How Much Does Cataract Surgery Cost?
Cataract surgery is the process of removing the natural lens of the eye which developed an opacification, also known as a cataract. During the surgical procedure, the eye’s’ natural lens is replaced with a synthetic lens to retain the lens’ transparency. The surgery is performed by an ophthalmologist in different settings, such as ambulatory or surgical center, with little to no discomfort to the patient. The cataract surgery cost depends on the setting where the procedure will be performed, the ophthalmologist, the inclusions, geographical location and complexity of the procedure.
How much is the cost of cataract surgery?
- On average, the physician services, facility services, and anesthesia services can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $5,500 per eye without health insurance.
- A premium eye lens is going to cost more than a standard lens. A premium lens can cost upwards of $750 to $1,500 extra per eye.
- AllAboutVision.com claims that the surgery without insurance averages $4,461.47, while those with Medicare and insurance can expect to pay anywhere from $528 to $947.
- If you have health insurance or medicare, be sure to talk with your health insurance provider to see what is covered. With most insurance companies, this surgery will be covered as long as it is deemed medically necessary. You will only be responsible for your deductible or co-pay.
Factors that influence the price:
- The reputation and skill of the surgeon.
- The location and area in which you live.
- The type of lens. A premium lens is going to cost more.
- What is included in fee. Some doctors will include the pre-op and follow-up visits while other doctors won’t cover.
- If the insurance provider is going to cover any parts of the surgery.
What are the extra costs?
- Additional costs for the surgery are the anesthesia, which is necessary to make sure that the patient does not experience any discomfort or any pain while the procedure is being done. The price for anesthesia can range from $300 to $800 or more.
- Some doctors may want to run an EKG to determine the heart health before undergoing this procedure. Eye exams may be necessary ahead of time as well to gather exact measurements on what need to be done.
- If an astigmatism needs to be corrected, most doctors will recommend adding at least $300 per eye to fix this problem.
- A hospital setting is going to cost more than a local facility. Overnight stays at a local hospital can be upwards of $1,000 a night.
- Medications will be prescribed after the surgery is complete. This may or may not be included in the overall price of the surgery package.
- Follow-up visits will be required after the surgery is performed to ensure that the healing process is going according to plan.
- If any problems exist after the surgery has been performed, you may still have to wear glasses. If this is the case, the patient will be required to pay for glasses and/or contacts. Aside from glasses, LASIK surgery can often be performed when everything is complete.
What is going to be included?
- Included with the surgery is the replacement lens that will be used after the natural lens of the eyes has been removed.
- During the procedure, a slight incision will be made on the side of the cornea. Inserting a tiny instrument, the ultrasound will break up the center of the cloudy lens, suctioning everything out. After this cloudy lens has been removed, it will be replaced by what’s known as a intraocular lens. This lens is made of a material such as silicone or plastic. Becoming permanent in the patient’s eye, the results will be noticed almost immediately.
Types of IOLs available:
- Accommodating: Works just like most natural lenses. It can increase focus and increase the clarity of vision.
- Aspheric: Providing the most advanced contrast sensitivity, images will appear clearer to a patient.
- Multifocal: Allow clearer and distant vision. After this surgery, patients won’t need any sort of glasses.
- Toric: Will enhance the image quality and can correct astigmatism.
- Bleeding that occurs inside of the eye
- Retina and/or cornea swelling
- Detachment of retina
Questions to ask:
- What are the benefits of intraocular lenses? With this particular product help me see better in life? Would you recommend it for my situation?
- What are the services and costs associated with the surgery? Are there any costs that aren’t listed now that I will have to pay down the road?
- Can I get more information in regards to what the insurance will cover? Do you know the restrictions? What have patients done in the past?
How can I save money?
- Check with your insurance company to see what will be covered. For those without insurance, consider insurance comparison services such as eHealthInsurance.
- There are also instances where Medicare will cover this type of procedure. Medicare will usually pay up to 80 percent of the “Medicare Allowed” charges. More than likely, you will be responsible for that additional 20 percent.
- Check with different medical institutions so that you will be able to determine which clinics or medical institution will be able to provide the service at the lowest possible price.
- If you don’t have insurance, consider talking with various doctors to see if you can start up some sort of payment plan ahead of time. By paying cash up front, great discounts can become available.