Why LASIK Is More Affordable Than You Think

Posted by: Missouri Eye Institute in Blog on October 4, 2021

Man with dollar signs over his eyes

For most people, the recurring costs and inconvenience of prescription eyeglasses, reading glasses and contact lenses feels like a necessary evil. After all, LASIK surgery and other laser vision correction procedures cost much more than a pair of glasses or contacts…  But do they really?

An estimated 150 million Americans must use prescription lenses of some sort to correct vision problems, and they spend more than $15 billion annually to do it. Whether they’re in disposable daily contact lenses or donning designer eyeglasses, it’s costing each of them hundreds of dollars (or more) every year. Compared to the money you could spend on vision correction, this still seems like a bargain.

Not so fast! If the investment of permanent vision correction surgery is giving you pause, let’s crunch the numbers. You may be surprised at what those “cheap” visual aids are really costing you.

Average Cost of LASIK in Missouri

In Kansas City, Springfield and Joplin, Missouri, where Missouri Eye Institute serves patients, the average cost of LASIK is about $2,200 – $2700 per eye, while other vision correction procedures can top $5,000 per eye. (It is possible to need just one eye corrected; however, most patients will need correction to both eyes.)

Don’t let that scare you. Once we dig more into the details, you’ll see the financial picture more clearly.

Calculating the Cost of Glasses

At a few hundred bucks per pair, those designer frames and lenses may seem like a bargain next to, say, several thousand dollars for permanent vision correction. Keep in mind, though, that LASIK is designed as a once-and-done procedure – a permanent correction of the “refractive errors” that cause your bad vision. Not so with prescription glasses.

Let’s assume you’re 30 years old and plan to use vision insurance to get your prescription eyeglasses price down to a modest $250 next year. Because eyes don’t correct themselves, you can expect to purchase new glasses every year. Assuming a modest inflation rate of 2 percent annually, plus a modest sales tax of about 8 percent, you’re looking at a lifetime spend of approximately $22,840! 

If you love designer brands and specialty lenses, like photochromic and progressive lenses, you can expect an additional spend of hundreds of dollars per pair each year.

Contact Lens Costs Over Time

It gets even more interesting if you wear contact lenses. Costs vary widely depending on your prescription, your lens features and whether you choose single-use or monthly contacts. For the purpose of a simple cost estimate, we’ve based our calculations on the popular daily disposable lenses.

Dailies start around $30 per delivery and last about one month. Using the same 2 percent inflation and 8 percent tax rates, you’ll rack up an astounding $32,884 in contact lens cost. That does not even include cleaning solutions or lens cases over a lifetime of use, or any backup eyeglasses you may need to purchase.

The Bottom Line About LASIK

It’s worth mentioning one more important fact about the investment in LASIK: You can use your employer’s FSA or HSA toward the surgical fee. And at Missouri Eye Institute payment plans are available so you can make affordable payments on the balance. We want to help you achieve your best possible vision and get out of the cycle of spending money on glasses and contacts for decades on end!

Missouri Eye Institute has helped thousands of patients achieve freedom from glasses and contact lenses. Contact us at (800) 383-3831 to schedule a thorough eye exam or visit MissouriEye.com to learn more about our services.


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