Salt Lake City Eye Doctors Discuss the Costs of Cataract Surgery
Cataract surgeons at The Eye Institute of Utah say there are a number of insurance and financing options that can help make the cost of both standard and custom cataract surgery more affordable.
Salt Lake City, UT – Most everyone will be affected by cataracts at some point in their lifetime. Commonly occurring as a natural part of the aging process, cataracts ultimately cause cloudy, hazy vision and a number of other debilitating conditions that can lead to total blindness if left untreated. Doctors with The Eye Institute of Utah, a Salt Lake City cataract surgery and laser vision correction practice, say many advances that have been made over the years offer patients effective surgical options to remove cataracts and even experience better vision than they had before the condition set in. They note that, while some individuals may be concerned about the potential costs associated with cataract surgery, there are a number of options that can help make the procedure as financially convenient and affordable as possible.
Doctors at the practice say cataract surgery is considered a medically necessary procedure by most insurance plans, such as Medicare and other insurance carriers. They explain that the out-of-pocket cost of cataract surgery is different for everyone since the procedure can be customized to one’s individual needs and vision goals after surgery; however, general costs included in the total consist of factors such as:
- The patient’s insurance plan coverage – (amount of co-insurance, any deductible that remains, surgery co-pay, etc.)
- The technology used in the procedure (traditional cataract surgery or custom cataract surgery)
- The intraocular lens used to replace the eye’s natural lens once the cataracts are removed (standard IOL or premium IOL)
- Pre-operative and post-operative care
- Facility, equipment, and anesthesia fees
- Surgeon’s fees
- Prescriptions for post-operative eye drops
Patients wanting to simply have their cataracts removed and have no desire to reduce their need for readers, glasses or contacts after surgery will find traditional cataract surgery to be the most cost-effective option. Standard, or traditional, cataract surgery is covered by medical insurance and will improve the vision issues associated with cataracts, but any pre-existing presbyopia, astigmatism, nearsightedness or farsightedness will remain after surgery. The out-of-pocket cost to the patient for standard cataract surgery will mainly depend on the patient’s specific insurance plan.
Modern advances in cataract surgery technology now allow patients to go beyond simply having their cataracts removed; people can now choose to pay for upgraded packages that can reduce or eliminate their need for corrective eyewear after cataract surgery. Premium intraocular lens implants (IOLs), laser technology and surgical abberometry are available with custom cataract surgery options at The Eye Institute of Utah, and can help correct presbyopia (need for readers), astigmatism, and vision at all distances. Although most insurance companies will still cover the actual cataract removal component of the surgery, these custom packages are considered by insurance companies to be elective upgrades, and therefore are not covered by insurance, resulting in an increased out-of-pocket expense.
Although these options are not covered by insurance, the trade-off of experiencing more visual freedom and greater quality of life is often worth the added expense to many patients. The doctors say ophthalmology financing options available at The Eye Institute, such as CareCredit®, can be very helpful for qualified applicants looking to offset the price of both standard and custom cataract surgery with interest-free or low-interest monthly payment plans.
The doctors say the first step toward achieving successful cataract surgery is to have an experienced ophthalmologist perform a comprehensive eye evaluation. After a thorough examination, they note that a customized treatment plan can be created based on the patient’s candidacy options for surgery and an overall cost estimate will be provided. The surgeon will help counsel the patient on weighing the surgical options based on their budget and vision goals after surgery.
About The Eye Institute of Utah
The Eye Institute of Utah was established by Dr. W. Andrew Lyle in 1980 and has been known as the largest office-based eye surgery center in the state. The 30,000 square-foot facility encompasses a comprehensive eye and vision care practice that serves patients from across Utah and the Intermountain West, including Wyoming, Nevada, and Idaho. Doctors at The Eye Institute of Utah are recognized leaders in the fields of cataract surgery and laser vision correction, and the practice is often involved in clinical studies to investigate the safety and efficacy of new and advanced treatment techniques. In addition to cataract surgery, the practice offers LASIK and other refractive surgery procedures, as well as treatment for a range of common eye and vision conditions. The Eye Institute of Utah surgeons are available for interview upon request.
For more information about The Eye Institute of Utah, please visit theeyeinstitute.com and facebook.com/theeyeinstitute.
The Eye Institute of Utah
755 East 3900 South
Salt Lake City, UT 84107