Does insurance cover the costs of refractive or laser surgery?

Because refractive/laser surgery is usually an elective surgery, it is often considered cosmetic and not medically necessary. Therefore insurance usually does not cover the procedure. However, under certain conditions, medical insurance plans will cover refractive surgery.

These include:

  • Refractive errors that are a result of an injury.
  • Refractive errors that are a result of surgery.
  • Severe refractive errors. However, there is no standard level of impairment at which insurance will cover correction. Coverage under these circumstances is generally very inconsistent and individuals should check with their provider.
  • 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).

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This information is provided by the Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition. This document was last reviewed on: 5/6/2009...#10733