A vast number of surgeries can be categorised as emergency, necessary, or life-saving. On the other hand, there are surgeries that may not be urgent, but if done at the right time and in the right way, can help improve one’s quality of life.
However, some of these surgeries that are not urgent, may or may not be covered by your health insurance
. If they are not covered, the cost of these can prove to be a deterrent for the person who wants to undergo these surgeries to improve their quality of life. Increasing medical costs do not help the situation, either.
One such non-essential yet important surgery is LASIK. It is used to rectify vision problems among people with myopia, astigmatism, and other such issues. So, is LASIK covered by insurance? Or would you have to pay for it out-of-pocket?
Let’s take a quick look at what this surgery is and if the health insurance benefits
include coverage for LASIK.
What is LASIK?
LASIK, an abbreviation for Laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis, can be of help to people who have vision issues and seek to correct them. Commonly, it is used to correct problems like hypermetropia or hyperopia, myopia, and astigmatism.
Hypermetropia refers to farsightedness, whereas myopia refers to near-sightedness. Astigmatism is a condition where the person experiences near blurred vision (near and far) due to an imperfection in the curvature of the eye. With all these issues, it is common for the people experiencing them to be recommended prescription glasses or contact lenses.
LASIK or laser eye surgery is performed so that the patient can correct their vision and get rid of their prescription glasses. This may help them improve their quality of life by eliminating the need for regular use of glasses or lenses.
LASIK Cost & Procedure
If you suffer from any of the aforementioned conditions, LASIK might appear as a viable option for you to eliminate the need for glasses. However, before you make up your mind to undergo laser eye surgery, it is important to understand what LASIK is and what are the costs involved.
It is best to consult your doctor before you decide to opt for the procedure. They may advise you whether the procedure is right for you. You may need to follow a few guidelines before the procedure. For example, you may have to stop wearing contact lenses for a few days before the procedure. Doctors will check your eye health before the laser surgery to check whether you are fit for it.
The LASIK procedure is usually completed within 30-45 minutes. Your eyes are numbed for the procedure. The laser is used to reshape your cornea so that your vision comes out improved. Even if the procedure is required for both eyes, it is usually done on the same day.
After the surgery, your eyes may feel itchy and water frequently. It may take a couple of months for your vision to be completely clear. You may be given eyedrops to manage any pain or irritation. Moreover, you may also be required to wear a shield over your eyes, especially at night, for protection. You would not be able to use cosmetics near your eyes or go swimming for the next few weeks after the procedure.
The cost for LASIK surgery in India can be between Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 1,50,000. The actual cost will depend on the condition of the patient as well as the doctor you are consulting. Thus, it can prove to be quite an expense for some people, especially considering it is not necessarily an essential surgery. Thus, it would be helpful if the cost of LASIK is covered by your health insurance.
Does Medical Insurance Cover LASIK?
So, does health insurance cover laser eye surgery? Many health insurance policies in India offer coverage for LASIK surgery. However, there are two things that need to be taken note of here. First, not all sorts of health plans offer coverage for this kind of surgery. Second, when LASIK is covered by insurance, it may involve a waiting period of which you should be aware.
Thus, it is possible that your policy, be it family health insurance
, individual health insurance, or group health insurance, covers LASIK surgery. However, it is best to check beforehand whether such is the case.
One of the plans in India covering laser eye surgery is the Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Health Care Supreme plan. Besides LASIK surgery, the plan also covers cataracts, tonsilitis, genetic disorders, and Parkinson’s disease. While LASIK surgery is covered by insurance in this case, it has a waiting period of 24 hours.
You can undergo the procedure if you are between 18-40 years of age. However, it is best to consult your doctor beforehand, so they may be able to guide you better. Possible risks of this surgery include:
- Dry eyes
- Double vision
- Halos or glares
- Vision changes or loss
Before you decide on this surgery, it is best to check whether your policy covers this surgery. You can read through your policy document and consult your insurance agent or your insurance provider for more information.
Insurance is the subject matter of solicitation. For more details on benefits, exclusions, limitations, terms, and conditions, please read the sales brochure/policy wording carefully before concluding a sale.