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Can I Really Get LASIK for $495 per Eye?

If you are interested in laser vision correction, you’ve probably seen or heard an ad for what seems like an unbelievably low price for LASIK.  These ads are nearly everywhere and can be heard on the radio, websites, or appear as a pop-up ad to get your interest.  The ads will describe LASIK available for prices as low as $495 per eye or even LASIK from $250/eye.  As a premium laser vision correction provider, we are often asked about these ads for low priced surgeries at King LASIK. Patients will visit our center in response to these ads, believing that the ad for discounted LASIK was placed by us. For the record, we would never place ads for discounted LASIK, and we do not offer LASIK from $495/eye or $250/eye.  Other patients are curious about why there is such a large disparity between the advertised price and the customary price for modern laser vision correction.

Can you really get laser vision correction for $495/eye or even $250/eye?  Do you really have to waste an afternoon travelling to a LASIK clinic just to learn the real price for your procedure?  Let us save you some time and share the truth about laser vision correction pricing and the facts about what may be too good to be true pricing for laser vision correction.

Where Can I Get LASIK for $250 per Eye?

First, no LASIK clinic will offer $495 or even $250 per eye for laser vision correction to everyone who is interested in LASIK.  There will be a lot of fine print associated with these advertisements.  If you want to know what the fine print is, take a few minutes and read on. It could save you a lot of wasted time and frustration in traffic trying to chase down what seems like an impossibly low price. If you read this article, you may not need to take time off work and drive in for a three hour LASIK consultation only to finally learn that you’re suitable for laser vision correction- but the low advertised price of $250/eye or $495/eye won’t apply to you.

Here are the facts. LASIK prices can vary depending on surgeon experience, regional differences and practice overhead.  According to Marketscope, an ophthalmology industry authority on vision correction pricing, the national average in the United States for laser vision correction in 2019 was approximately $2200 per eye, up slightly from 2018.  Several factors will determine cost – including surgeon experience, whether the procedure is performed with a keratome versus all-Laser LASIK, whether pre and post op care is included, and whether retreatments are included. Due to regional differences in the Pacific Northwest, the price for laser vision correction tends to be among the most affordable in the country.

Surgeon experience is always a factor in pricing for elective medical procedures.  A highly experienced surgeon is generally in higher demand by patients.  All things being equal, as is expected in any field- whether sports, law, aerospace, technology, or medicine- you can expect that an expert will be less common and in greater demand.  It is not uncommon for a newer vision practice entering a market or for a newer surgeon gaining experience to offer a lower price to bring more patients in the door. The more procedures they can perform, the greater the experience that surgeon will have. Some surgeons who are early in their career or new to performing LASIK will work at corporate LASIK clinics to gain this needed experience.  It is well recognized that the completion of tens of thousands of procedures is needed to maximize surgical expertise.

Technology will also factor into LASIK pricing.  When a surgeon performs laser vision correction, the use of a femtosecond laser (like the iFS Intralase) to create the LASIK flap will have advantages because a laser made flap is a thinner, more precisely created flap.  All-laser LASIK tends to be more expensive than traditional keratome LASIK.  Ads for low price LASIK are nearly always for keratome LASIK, not the more modern all-Laser LASIK.  All-Laser LASIK is always more costly to perform due to the need to use disposable instruments when creating a laser flap. 

Can I Really Get $250 or $495 per Eye LASIK?

Most people have some degree of skepticism when they hear about a deal that seems too good to be true, and for good reason. Bait and switch advertising is an age old sales technique.  Here’s the truth:  the very low advertised price for LASIK is offered only to patients with eyeglass prescriptions that are so small that those who qualify are probably not even wearing eyeglasses or contact lenses full time, if at all.  These patients wouldn’t have interest or even bother getting laser vision correction in the first place.  The super low price is usually offered to patients with less than one diopter of correction of nearsightedness- and with zero astigmatism. But nearly every prescription has some astigmatism, although if the amount of astigmatism is small, this might be disregarded for contact lens prescriptions.  Even if your prescription has as little as 0.25 to 0.75 diopters of astigmatism, and your contact lens doesn’t have any astigmatism correction, you will want this corrected if you are having LASIK.   Patients who qualify for super low priced LASIK are very likely legal to drive without eyeglasses.  If your prescription is anything other than a very tiny correction, you’re going to be paying full price.  Fine print restrictions on the low price advertised price of $495/eye or $250/eye will exclude nearly everyone who has a need to wear glasses full-time for driving or other everyday activities.

For the sake of discussion, let’s just assume you were a very rare person who did qualify for $250/eye or $495/eye LASIK.  If your prescription is so small that you qualified for the advertised, discounted super low price, this unicorn pricing will not be available if you want all-Laser LASIK.  The low price certainly is not going to cover the cost of any touch up in the future if needed.  Alternatively, you may find that your post op visits may be an additional cost. So most people wouldn’t even want the low price even if they qualified for it.   In other words, it is extremely unlikely that you would ever pay $250 or even $495 for modern laser vision correction.  In this pricing scenario, typically well over 99% of patients will pay a normal price.  That’s a fact.

Why Do Clinics Advertise $250 or $495 per Eye?

You are likely to pay the normal price for LASIK regardless of where you go.

So why do some clinics advertise $250 or $495 per eye?  The answer is simple.  It gets people in the door and it makes the phones ring.

This sales technique is confusing and has been around for a long time and it is used in many different industries.  The misleading technique of advertising a restricted lower price that is very limited in number or availability has been referred to as bait and switch or loss leading advertising.  No laser vision correction provider can offer this price for everyone and remain in business for long. More than 20 years ago, when the national average price of LASIK was more expensive than today, some corporate laser vision correction providers offered LASIK for $499/eye to $699/eye.  Those clinics went bankrupt long ago.

Today, the sales technique of offering low price LASIK and this seeming bargain low price for LASIK is used to attract patients to come for a preoperative exam where they learn the real price of their laser vision correction procedure.  Typically, patients who respond to these low price ads will remain interested in the LASIK procedure even after they learn the real price of their procedure.  These patients want LASIK and having just invested hours of time driving to a pre op exam in response to a low price ad, they don’t want to waste another afternoon for another consultation at another clinic.  This is the objective of the low price ad.  On the other hand, some patients who respond to a $250 or $495/eye ad for LASIK will be annoyed when they learn they don’t qualify for the really low price, but the loss of any annoyed prospective patients is outweighed by the larger number of people who are willing to simply pay the higher real price for their procedure.

How Much Does LASIK Cost at King LASIK?

To be clear, King LASIK doesn’t offer $250 per eye LASIK.   And we don’t offer $495/eye LASIK either.  The reality is, you won’t ever find these prices offered at any LASIK clinic anywhere for all prescriptions.  And you won’t see all-laser LASIK performed at that price.   With the information you have just gained, we hope we have helped you save your valuable time now that you know the truth behind $250/eye and $495/eye advertisements for laser vision correction.

At King LASIK, we will be honest and upfront about your pricing for this amazing life changing procedure.  And King LASIK will provide the best price for laser vision correction in the Northwest.

If you are seeking to have your LASIK procedure performed by a surgeon who has performed more than 130,000 procedures and you’re seeking the best price for laser vision correction, you don’t need to waste your time visiting different clinics, chasing down the best price in response to misleading ads. King LASIK offers a best price guarantee which means at King LASIK when you have your procedure, we will match any price of any other laser vision correction provider in the Pacific Northwest for all-Laser LASIK.   If another laser vision correction provider can offer you all-laser LASIK at a better price, we will match it. Guaranteed.  Now you don’t need to choose between experience and price.