Mapgirl has just had laser eye surgery, and she wrote a really informative article about the experience and the cost. My husband has been pondering LASIK for years. He can’t see much of anything without glasses, so I can understand his desire to have eyes that just work. I have glasses but I only really need them to drive at night or to watch subtitled movies. I am freaked out by the idea of someone cutting his eye with a laser, but I suppose that’s because I tend to be paranoid about things like that.
We’ve tossed around the idea of getting his eyes fixed, but we’ve never looked into the actual cost or what’s involved. Now that we’re out of debt and doing ok financially, we might start saving towards LASIK. We would use our HSA, and we would only get the procedure done after we had all the money saved in the HSA first.
I was surprised by the price tag in Mapgirl’s article. I had thought that LASIK on both eyes would run about $2000 – $3000. Guess not. I found this site that shows national averages, and it looks like we’d be paying about $4200 – $4800 to get both of his eyes done. Ouch. That’s a lot of money. We’re going to max out our HSA again this year ($5800), but once we pay our deductible for his knee surgery ($3000) and our midwife’s charges (another $3000), we’ll only have about $3700 left in the account at the end of 2008. So it would be 2009 for sure before we had enough money built back up in that account to cover eye surgery.
That will give us plenty of time to talk about it and figure out what we want to do. I absolutely do not want him to go to some cut-rate place that offers LASIK for $500. (the article I linked to above says those places have all sorts of hidden fees anyway, and you end up paying much more than they advertise). These are eyes we’re talking about – we only get two, and they have to last a lifetime. So I want to make sure that if we decide to go ahead with LASIK, we find the best doc around and don’t take price into consideration. In order to feel comfortable taking nearly $5000 out of our HSA to pay for LASIK, I think I’d need to know that we had at least another $3000 remaining in the HSA, to cover our health insurance deductible in case an unexpected medical situation were to arise. The HSA is our emergency medical fund, and with a $3000 deductible, I wouldn’t feel comfortable cleaning the whole account out to pay for eye surgery. So maybe it will be 2010 before we can afford this…