LASIK eye surgery can be an effective solution for people with certain vision problems. LASIK, or laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis, can improve vision for some patients with nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. This outpatient laser surgery is usually performed by an ophthalmologist, an eye doctor who specializes in vision care, including exams, diagnosing and treating eye disease, prescribing medications and performing eye surgery.
LASIK surgery can be a great alternative to wearing glasses or contact lenses. If you already require corrective lenses, talk to your eye doctor about your options. Your eye doctor should evaluate your vision and determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure based on your current health, eye pressure, and any presence of inflammation or infection. If you and your eye doctor decide LASIK surgery will provide the vision correction you hope to achieve, it’s time to prepare.
What to Expect
LASIK surgery is a quick procedure – about 30 minutes – and despite some mild discomfort or pain, recovery is quick. You will meet with your eye doctor within a day or two of your surgery, and you should notice immediate improvements. It may take months for your vision to stabilize but your doctor will help guide you as you return to your normal activities within weeks of the procedure.
Costs of LASIK Surgery
If you receive Medicare benefits, you may be wondering if your insurance will help cover the costs of LASIK eye surgery. Unfortunately, LASIK is considered an elective surgery and is not covered by Original Medicare. Original Medicare does not include routine eye care, but may provide medically necessary eye exams or surgery related to another medical condition. For instance, you may be covered for certain eye care services if you have diabetes, glaucoma, or your doctor determines a need for cataract surgery.
Even though Medicare Advantage (MA) plans are required to provide the same Part A and Part B benefits as Original Medicare, many offer additional benefits. Many MA plan include routine vision care, but may not cover LASIK surgery. Routine eye care may include annual exams, corrective glasses, contact lenses, and/or frames. If you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, check with your plan for exact details.