Alternatives to Refractive Surgery

Refractive surgery is an elective procedure. This means it's not considered a medical necessity and people can chooses whether or not to have it done.

Like other elective surgical procedures (such as cosmetic surgery), the cost of LASIK is rarely covered as a benefit in health and medical insurance policies. If you choose to have LASIK surgery, it's likely that 100% of the fee for the procedure will require your "out-of-pocket" private payment.

Vision benefit plans, such as those administered by VSP or Eyemed, typically don't cover refractive surgery but sometimes provide discounts with certain providers.

Of course, there are other options for correcting nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. The most common alternatives to refractive surgery are eyeglasses and contact lenses.

There is also a special method of fitting rigid gas permeable (GP) contact lenses that can reshape your eyes while you sleep to temporarily reduce your nearsightedness and eliminate your need to wear eyeglasses or contact lenses the following day. This technique is called orthokeratology (or "ortho-K"). One popular type of FDA-approved overnight ortho-K is called Corneal Refractive Therapy or CRT.

Your eye doctor can help you decide which non-surgical vision correction method is best for you.