“Can I use my HSA for Lasik?” and Other Financing Questions
One of the biggest concerns people have about LASIK isn’t about the procedure itself (which you can learn about here). It’s about how they’re going to pay for it.
We’ll be the first to admit that LASIK can seem like an expensive procedure. But when you think of the value you’ll get for the rest of your life, it simply becomes an investment – in yourself, your family, and your overall health.
But you know that, too. It still doesn’t change the fact that you need to pay for it, right?
Unfortunately, most insurance companies deem LASIK an unnecessary procedure, considering it “cosmetic.” Obviously, we’d disagree. We know how necessary it is for some people.
And while there’s nothing we can do about the way insurance companies categorize LASIK, we do want to offer up some thoughts about how you can paying for your procedure.
Use an FSA or HSA
Flexible spending accounts and health savings accounts can be leveraged to take some of the edge off that final bill.
Most FSAs force you to use the funds before the following year (or you’ll lose them), making LASIK a great end-of-year investment. Those with an HSA have a little more flexibility with when to schedule their procedure since these types of contributions roll over year to year.
Either way, using pre-tax money is a great way to pull off a savings double-whammy. If you’re someone who might benefit from using your FSA money by the end of the year, schedule a consultation today!
For many, a tax refund is treated like extra money, using it for purchases they couldn’t make throughout the regular year. A few of the more popular ways to spend that “extra money” are on new electronics, new cars, car payments, and vacations. The more responsible among us may even use it to pay down debts.
All of those are great! After all, it’s your money. You worked hard for it; you can do what you want. But why not consider investing in something a little more...lasting. Like LASIK!
That new TV is great, but if you can’t see it, what good does it do? Investing in your eye health is one of the best decisions you can make. Others may not be able to see it, but you will. Especially now that you’re not wearing those annoying glasses.
Start a LASIK Savings Account
If you don’t understand the power of small investments (or compound interest), now is the time to talk to your financial planner.
Just a few dollars a day, week, or month in a savings account can add up quickly. It’s even better if you can automate the process. Have a specific amount of money withdrawn from your account to be placed into savings and you’ll be well on your way to better eyesight.
Here’s how you can create your savings plan:
- Talk to a few LASIK professionals in your area to get an idea of whether you qualify for surgery and how much it will cost.
- Choose a date in the near future to have the procedure.
- Calculate the number of months, weeks, or days until your chosen surgery date.
- Break down the total cost by the number of months, weeks, or days you have until your surgery date and start socking away money in regular intervals.
This one takes a little patience and discipline, but when you focus on how good it will feel to know your surgery is paid for in full and you’ve made an investment in your health, you’ll be completely energized to get started.
Racking up unnecessary credit card debt is never a strategy we’d recommend. However, there are cases where using your credit card could make sense.
If you have a card with 0% interest and you can pay down the cost of your procedure before fees kick in, you’ll probably be okay.
The same logic applies if you put the procedure on a credit card, earn reward points or reward miles, and pay off the procedure as a whole once you get the bill (so as not to incur interest charges).
If you’re not in either of these positions, a credit card should be your last option. But we’ll leave that decision up to you. We’re doctors, not financial advisors.
Many LASIK practices offer financing through a special credit card program called CareCredit. To read more about CareCredit, you can check out their website here.
Grene Laser DOES offer CareCredit. If you qualify, you’ll receive 12 months interest-free.
Watch for Specials and Discounts
Often times, LASIK practices will run yearly or seasonal promotions. Contact doctors in your area to ask if they ever run these types of promotions and plan accordingly (see #3 above).
For instance, Grene Laser just finished running our largest promotion of the year, a discount of $500 off your total surgery. While you just missed it this year, there’s always time to plan for next summer.