Patient researching for costs of cataract surgeries

Costs of Cataract Surgery

What role should the price play?

If you’re considering correcting your vision, please keep in mind that there is no standard price for cataract surgery. The prices may differ considerably depending on different factors. While you might find the prices daunting at first, remember this is most likely a one-time investment in your vision and more importantly, it is probably covered by your health insurance.

Does My Health Insurance Cover the Surgery?

Whether your health insurance covers the costs of your cataract surgery varies on the individual provider, country or regional system. Often, basic cataract surgery is considered necessary from a medical point of view and is therefore covered by healthcare plans. If you plan to have a presbyopia-correcting IOL on the other hand, you should discuss with your health insurance whether they pay for that “premium package” or not.

Speak with your doctor and health insurance company to weigh your options. Some doctors also offer a payment plan to make cataract surgery more affordable.

Consultation with ophthalmologist

Cost factors to Consider

The cost of cataract surgery depends on several factors: 

  • Treatment procedure 
  • The type of intraocular lens used
  • Location
  • Pre- and after care
  • Services included

A face-to-face consultation or personally calling the clinic is recommended, if you have questions regarding prices. If you meet with an ophthalmologist or clinic representative, you can also ask whether the price covers just one eye or both, which examinations are included, and which extra services are being offered.

Couple searching for the right clinic

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Clinic

Everyone ranks what they find important regarding cataract surgery differently. Some patients prefer clinics that are nearby, others prioritize an early surgery date. Many patients however, consider and search for the factors below when looking for a clinic:

  • Specialty: The focus of the clinic and the specific qualifications and trainings of the surgeon
  • Experience: The total number of operations performed
  • Availability: The option of meeting a potential doctor at your consultations, immediately before surgery and his or her flexibility (e.g. appointments in the evening if you are employed)
  • Offerings: Which types of intraocular lenses are offered and if you can find one which is right for you
  • Relationship: Whether you feel comfortable with the doctor and the answers you get to your questions
  • Price: Whether it includes pre- and post-treatment care and to what extent
  • Recommendations: Whether the clinic has good reviews and is recommended by eye doctors or patients
  • Location: The distance from the place you live may increase the general costs by additional travel and hotel expenses. Depending on the region or country you live, the health care insurance pays completely or a part of the treatment
Doctor talks to patient about lenses

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Type of Lens

One of the main differences in the outcome of the surgery is the type of lens that is implanted in place of your natural lens. There are different types of intraocular lenses available nowadays.

In addition to standard monofocal IOLs, usually covered by health insurance, there are more advanced IOLs available today, which offer additional focus points. They enable patients to see clearly at different distances. Bifocal, EDoF and trifocal IOLs belong to this category, which is usually not covered by the health insurance.

Advanced IOLs can also have additional functions, enabling them to better match the unique requirements of each patient, such as aspheric and toric IOLs. They are used to improve contrast vision and correct astigmatism.

In general, it can be said that the higher the degree of independence from glasses and the better the quality of vision provided by an intraocular lens, the higher the price of the implant. Please also bear in mind the costs of glasses or other visual aids you need to cover if you choose a lens that does not offer freedom from glasses.