When seeing life to the fullest means LASIK surgery: What you need to know and how to make it affordable

image of this article's author, Barry Shinske
Barry Shinske
Regional Vice-President

A sharp pair of eyeglasses can make employees look smarter, but that doesn’t mean they know all they should about LASIK as a vision correction option.

Employees may not consider the procedure as an alternative to a pair of eyeglasses or contact lenses because of the added expense, as the average cost in the U.S. was nearly $2,000 per eye in 2017.[1] Ouch. That cost may be fine for Nicole Kidman or LeBron James (who have both opted for LASIK),[2] but what about the average employee?

Turns out it may be an affordable option for many, since it’s not only an eligible expense under health savings and flexible spending benefits accounts, but also often a procedure that can be discounted for those enrolled in vision benefits.

Here’s what you, and your employees, should know.

15 minutes to clear sight

LASIK,[3] is today considered the most advanced surgical option to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism, which may be why roughly 600,000 people undergo the outpatient procedure each year (with that figure estimated to climb to 700,000 by 2020).[4]

Many choose LASIK because it’s fast and non-invasive: patients are given eye drops as a local anesthesia (no injections)[5] and, once the drops kick in, an ophthalmologist (a doctor specializing in surgical eye treatment) uses a fine laser to remove a specific amount of corneal tissue at the front of the eye. This reshapes the cornea so the eye can better focus and see more clearly. It typically takes as little as 15 minutes. [6]

The results, in terms of clearer sight, are immediate - with most patients returning to work and normal activities the following day. The extent of discomfort patients might feel usually occurs right after the procedure and is described as similar to having an eyelash or a dry contact lens in the eye.[7]

To be eligible for the procedure, patients must be 18 years old, free of eye conditions that could affect healing and have a stable vision prescription for at least 1 year.[8]

High success rates for 20/20 vision

Those who are eligible for LASIK have nearly a 90% chance of seeing 20/20, according to 2017 research released by the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO). The AAO also determined that LASIK could potentially cure vision conditions such as glare, halos, ghosting (double-vison) and star-bursting.[9] So it’s no wonder patient satisfaction rates are so high:

• In the AAO’s research, 98%, report being satisfied with the treatment.[10]

• Studies by the FDA delivered similar high satisfaction rates among those who underwent LASIK: at 96% and 99% among 2 test groups.[11]

Those satisfaction rates are shown to endure for years:

• Nearly 9 in 10 former contact lenses wearers said they were “strongly satisfied” with their LASIK results 3 years after their procedures[13],according to a survey reported by the Price Vision Group in Indianapolis.

• Among former eyeglass wears, the satisfaction rate is 77%.[12]

The Price Vision Group survey also revealed that LASIK patients — both former contact lens and eyeglass wearers — found night driving easier.

Discounts on LASIK through EyeMed

These results should encourage many employees to consider vision correction surgery, but many still do not know how accessible LASIK is. EyeMed members get exclusive access to:

• Extensive network of LASIK providers with more than 600 locations nationwide

• Exclusive member savings every day with every single provider

• 15% off retail or 5% off promotional price with in-network providers offered through the US Laser Network (owned and administered by LCA-Vision). Or, get $800 off at our featured LASIK partner, LasikPlus.

Combine these savings with the improved results of LASIK, and it makes for a smart choice for those who find it best suits their lifestyles instead of eyeglasses or contacts. But either way, an annual eye exam is still very important to monitor eye health and overall health.

To learn more about the LASIK procedure program through EyeMed visit eyemedlasik.com, or contact your EyeMed representative. You may also want to share a link to this helpful article with employees who may be considering LASIK options, Is LASIK Right for You?

If you don’t offer EyeMed vision benefits, visit starthere.eyemed.com to let us know how to reach you and someone from our team will be in touch.


1: “LASIK Eye Surgery Cost,” by Liz Segre, June 13, 2018, https://www.allaboutvision.com/visionsurgery/cost.htm
2: “7 Stars Who Have had LASIK Vision Correction” LasikPlus/LCA-Vision Inc., https://www.lasikplus.com/laser-eye-surgery-articles-and-information/uncategorized/seven-stars-laser-vision-correction/

3: “LASIK Laser Eye Surgery,” American Academy of Ophthalmology, https://www.aao.org/eye-health/treatments/lasik

4: “Number of LASIK Surgeries in the United States,” Statista.com https://www.statista.com/statistics/271478/number-of-lasik-surgeries-in-the-us/
5: Is LASIK right for you?” Eye Site on Wellness, EyeMed, http://www.eyesiteonwellness.com/is-lasik-right-for-you-2/

6: “LASIK Laser Eye Surgery,” American Academy of Ophthalmology, https://www.aao.org/eye-health/treatments/lasik

7: Is LASIK right for you?” Eye Site on Wellness, EyeMed, http://www.eyesiteonwellness.com/is-lasik-right-for-you-2/

8: “When is LASIK Not for Me?” U.S. Food & Drug Administration, https://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/ProductsandMedicalProcedures/SurgeryandLifeSupport/LASIK/ucm061366.htm

9: “LASIK called safest, most successful elective procedure in the world,” Nov. 10, 2017, American Academy of Ophthalmology, https://www.healio.com/ophthalmology/refractive-surgery/news/online/%7Bf1714ae6-80fb-4d6a-b661-5b6d029bd89c%7D/lasik-called-safest-most-successful-elective-procedure-in-the-world

10: Ibid.
11: “What You Need to Know About the PROWL Studies,” American Refractive Surgery Council, Nov. 23, 2016, https://americanrefractivesurgerycouncil.org/need-know-fda-prowl-studies/

12: “LASIK Satisfaction vs. Contact Lenses,” American Academy of Ophthalmology, August 2016, https://www.aao.org/eyenet/article/lasik-satisfaction-vs-contact-lenses#disqus_thread

13: Price MO et al. Ophthalmology. 2016;123(8):1659-1666.