eye surgery can significantly reduce costs when combined with tax savings from an HSA. Consider this California-based patient with an Adjusted Gross Income of $100,000.

The patient borrows $8,000 for LASIK eye surgery, incurring financing costs (which vary by credit score). Meanwhile, the HSA lowers expenses by 38.95% or $3,116 through tax savings. He reimbursed himself over two years.

  • Federal: 22%
  • State: 9.3%
  • FICA: 7.65%
Credit ScoreInterest Rate24 Month Costs

As you can see, patients with good to excellent credit qualifications save significantly using this strategy!

FSA LASIK Surgery Financing

A Healthcare Flexible Spending Account (FSA) makes laser vision correction more affordable by allowing patients to use pre-tax dollars to pay for the procedure. Patients can also use their FSA as a financing program with monthly or bi-weekly payments.

The total amount you’ve selected for your FSA is immediately available at the beginning of the plan year. In certain plans, however, this amount can only be accessed after your first contribution has been made. The FSA’s ability to allow for the advance use of funds is similar to obtaining a twelve-month loan from your employer.

Bad Credit

An FSA offers LASIK eye surgery financing to patients with bad credit histories on the consumer reports. You could have a FICO© or Vantage© score as low as 300, and your employer must allow you to participate.

Follow these steps to take advantage.

  1. Choose an FSA contribution during open enrollment
  2. Schedule the procedure at the beginning of the FSA plan year
  3. Your employer must reimburse qualifying expenses immediately
  4. Repay your employer with pre-tax payroll contributions

No Credit Check

An FSA offers LASIK financing without a credit check from reporting companies such as Experian©, Equifax©, or TransUnion©. Your employer cannot pull a copy of your consumer report or consider your FICO© or Vantage© score.

Usually, no-credit-check financing means sky-high borrowing costs. However, using your FSA for an employer-funded loan can save you money.

Single Eye

Using an FSA to finance corrective eye surgery has one drawback with a reasonable workaround. The annual contribution limits mean patients might have to spread treatment over two years.

  • Year one: left eye
  • Year two: right eye

With an FSA, you cannot reimburse yourself for qualifying expenses from previous years. Therefore, the annual contribution limits dictate how much you can spend each year.*

  • Individual: $3,050
  • Two working spouses: $7,100

Remember these contribution limits as you schedule the surgery your ophthalmologist recommends. A reminder of procedure costs provides helpful context.

ProcedureTypical Cost per Eye
LASIK (laser in-situ keratomileusis)$2,000 to $4,000
PRK (photorefractive keratectomy)$1,500 to $2,000
RLE (refractive lens exchange)$3,000 to $8,000
Phakic IOL (intraocular lens implant)$3,000 to $5,000

Medical Credit Card for LASIK

Medical credit cards can make laser vision correction more affordable by offering monthly payment plans. However, relying on this financing option may introduce two potential hidden drawbacks.

Deferred Interest

Many medical cards offer deferred interest, making corrective eye surgery more affordable for patients who can retire the entire obligation within the pre-determined promotional period: 6, 12, or 24 months.

However, this financing option comes with a costly catch. Consider two outcomes for a patient borrowing $8,000 to pay for LASIK.

  • $0 interest: able to retire the entire balance according to terms
  • $2,400 interest (30%): unable to repay the total amount in time

Last-Minute Decisions

Medical credit cards sometimes mean last-minute denials. Many patients look for local LASIK providers offering in-house payment plans, not understanding that most ophthalmologists refer this function to third parties.

Most offices refer patients to a single finance company, such as Care Credit©, that does not approve every applicant. People with weak borrowing credentials (poor credit scores, high debt-to-income ratio) often fare better with the proactive approaches covered above.

  • Personal loans: because large online networks boost approval odds
  • Flexible Spending: because employers must accept all participants

* FSA and HSA contribution limits change each year.