Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Eyes on the money

I’ve been utilizing my newly acquired health insurance (regular physical- check!) and yesterday I went to the eye doctor. Needless to say, I haven’t gotten new contacts or glasses in over 4 years so I was certainly due. After my time with the doctor it was time to sit down with the stern lady in black who explains to you your bill.

Here was mine:
$10 co-pay
$65 not coverage by insurance for tests
$160 not coverage by insurance for 6 months of contacts
Total: $235

Thank goodness they take CC, because I only keep $200 in my checking account!

While we have the money to pay this, I was wondering at what point it would be more beneficial to have Lasik. While I would want to accomplish my other financial goals first, I have to wonder if the surgery was successful, how long would it take to pay it off in contacts?

Figuring that Lasik is about $3000, and my contacts cost me $320 a year, it would take a little over 9 years for the costs to even out. While the convenience is worth well beyond that (I’m almost blind- I can’t see faces at about three feet) it still doesn’t make it fiscally possible.

How about you? Anyone else had or is considering this surgery?

4 comments:

stackingpennies said...

My doctor recommended waiting until I was done having kids (um, haven't even started yet) as your eye change in pregnancy.

Otherwise, I would be considering it a lot more seriously

lulugal11 said...

I had LASIK and it was well worth it for me. I just turned 29 yesterday and I don't have any children yet but I decided to go ahead and do it because my eyes were terrible.

I wrote a series of posts about my surgery and you can check them out on my blog to see how my experiences went.

Everyone is different and I am just glad that mine went well. There are a lot of potential side effects so be very careful when making your decision.

Not everyone is a good candidate for the surgery so you might still get turned down but at least do the consultation to see if it is possible.

So Cal Savvy said...

Wow- I’ve never heard that pregnancy could change your sight. I mean your waistline, yes, but eyes? I guess I’ve got a lot more research to do….

DRiPpy Chick said...

Be sure to do the research before you commit to any sort of laser eye surgery. There are several different methods, some safer than others. You will also want to check out the background of the facilities doing the procedure... standards vary greatly from state to state and province to province. If your prescription is really severe, you may not be a good candidate for any sort of vision correction surgery.

The net is full of horror stories. Do temper what you read of them with the knowledge that the surgery and post-op techniques have improved greatly over the past 10-15 years.

That being said, I chose to have the PRK method of laser surgery last year. I am very happy with the results. My prescription wasn't super strong (-3.0 and -3.5?), but I had a pretty strong astigmatism which would have forced me into glasses even if I wasn't near-sighted. I wore glasses for 30 years, but it took 10 years to psyche up to having the surgery done and 30 seconds per eye to actually go through the procedure. My recovery time was about 4 days of severe light sensitivity, but little real pain. I was back driving within a week, but wasn't really comfortable doing so for about a month.

My correction settled into something actually better than 20/20 and my astigmatism is gone.

I was warned that I may need reading glasses when I get to my late 40s or 50s. One of the options I was given was to have one eye corrected for distance and the other for reading. I chose to correct only for distance and to deal with reading glasses if/when the time comes.

In short, laser surgery isn't for everyone and isn't a decision to be taken lightly. But everyone I've talked to who has had it done has been very happy with the end result.