Does Health Insurance Cover LASIK Eye Surgery?

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The gift of vision is one of the most significant senses that we humans possess. And yet most of us suffer from bad vision. Just try and remember, how many people did you see using glasses or lenses just today? A lot, right. People with severe vision impairment opt for LASIK surgery to get the defect corrected and prevent it from further deterioration. LASIK surgery has become quite common these days and the presumptions surrounding it have started to precede slowly. However common the process though, LASIK surgery is expensive and can burn a hole in your pocket. But what about the health insurance policies in the UAE? Does health insurance cover LASIK eye surgery? When would you need LASIK surgery in your life? Should anyone with bad vision simply get LASIK surgery? Let’s try to find answers to these LASIK related questions.

What is LASIK Surgery?

LASIK stands for Laser In-Situ Keratomileusis. It is a laser-based refractive surgery that is used to correct severe cases of near or far-sightedness. It is also a treatment option for people suffering from astigmatism. In LASIK surgery, a laser is used to reshape the cornea in the eye. This allows the light to enter the eye, reflect to be ideally focused on the retina of the eye, and hence allows a clearer vision. LASIK can be used to achieve perfect vision after suffering from near or far-sightedness, even in cases where the problem has existed for a long. The results can be seen almost immediately after the surgery. A week or two of rest recoup leads to even better results. LASIK is considered an elective surgery instead of a medically necessary one. Even though the use of lasers sounds like a scary thing to go through, LASIK is as safe as any other surgical process related to eyes or other body parts.

Does Health Insurance Cover LASIK Eye Surgery?

Insurance providers in the UAE do offer a few health insurance plans that cover LASIK eye surgery for the policyholders. You probably will not find this benefit included in the basic health insurance plans in Dubai. Basic health insurance in Dubai only covers benefits and expenses like prescription glasses and lenses. Most health insurances in Dubai only cover a part of the expenses though. There could be a few selected options that cover the complete cost of the plan while the others would cover the expenses up to the decided sub-limit. You can easily choose a plan that fits your needs the best by comparing the benefits offered by different health insurance plans in Dubai.

What Are Some Insurance Companies in the UAE that Cover LASIK?

Insurance providers like Daman, Aetna, ADNIC, and SAICO are some of the many insurance companies that offer complete or partial cover for LASIK eye surgery. Thiqa, Aounak and Premier Plus health insurance plans offered by Daman Insurance cover LASIK in its entirety. Thiqa plan requires you to have a pre-authorization while the Premier Plus health insurance plan comes with a sub-limit on the coverage amount. Bottom line is that you can easily receive coverage from your health insurance in Dubai for LASIK eye surgery, whatever kind it may be.

What are the Common Inclusions of LASIK Cover?

Health insurance in Dubai that cover LASIK eye surgery can be redeemed in the following situations, depending on the coverage of the plan:

  • LASIK is required because of extreme refractive error in the lens of the eye.
  • The surgery is required due to refractive errors caused by prior surgery.
  • To correct refractive errors caused by accidents and injuries to the eye.

Some insurance plans may also cover LASIK eye surgery in the following cases:

  • The surgery is required to correct refractive errors because the patient is unable to wear glasses.
  • The surgery is required because the patient is not able to wear contacts due to an injury or discomfort.

The last two options may be covered but it is best to check with your provider beforehand. Get information about the cases that are excluded when it comes to LASIK eye surgery cover by health insurance in Dubai.

What are Some Common Exclusions of the Cover?

  • Services taken from clinics that do not have the authorization to conduct such procedures.
  • Services taken without proper diagnosis and paperwork.
  • Services taken from medical facilities that do not follow standard practices.
  • When claimed with a basic plan that does not cover LASIK or when claims go beyond the set sub-limit.

How Much Does LASIK Eye Surgery Cost?

Going with a per eye cost breakdown, LASIK surgery can cost you anywhere between AED 4000 and AED 8000 in Dubai for each eye. The price can change as per the clinic that you choose or the treating doctor. The severity of your refractive errors can also make a difference here. Health insurance in Dubai that offer cover for LASIK generally offers sub-limits that are enough to cover the complete cost of these surgeries, if there are no clauses about partial coverage.

When Should You Consider Getting LASIK Eye Surgery?

Just like any other surgery LASIK is not something you should think of as a routine procedure. There is no age bar whatsoever or health limitations on getting LASIK surgery for your eyes. But the final decision about getting LASIK must depend on the severity of your refractive error, the tolerance you have for it and the after-effects of the surgery. Your health insurance in Dubai may not cover LASIK surgery expenses if it turns out to be a completely elective decision, not prescribed by doctors. If you want health insurance in Dubai to bear the expenses of the surgery, you will need solid evidence that LASIK is necessary for you for several reasons.

Moreover, even though it is possible to achieve perfect vision after LASIK, results may not always be what you expect them to be. Sometimes the surgeon is not able to remove the required piece of tissue which results in unsolved vision problems. Other times there are complications like monovision, overcorrection, flap problems, double vision, glare, and halo formation. Make sure that you have taken all this into account before you set out to get LASIK eye surgery.

Is Retreatment Required After LASIK? Is it covered by Health Insurance?

Some faulty LASIK surgeries may require retreatment surgery. An example can be overcorrection or under-correction in primary surgery. Such incidences can require additional correction surgery. However, whether your retreatment LASIK surgery would be covered by health insurance. It is best if you confirm this with your insurance provider about your retreatment surgery.

Things to Keep in Mind

There are a few things you should keep in mind when it comes to undergoing LASIK eye surgery. Given below are some of the pointers that may help you when you are planning to make LASIK eye surgery:

  • Choosing A Doctor: When planning to go through LASIK eye surgery, you must choose a doctor that is not only one of the best in the industry but also a part of your health insurance network. Some health insurances in Dubai require you to pick doctors from their pre-specified list. If that’s the case with your plan as well, make sure you pick one from the offered list only. Else the surgery will not be covered by the provider.
  • Choosing the Clinic: The same is the deal with clinics and hospitals. Many providers and plans cover both network and out-of-network hospitals. However, it is best to choose a clinic or hospital that is covered by your health insurance in Dubai. The claim process is easier and takes lesser time. If you are planning to choose a clinic outside of the network due to convenience issues, make sure that the services they offer are up to the mark and the clinic has a proper practice license. If any of these basic things are missing, your plan will not cover the surgery cost for you.
  • The Right Time: If you do not face any excessively huge problem in wearing glasses and contacts or only experience mild to moderate visibility issues, you may want to pause with the surgery. Since LASIK is elective in nature, many providers do not offer cover for it. But the ones which do cover the surgery may require you to have significantly bad vision. So, make sure that you confirm these conditions with the provider.
  • Consider the Risks: Just like every other kind of surgery, LASIK eye surgery may come with its own risks. Talk to your doctor about the potential risks to the surgery and make sure that you are well-prepared, both mentally and physically. See if there is anything you as the patient can do to minimize these risks.
  • Consider Retreatment Charges: It is not a given that you would definitely need a retreatment surgery after the initial one. But it is best to consider this option as well. There can be a case where a small correction surgery may be required. So make sure that you have considered the option.

The Final Word

LASIK eye surgery is something that you may need at a point in life. While it does offer perfect vision, it may not be the ultimate solution. Many people still end up needing to wear glasses in old age. However, LASIK can solve a lot of problems for people with severe vision problems and spare them the need to wear heavy glasses or lenses at all times. Just make sure that you are well aware of the conditions laid out by your health insurance in Dubai about this surgery and the cover. Choose a good clinic and doctor for the procedure and take every kind of pre-authorization that you need to. Performing all the necessary pre-surgery essentials on time will ensure that you have a successful surgery with part or full costs covered.

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