June is Cataract Awareness Month. If you are considering cataract surgery, what is the one factor that is most important to you? If you are like most Americans, your answer is very simple: cost. The amount that an insurance company will pay for cataract surgery and your out-of-pocket cost can vary depending on the type of intraocular lens (IOL) you choose and your insurance deductible.
In the United States, most of the cost of cataract surgery is covered by private insurance or Medicare (because the majority of people who need cataract surgery are over the age of 65). In 2015, the average cost for cataract surgery with a standard IOL (a monofocal lens that corrects near, distance or intermediate vision) was $3,542 per eye. This is assuming that an individual had no health insurance.
But the cost of cataract surgery can increase significantly if you choose certain options like a multifocal lens (which corrects near, distant and intermediate vision instead of just one distance), if you select a toric lens that corrects astigmatism or if you choose to have laser-assisted cataract surgery. These are considered premium procedures, which means they are more expensive and your out-of-pocket cost is higher.
To keep the cost down for your cataract surgery, you have a few options. Instead of having your surgery performed in a hospital, you could choose to have your procedure at an ambulatory surgery center (ASC).You can also choose an in-network doctor and facility, which will be less expensive than going out-of-network. Finally, choosing an IOL that your insurance deems medically necessary could mean that you are financially responsible for very little or nothing when the procedure is complete (Source: All About Vision).
Talk to your vision care specialist about what IOL is best for you. Always call your insurance company to inquire about your out-of-pocket expenses. There is an IOL and procedure to fit every budget, so get all the facts before making your decision.