David Imrie

Let’s face it: Insurance plans can be extremely confusing. It’s hard to balance getting a great deal with the right coverage options. How can you make sure you’re getting the coverage your employees need? The first step is to conduct thorough research and ask your provider questions.


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Maybe you’re a few years into your current plan and you’re still not 100-percent sure about everything your plan covers (and doesn’t cover). Don’t worry—you’re not alone. Most business owners don’t know all the ins and outs of their health coverage, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn. Now’s the best time to start.

With more and more Canadians flocking to laser eye surgery procedures, it’s important for you to know whether this expense is covered by your provider. Not sure? Keep reading. You’ll also discover why switching to a registered health spending account may be your best option if laser eye surgery is a priority when it comes to your coverage.

Laser Eye Surgery in Canada

Laser eye surgery is the solution for anyone looking to say goodbye to contacts and glasses and regain their vision unassisted. It’s an extremely popular surgery, with over 28.5 million procedures performed globally to date, and thousands of Canadians having the procedure every year.

There are four types of laser eye surgeries available in Canada:

  • Photo-Refractive Keratectomy (PRK)
  • Laser Assisted in situ Keratomileusis (LASIK)
  • Laser Epithelial Keratomileuses (LASEK)
  • Epi-LASIK

While this procedure is not covered by Canada’s universal healthcare system, the cost of laser eye surgery is less expensive in Canada than it is in many other countries. As such, many Americans come north of the border to have this surgery done. With costs as low as $490 per eye, it is an affordable surgery that makes the lives of those in need much easier.

While laser eye surgery is one of the less expensive surgeries, $980 in out-of-pocket expenses can be a significant setback. As such, it’s important to find health coverage that includes laser eye surgery.

Is it covered under your current plan?

Is Laser Eye Surgery Covered by My Traditional Healthcare Plan?

If you currently have traditional benefits at your company, then the answer is probably no. While traditional health benefits may offer eye testing and consultations, they generally don’t cover the cost of laser eye surgery. Since this is considered an elective procedure, you likely won’t find a traditional benefits plan that will offer this type of coverage—at least at 100% of the cost.

It’s also important to note that it’s not just the surgery that isn’t covered by traditional plans. Additional expenses for those undergoing this surgery are also not covered. This can include protective glasses. Most, if not all, expenses must come out of the recipient’s pocket.

How Can I Find an Option That Includes Laser Eye Surgery?

The best option for health benefits if you’re looking for laser eye surgery coverage is a registered health spending account. Registered health spending accounts provide your employees with the freedom and flexibility to choose where their health coverage money goes.

Instead of being dictated by a predetermined set of rules on how they can spend their money, as long as your employees are choosing from a list of prequalified expenses, there are no limitations. Using the list of CRA-approved medical expenses, your employees pick and choose how much money they spend on each expense.

As such, if your employees require laser eye surgery, they can afford it. Using their health spending account, they can put towards this expense as much or as little as they choose.

5 Questions New Employees Should Ask About Their Group Health Benefit Plan

David Imrie

Dr. David Imrie founded RHSA Canada in 2009. Dr. Imrie is a medical doctor and former health insurance professional who has a passion for helping small businesses reduce their healthcare costs. As an executive in the insurance industry, he was shocked to find that so many common healthcare services are covered only partially by most insured plans, when employees were entitled to 100% coverage for all prescription drugs, dental services, and other healthcare expenses. Since leaving the insurance industry in 2001, Dr. Imrie committed to using newer technology to develop a better alternative program for small business health benefits.
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