Finding financing for LASIK eye surgery for patients with a bad credit history is easy when your employer provides a Flexible Spending Account (FSA). A little-known feature of the program allows for a better than an interest-free loan with guaranteed approval and no credit checks.
The average cost of LASIK surgery in the United States is about $2,100 per eye. If you do not have this type of funding on hand, rest assured that you have options to correct your vision and do away with uncomfortable contacts, and unattractive glasses – no matter what your borrowing and payment history.
Learn how to take advantage of an FSA to finance LASIK procedure, and find other loan options if your employer does not offer the program, or if you cannot wait before correcting your vision.
Loan Options for Lasik Eye Surgery Bad Credit
Not every employer offers an FSA, the annual contribution limit is $2,500 per employee, and you should time your procedure for the beginning of the plan year. While a great approach, an FSA may not be the answer for every patient seeking to finance LASIK eye surgery with bad credit.
Request a personal loan for medical reasons if your employer does not offer an FSA, your procedure cost exceeds your contribution limit, or if you cannot wait until open enrollment to correct your vision. Complete a simple online application form. It may prove a better option than in-house funding or direct reimbursement from your insurance plan.
Some patients naively seek out in-house financing for LASK surgery. It just sounds better and safer, but in reality, the opposite may be true. If your ophthalmologist touts in-house financing, run the other way.
He or she went to medical school to learn about the structures of the eye and the supporting nervous system that makes the miracle of sight possible. However, medical schools do not teach business basics.
Most likely, your ophthalmologist is working with a third party company. The third party may provide private label marketing materials along with the funding, and your surgeon pockets a referral fee in addition to the charges for your procedure. The illusion of “in-house” financing simply increases the odds you will perform the procedure with him or her.
Traditional medical insurance plans are an unreliable way to finance LASIK eye surgery. People with bad credit or even those with great ratings most often come up empty. Most plans consider this treatment as an elective or classify it as a cosmetic procedure.
Either way, insurance rarely pays for LASIK, except under very narrowly defined circumstances such as when wearing glasses or contacts to correct your vision is dangerous or impossible. This may apply to people with safety requirements prohibiting eyeglasses, where medical conditions prevent the wearing of contacts (dry eye, severe allergies, etc.).
FSA Financing Lasik Eye Surgery Bad Credit
A Flexible Spending Account (FSA) provides the ideal form of financing for Lasik eye surgery for patients with a bad credit history – if your or your spouse’s employer provides the option. Your employer must fund any qualifying expenses when incurred, regardless of the amount in your account.
Time your Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis (LASIK) eye surgery at the beginning of your FSA plan year. Your employer must immediately reimburse this qualifying expense up to your elected contribution amount. You then have up to 52 weeks to repay the loan using pretax dollars. This means you realize a below zero interest rate, your approval is guaranteed, and your employer cannot run a credit check.
Below Zero Interest Rate
Pre-tax payroll deductions on your FSA allow you to take out below zero interest rate financing for LASIK surgery. Your employer cannot charge you interest when reimbursement precedes your contribution to the account. Pretax contributions reduce the amount of taxes you may pay in three areas, which translates into a below zero interest rate.
- Federal income taxes
- State income taxes
- FICA taxes
An FSA provides guaranteed approval for your LASIK eye surgery financing. If your employer makes an FSA available, your employer must allow every employee to participate – regardless of his or her credit history or rating.
You must enroll during your employer’s open enrollment period, and select an amount to contribute during the next twelve months. The annual election limit is $2,600 in 2017, which may not be enough to cover your entire expense. However, if your spouse also has access to an FSA where he or she works, the combined amount should suffice.
No Credit Check Allowed
An FSA also allows for LASIK eye surgery financing without the need for a credit check. Your employer cannot pull a copy of your consumer report, or check your credit score during the enrollment process.
IRS regulations specify that your employer must accept every employee who wants to contribute if they make the option available. In fact, compliance best practices dictate that they capture an affirmative yes or no decision every year.
If you leave your employer at any time during the plan year, you can default on your obligation with no consequences. Your employer cannot report the default to the credit bureaus or attempt to collect any past due amounts.
However, do not feel too bad for your employer. Your employer keeps any unused balances at the end of the plan year due to the use-it-or-lose-it rule. Unused balances from your co-workers typically offset this rather unusual event
- LASIK with insurance
Copyright: rioblanco / 123RF Stock Photo