What is an Elective Eye Procedure?
An elective eye procedure is a planned procedure that is not a medical emergency yet may be medically necessary for you to maintain your vision or improve your eyesight. Certain elective eye procedures can be delayed until you have met your annual deductible.
Some examples of elective eye procedures may be:
- Traditional or laser-assisted cataract surgery
- Laser surgery and shunts for glaucoma
- Eyelid revision procedures like blepharoplasty
How to Plan for an End-of-Year Eye Procedure
If you have met your annual deductible, your eye procedure may cost much less than if you wait until January when your deductible resets to zero. Proper planning will ensure that you can budget for the procedure and you avoid unexpected medical fees.
1. Call your insurance provider to confirm whether you have met your deductible and if you have an out-of-pocket maximum you need to meet.
2. Explain the type of eye procedure you want to schedule.
3. Ask for a list of in-network physicians and facilities so you can maximize your savings.
4. Using factors like geographic location, physician reviews and cost, narrow down your list of physicians and facilities. Keep in mind that an ambulatory surgery center (ASC) is almost always more cost-effective than a hospital.
5. Once you have selected your physician and location, call your insurance provider again to get an estimate of what you should plan to pay for the physician fee, facility fee, medications and post-operative visits.
6. After you have your out-of-pocket estimate, decide how you will pay for your portion of the procedure. If you have private insurance and you have met your deductible, you may only be responsible for a co-pay or coinsurance, if applicable. Remember, you can use your flexible spending account (FSA) if you have remaining funds. FSA money is not taxed, which offers another savings opportunity.
7. Call your ophthalmologist to schedule your procedure. Do not delay because end-of-year appointments book up quickly and your doctor may only perform surgeries on certain days of the week.
Planning can offer significant savings and help you stretch your hard-earned healthcare dollars. Schedule your elective eye procedure before your deductible resets and experience the joy of clear vision.