Cataract surgery costs and how to pay for them
Cataract surgery works. It restores clear vision to eyes that have clouded over time. And today, it’s become a fairly common surgery with quick recovery for many patients. Every year about three million people in the United States have cataract surgery. And every year, each of them have to figure out how to pay their out-of-pocket share of cataract surgery costs.
Cataract surgery is often covered by insurance, but the definition of what “covered” means is an evolving one, with patients — even those with good insurance coverage — needing to pick up more of the costs of a medical procedure than they had in previous years.
Here’s a look at the costs you could expect for cataract surgery.
How much will you pay for a cataract surgery, even if you have insurance?
The average cost for cataract surgery, per eye, is $3,452. Many people will need both eyes done, usually in two separate procedures to minimize the risk of unexpected complications during and after surgery. So we’re looking at $6,904.
Using guidance on typical coverage levels from healthcare.gov, let’s assume your annual deductible is $1,300, your co-insurance is 20% and your maximum annual out-of-pocket cost is $4,400 a year.
While $2,421 is certainly less than $6,904, coming up with the money to pay that bill could be difficult for a lot of people. And, remember, that’s just an example. It’s not uncommon for annual maximum out-of-pocket costs to be even higher.
How to pay for your cataract surgery
There are three steps to getting your cataract surgery costs organized:
- Determine exactly what your out-of-pocket cost will be. Your insurance provider or your employer’s Human Resources department can help plan out what the final cost will be. Don’t wait for the bills to arrive: Know in advance what your share of the cost will be.
- Identify how you will pay that bill. Do you have enough cash on hand? Can a family member help out with a loan? Should you max out your credit cards? Or might a personal loan make sense for you? If so, see below how LendingPoint could be the right answer for your needs.
- Move as quickly as you can to get your payment plan in place. Recent changes in rules that affect how your credit score is computed provide some short-term relief from negative effects caused by medical debt collection. Still, this additional debt will undoubtedly put pressures on your ability to meet other financial obligations. The last thing you want to do is start missing payments and do damage to your credit rating.
Why are out-of-pocket costs rising overall?
In 2017, more people have health insurance than did in previous years. But the costs for that coverage continue to rise. The cost of healthcare for a typical American family of four covered by an average employer-sponsored preferred provider organization (PPO) plan is now $26,944 according to figures released in the 2017 Milliman Medical Index.
In addition to premiums, many plans also have deductibles — an amount you will pay first before much of the insurance benefit kicks in — and maximum out-of-pocket expenses — a higher amount that is the most you will pay for healthcare in any given year. In recent years, while premium cost increases have slowed, deductibles and maximum out-of-pocket costs have risen steadily, according to The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF).
KFF says the cost of healthcare is causing difficulty with the personal finances of people across the United States, even those who have health insurance. “Overall, about a quarter (26 percent) of U.S. adults ages 18-64 say they or someone in their household had problems paying or an inability to pay medical bills in the past 12 months. People from all walks of life can and do experience difficulty paying medical bills.”
66% of those bills come from a one-time medical event, according to KFF. To pay for those bills, 77% of insured households with high medical bills postpone vacations or major purchases, 63% use all or part of their savings and 31% tap their retirement accounts.
LendingPoint is a personal loan provider specializing in NearPrime consumers. Typically, NearPrime consumers are people with credit scores in the 600s. If this is you, we’d love to talk to you about how we might be able to help you meet your financial goals. We offer loans from $2,000 to $25,000, all with fixed payments and simple interest.