Laser eye surgery health insurance

Medicare won’t cover you for laser eye surgery, but some extras insurance policies will give you a benefit from around $14 a week.

We’re reader-supported and may be paid when you visit links to partner sites. We don’t compare all products in the market, but we’re working on it!

What you need to know

  • Laser eye surgery insurance is available with some extras or combined hospital and extras policies.
  • A comprehensive extras insurance policy can knock around $1200 off your bill.
  • Medicare does not cover laser eye surgery as it is not considered medically necessary.

Get health insurance for laser eye surgery

Only a handful of health insurers cover you for laser eye surgery. We've listed the ones available on Finder below.

FundLaser Eye SurgeryLimitMonthly PriceApply
ahm logo

AHM Lifestyle Extras

Yes
$600 per eye$53.90Get quote
ahm logo

AHM Super Extras

Yes
$900 per eye$87.10Get quote

Peoplecare logo

Peoplecare High Extras

Yes
$500 per eye$91.30Get quote
Medibank logo

Medibank Gold Ultra Health

Yes $3,500 $399.55Get quote

*Quotes are based on single individual with less than $90,000 income and living in Sydney.

How does health insurance cover laser eye surgery?

Optical extras

Extras

Only a handful of extras insurance policies cover laser eye surgery. There's no requirement for funds to offer cover – which means it's usually only available with very comprehensive policies. In some cases, like Medibank, you'll need to take out a combined hospital and extras policy to be covered.

Hospital

Hospital

Hospital insurance doesn't usually cover laser eye surgery because it's generally not considered 'medically necessary'. However, all bronze policies cover other eye-related treatments including tear duct conditions, eye infections, retinal detachment and trauma to the eye. You'll need a gold policy if you want health insurance for cataract surgery.

What's the difference between laser eye surgery and other eye surgery?

  • Laser eye surgery. These are all different ways of reshaping the lens to correct vision and remove the need to wear glasses. These procedures vary in cost and aren't always covered by either hospital or extras cover.
  • Other eye surgery. This encompasses a wide variety of medically necessary surgical procedures such as glaucoma. It's covered by hospital insurance. Some insurers pay for any major eye procedure recommended by an ophthalmologist, others will only cover specific treatments or parts of the eye.

Eye surgery in the public and private systems

Medicare, Australia's public health system, only covers essential procedures like cataract removal surgery. It does not cover optionals like corrective laser eye surgery.
What does Medicare cover you for?What isn't covered?
  • Costs of treatment as a public patient in a public hospital
  • Partial costs of being treated as a private patient in a public hospital
  • Essential eye procedures required for the patient to maintain their sight
  • Corrective surgery
  • Unessential elective or optional procedures done for cosmetic purposes
  • Procedures carried out to prevent a patient from needing to wear glasses or contact lenses
Private health insurance can cover essential major eye surgery procedures through hospital cover and in some cases, corrective laser eye surgery, through extras cover.
Health insurance policy typeWhat can it cover?
  • Hospital Cover
  • Treatments undertaken as a private patient in a private hospital.
  • Treatments undertaken at private ophthalmology (eye-related) surgery centres.
  • Costs associated with eye surgery such as anaesthesia and operating theatre fees.
  • Extras Cover
  • Corrective laser eye surgery.
  • Additional treatments such as eye therapy.
  • Subsidies for glasses and contact lenses.

How much does laser eye surgery cost without insurance?

Without health insurance, you'll need to pay the full cost of laser eye surgery yourself. The final bill will depend on the type of surgery you have, and will vary based on which provider you ultimately choose. Here is a summary of some of the price ranges of common surgery types.

ProcedureTypical price (per eye)Details
LASIK$1,500 - $3,400In LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis), a surgeon uses lasers to create a flap in the cornea and reshape the underlying tissue before replacing the flap.
PRK$1,500-$3,400For PRK (photorefractive keratectomy), a surgeon uses a topical solution to remove the top layer of corneal cells, and a laser to reshape the exposed corneal tissue below.
SMILE$3,300 - $3,700In SMILE (small incision lenticular extraction), a surgeon make a small incision in the cornea with a laser and then removes a small disc of underlying corneal tissue.
LASEK$2,400 - $3,400LASEK (laser-assisted sub-epithelial keratomileusis) has a laser create an ultra-thin layer of the barrier that protects the cornea, which is moved to the side so the surgeon can reshape the corneal tissue below. The barrier is then re-positioned back on the cornea.
ICL$4,700 - $6,200An ICL (implantable contact lenses) is a custom lens, similar to a contact lens, that is created by a surgeon and implanted directly into the eye.

What should I look for when comparing laser eye insurance policies?

When comparing health insurance policies for laser eye surgery, keep the following in mind:

  • Waiting periods. This is the minimum amount of time you must wait between taking out a policy and claiming benefits with it. For laser eye surgery, this is often 24 months, while in-hospital major eye surgery is typically two months.
  • Excess. This is a fee you must pay when claiming benefits. Not all health insurance policies include excesses, but some do. You may be able to opt for a higher excess and lower premiums, or a lower excess and higher premiums. It's good to make sure that your excess is not so high as to prevent you from making any claims.
  • Limits. All private health funds have annual limits, which are the maximum amount you can claim in benefits per year. Limit for laser eye surgery range from around $500 to $3500.

More guides on Finder

Save on your health insurance

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy and Privacy & Cookies Policy.

2 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    AndrewJuly 12, 2019

    I’m wondering if any private health funds would have any hospital or extras policies that cover any cost for a 37 year old single man in Tasmania to get Implantable Contact Lenses to correct longsightedness (very high script of +5.25 and +6.25) and stigmatism in one eye. According to Medibank (example), a item number from a medical practitioner/related business is needed to determine if an insurer’s policies has the right type of cover for such surgery.

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      FayeJuly 13, 2019Staff

      Hi Andrew,

      Thanks for contacting Finder.

      Most private health funds offer combined hospital and extras policies as well as hospital-only and extras-only policies. They can cover all major eye surgeries to a certain extent even corrective laser surgery. The level of cover you have depends on the comprehensiveness of your health insurance.

      You may refer to our list of private health insurance companies. On that page, please complete the table to search for the right policy for you.

      Before applying, please ensure that you read through the relevant Product Disclosure Statements/Terms and Conditions when comparing your options before making a decision on whether it is right for you. You can also contact the provider if you have specific questions.

      Kind Regards,

      Faye

Go to site