The Cleveland Clinic

Does Insurance Cover the Costs of Refractive or Laser Eye Surgery?

Insurance usually does not cover the cost of refractive or laser eye surgery, but some companies will pay the bill under certain criteria. Because laser eye surgery is usually an elective surgery, insurance companies consider it cosmetic and not medically necessary. However, under certain conditions, medical insurance plans will cover refractive or laser eye surgery. These include:

  • Eye surgery for refractive errors that are a result of an injury.
  • Eye surgery for refractive errors that are a result of surgery.
  • Eye surgery for severe refractive errors. However, there is no standard level of impairment at which insurance will cover correction. Insurance coverage under these circumstances is generally very inconsistent and individuals should check with their provider.
  • Eye surgery when a patient is not only unable to wear glasses due physical limitation (such as an allergy or deformity) but cannot wear contacts due to physical limitation (lens intolerance).

Reviewed by the doctors at The Cleveland Clinic Cole Eye Institute.




Edited by Charlotte E. Grayson, MD, WebMD, October 2004.

Portions of this page © The Cleveland Clinic 2000-2005


Last Editorial Review: 6/30/2005




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