Cataracts are a major health issue for today's aging population, and they are the cause of half of all cases of blindness and one-third of all cases of visual impairment. Luckily, they can be corrected with a relatively straightforward surgery that is usually done on an outpatient basis.
What should you do if you're concerned about your deteriorating vision, and you're wondering, "How much is cataract surgery?" Read on to learn about the options available to you.
Average Cost Per Eye
According to a recent study, the average out-of-pocket cost of cataract surgery in 2013 in the U.S. was $3,230 for each eye. This means that, on average, you would pay roughly $6,500 for surgery on both eyes. If you shop around with multiple medical practices, check that the quotes you receive include the costs for both the operation and any post-operative care, including medications. Be sure to find out if your pricing includes the latest technology, such as laser cataract surgery versus manual cataract surgery that uses a hand-held blade, and ORA Precision Vision technology. Also, make sure to ask if the most advanced lenses (multifocal, astigmatism correcting) are offered and at what cost.
Consider the Benefits
It’s important to consider what you would be missing if you allow cataracts to develop. Poor vision or blindness can have major effects on your safety and your ability to be self-sufficient and independent. You may be unable to drive your car, run errands or navigate around your home. If your ability to do your work relies heavily on your sight, you may suffer job loss as the result of your cataracts. Lost wages could end up costing you far more than the surgery itself.
Check Your Health Insurance
Before scheduling your cataract surgery, always contact your health insurer to see if it will be covered under your plan. Most insurance plans, including Medicare, will pay for the costs of cataract surgery; however, insurers may only cover what is deemed to be medically necessary. Getting a monofocal (single-focus) intraocular lens is considered basic care and would be covered under most plans. A presbyopia-correcting intraocular lens, which may reduce or remove the need for reading glasses, might be seen as elective and beyond the basic coverage. Be sure to understand exactly what your insurance plan will cover as you weigh your cataract care options.
Even if your health insurance does not totally cover the procedure, you can save money by using funds from a flexible spending account or a health savings account. Financing options are also available to make cataract surgery costs affordable. Without even thinking about it, you use your eyes every day, all day long. Preserving your vision is one of the greatest gifts money can buy.