Medically necessary basic cataract surgery is covered by the major insurance companies. If you prefer laser cataract surgery, then your insurance company generally pays its standard cataract surgery amount, but you would pay an additional amount “out of pocket” to cover the increased costs associated with the cataract surgery laser.
The cataract femtosecond lasers are the pinnacles of scientific technology. The laser manufacturers not only sell the machines to the physicians at a high cost, but also then charge the physicians each time they use them. (This would be like you buying an expensive car and then paying the dealer an additional amount each time you drove it. Interesting? But that is how it is.) Both of these costs are reflected in the amount your eye surgeon charges for the laser cataract removal procedure.
Basic cataract surgery is one of the modern miracles of medicine and has restored the vision of millions worldwide. If you cannot afford the cataract surgery laser then you should feel very good about the option for standard cataract surgery, especially if you choose a surgeon that has done thousands. I prefer the laser for many reasons, but feel very comfortable taking great care of patients without it if the laser isn’t the best choice for them.
In addition, eye surgeons are only allowed to offer Medicare patients the femtosecond cataract surgery option if they have some amount of astigmatism or have chosen an advanced technology intraocular lens.
It is recommended that you consult with a surgeon with considerable experience with both basic and laser cataract surgery. This would allow a fully informed recommendation on the procedure that is ideal for you. Once your eye surgeon understands your individual visual goals and life style, he/she will be able to help you decide if laser cataract surgery is a fair value for you. Please schedule a time to meet with me or send me a note if you have further questions.