Cataracts are common, and cataract surgery is one of the most frequently performed operations in the world. When medically necessary, Medicare covers much of the cost involved with a standard cataract surgery.
But what if you want to reduce your dependence on glasses after cataract surgery? You might choose a lens to correct your vision instead of the standard lens. Or you might choose advanced testing that helps your doctor find astigmatism or any additional eye problems before surgery. Finally, Medicare does not cover the vision tests needed to determine your new eyeglass prescription after surgery. (This testing is called a refraction.)
Flexible spending accounts to the rescue
If you have a flexible spending account, or FSA, you’re in luck. With Oregon Eye Specialists, you can have cataract surgery about a month after your doctor determines you need it. So there’s still time before the end of the year to have cataract surgery and use up your flexible spending funds, or “flex dollars,” to pay costs Medicare or private insurance does not cover.
Using your FSA for the cost of cataract surgery
A flexible spending account is a government plan that allows you to set money aside from your paycheck, tax-free. As long as you spend it by a certain time, usually the end of each year, it’s yours to use for medical expenses. But flex spending plans are set up through your employee benefits plan at work, and if you don’t spend those flex dollars, your employer gets them back.
You can use money from your FSA to pay cataract surgery costs such as:
- Co-payments—The set amount you pay for an appointment, service or prescription
- Co-insurance—Your percentage of the cost of care, after any co-payments and insurance payments
- Refraction fee—The fee for vision testing to determine your new glasses prescription
- Surgery center costs that insurance does not cover
- Intraocular lenses that correct your vision after cataract surgery
- Advanced diagnostic testing before your surgery
I don’t have an FSA. Is it too late?
It’s never too late to benefit from an FSA, which can help with cataract surgery costs and many other medical expenses. Fall open enrollment is the perfect time to sign up. Once you receive your FSA debit card, you can schedule cataract surgery for early 2015 and reap the benefits.
Are there other options to help with cataract surgery costs?
Yes. We now accept two convenient plans offered by CareCredit at Oregon Eye Specialists. You may be able to use Care Credit for expenses your insurance or Medicare does not cover.
How do I know what cataract surgery will cost?
The clinic staff and business office at Oregon Eye Specialists are here to help you. Every insurance plan is different, and your cataract surgery cost will vary depending on your medical needs and individual choices. For example, you might choose a standard intraocular lens for one eye and a toric lens to correct astigmatism in the other eye. Medicare will help cover the standard lens, but not the toric lens because it is considered an elective upgrade. So the toric lens is an out-of-pocket expense, but you can use your FSA or CareCredit to cover the cost, plus any other non-covered expenses.
Oregon Eye Specialists can help
We help you with insurance and Medicare by handling any referrals and prior authorizations needed before cataract surgery. We can also work with your doctor if you need documentation that cataract surgery is medically necessary.
We do ask you to contact your insurance company directly to learn what your out-of-pocket cataract surgery cost will be, because every plan is different. Once you know those costs, you can plan to use flex dollars or ask us about CareCredit.
Learn about insurance and payments at Oregon Eye Specialists
Learn more about covering cataract surgery costs
Are you interested in cataract surgery, but not sure you can afford it? Do you have questions about what to expect or your options for vision correction? At Oregon Eye Specialists, we are always accepting new patients and have some of the most experienced cataract surgeons in the Northwest.