Insurance and refractive or laser eye surgery

Health insurance usually doesn’t cover the cost of refractive or laser eye surgery, but some companies will foot the bill if certain criteria are met. Some insurance companies offer a vision plan that may provide a reduced price or noticeable partial coverage for laser eye surgery. Because laser eye surgery is elective surgery, many health insurance companies consider it cosmetic and not medically necessary. Some conditions under which medical insurance plans might, in rare circumstances, cover refractive or laser eye surgery include:

  • Eye surgery for refractive errors resulting from injury
  • Eye surgery for refractive errors resulting from surgery
  • Eye surgery for severe refractive errors; however, there is no standard level of impairment at which the insurance will cover the correction. Insurance coverage in these circumstances is usually very inconsistent and individuals should check with their provider.
  • Eye surgery when a patient is not only unable to wear glasses due to a physical limitation (such as an allergy or deformity), but cannot wear contact lenses due to a physical limitation (lens intolerance )

Check with your insurance company to see if you are enrolled in a plan that offers benefits. You may need to cover the costs through out-of-pocket expenses or with your flexible spending account or health savings account.



University of Pittsburgh Medical Center: “Frequently Asked Questions About Laser Vision Correction.”

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