Author Topic: LASIK Eye Surgey - Pay Full Amount Now or Finance  (Read 6761 times)

MrsPotato

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LASIK Eye Surgey - Pay Full Amount Now or Finance
« on: January 12, 2015, 02:14:55 PM »
Hi,

I'm getting LASIK done in two weeks and I'm having a tough time deciding on how to pay for it. It costs $3,200 with a $150 discount due to my insurance company being affiliated with the LASIK place, so $3,050. My insurance also covers $1,000 which I will claim afterwards. So it will cost me $2,050. I have $5,000 in an emergency fund which I plan on using, but I'm concerned about wiping out half the fund over elective surgery. We have a 1996 Toyota that will need some work done this year plus I always worry that there might be an emergency back home and I'll have to make last minute (expensive!!) travel plans. So I would prefer not not to touch my emergency fund. The other option is to have it financed at 0% and make 12 payments over 12 months. If the balance isn't paid by then, then interest goes up to 19%. Also, with the financing option I lose the $150 discount, but I can still claim the $1,000 covered by my insurance plan. So the financing option will cost $2,200 or 183 per month.

Is it wise to forfeit the $150 discount and go with the financing option just so that I don't dip into my emergency fund? My hubby prefers we just pay outright so we can get travel points on his Visa card. (Note that financing can only be done by applying for a credit card with a bank that is affiliated with the LASIK place, so we can't put it on our own cards, and therefore miss out on the travel points).

Please let me know if there are any issues with my line of thinking and what you think would be the best option.

Cromacster

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Re: LASIK Eye Surgey - Pay Full Amount Now or Finance
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2015, 02:20:48 PM »
Personally I would pay for it outright.  In your situation, since you would be tapping your "emergency fund", I would wait until you have the money saved.  Unless for some reason not having Lasik is affecting your quality of life, there is no reason to go into debt for it.

GizmoTX

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Re: LASIK Eye Surgey - Pay Full Amount Now or Finance
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2015, 02:28:30 PM »
Pay it outright. Less cost & you get the points. You have your CC for a true emergency, which likely won't happen.

Siobhan

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Re: LASIK Eye Surgey - Pay Full Amount Now or Finance
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2015, 02:33:02 PM »
Not sure if you have something similar in BC but I was able to use my HSA to pay for mine.  I'd say pay it now and go hair on fire to boost the ER savings back up.  Congrats, I can tell you three years post surgery it was the BEST personal decision ever.

LadyStache

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Re: LASIK Eye Surgey - Pay Full Amount Now or Finance
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2015, 02:50:45 PM »
Put it on the credit card, then do a 0% APR balance transfer on the remaining amount after the insurance reimbursement. The balance transfer may cost 2-3% of the $2050, or $41-61.50, or you may be able to do this without the balance transfer fee depending on the credit card promotions you can find. The balance transfer fee is still less than the $150 discount you would have otherwise lost if you financed, plus you still get travel points on the card you used to make the purchase.

MrsPotato

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Re: LASIK Eye Surgey - Pay Full Amount Now or Finance
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2015, 03:10:12 PM »
Not sure if you have something similar in BC but I was able to use my HSA to pay for mine.  I'd say pay it now and go hair on fire to boost the ER savings back up.  Congrats, I can tell you three years post surgery it was the BEST personal decision ever.

I don't have access to an HSA at the moment, but apparently the surgery is tax deductible (either that or I can get tax credits for it). I'll have to look into it in more detail. And thank you, I'm even more motivated to finally get the surgery done! I'm glad that it worked out well for you.

MrsPotato

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Re: LASIK Eye Surgey - Pay Full Amount Now or Finance
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2015, 03:14:08 PM »
Thank you all for your feedback. My husband's always right... I'm sure he's going to say "I told you so" when I show him the responses to this postn. Well I guess that settles it then! I'll pay outright, get the travel points, and forfeit a month of investing to build up my emergency fund again. Seems so much simpler now that I've consulted with others. I was really getting my panties in a knot over touching my emergency fund. Turns out it's not that serious.

Thanks again!!

DeltaBond

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Re: LASIK Eye Surgey - Pay Full Amount Now or Finance
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2015, 07:54:40 AM »
Not to scare you away, but do your research on this surgery.  My brother in law got it 3 weeks ago, and his vision is not better, and they are telling him he will most likely need glasses again or another surgery.  Just sayin, if you can find somewhere on the net where you can talk with people who had it done recently, please do.

Siobhan

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Re: LASIK Eye Surgey - Pay Full Amount Now or Finance
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2015, 09:36:54 AM »
Not to scare you away, but do your research on this surgery.  My brother in law got it 3 weeks ago, and his vision is not better, and they are telling him he will most likely need glasses again or another surgery.  Just sayin, if you can find somewhere on the net where you can talk with people who had it done recently, please do.

Delta,  I had it done, and I LOVE it.  I had an acute astigmatism in one eye, that eye did require a second hit at the laser about 8 months later....it took 45 seconds and brought it down to 20/20, in line with the other eye

eil

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Re: LASIK Eye Surgey - Pay Full Amount Now or Finance
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2015, 10:12:43 AM »
Not to scare you away, but do your research on this surgery.  My brother in law got it 3 weeks ago, and his vision is not better, and they are telling him he will most likely need glasses again or another surgery.  Just sayin, if you can find somewhere on the net where you can talk with people who had it done recently, please do.

LASIK is something that seems to have very mixed reviews. A friend of mine got it and he says it was one of the best things he ever did.

Right now, the marketing for LASIK implies that it's a one-time procedure and that you'll never need glasses again. But it's only been "a thing" for a little over 10 years. When I researched it, I found lots of people saying they had it 5-10 years ago and now they need glasses again. Which makes sense because eyes always change shape slightly with age and there's no way they can compensate for that with a one-time procedure.

gatorNic

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Re: LASIK Eye Surgey - Pay Full Amount Now or Finance
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2015, 11:08:17 AM »
Quote
LASIK is something that seems to have very mixed reviews. A friend of mine got it and he says it was one of the best things he ever did.
 

Best thing I ever did, can't tell you how great it is waking up in the morning and being able to see and not having to deal with contacts!

Don't go cheap though, its your eyes!  Get a respected doctor, with a lot of surgeries and the newest tech.  I wouldn't risk my eyes on a Lasik "factory".

Quote
Right now, the marketing for LASIK implies that it's a one-time procedure and that you'll never need glasses again. But it's only been "a thing" for a little over 10 years. When I researched it, I found lots of people saying they had it 5-10 years ago and now they need glasses again. Which makes sense because eyes always change shape slightly with age and there's no way they can compensate for that with a one-time procedure.
 

My doctor was pretty straight forward with this and said I could still need glasses in the future.  But he said it tends to be of the kind where you need reading glasses due to old age, not that I would go back to being nearsighted.  He said if your eyes are destined to change when you are older there is nothing you can do about it.   

Also recommended only doing if your prescription has been stable for several years.   Otherwise you are probably just throwing money away.  I could get a lifetime guarantee for another 1K, but one there can be more complications for doing it several times and two I looked at it as an investment. I was relatively young (27) with a stable prescription and figure if I could get 10-15 years out of it I would be happy.  By the time that passes there would probably be better technology anyway.  So far so good, its been 8 years hopefully get another 8 years out of it or more!  Although my dad did need reading glasses so, I wouldn't be surprise if I do in 10 years.

TerriM

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Re: LASIK Eye Surgey - Pay Full Amount Now or Finance
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2015, 11:12:58 AM »
Not sure if you have something similar in BC but I was able to use my HSA to pay for mine.  I'd say pay it now and go hair on fire to boost the ER savings back up.  Congrats, I can tell you three years post surgery it was the BEST personal decision ever.

I don't have access to an HSA at the moment, but apparently the surgery is tax deductible (either that or I can get tax credits for it). I'll have to look into it in more detail. And thank you, I'm even more motivated to finally get the surgery done! I'm glad that it worked out well for you.

Be careful.  I believe that it's only tax deductible if it exceeds a certain percentage of your income.  I suspect you'd be better off going the HSA route, just make sure that you can pay for it after it's done out of the HSA (i.e., check the rules just in case).

MrsPotato

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Re: LASIK Eye Surgey - Pay Full Amount Now or Finance
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2015, 11:32:59 AM »
@Cathy: you are right. I don't have access to an HSA as my employer doesn't offer it.

@gatorNic: I definitely won't go cheap, the option I'm going for is the all laser one. I'm going to be 25 soon and my prescription isn't that bad (1.75) but it's enough to stop me from driving without glasses on, seeing billboards or seeing the leaves on trees. So I definitely view it as an investment into improving my quality of life. I'm glad it worked out well for you! I can't wait to have 20/20 vision or better :-)

@Delta @Eil: My doctor explained to me all the risks involved and that there is a chance that I may have to do it again to have 20/20 vision. The cost of any additional surgeries is covered in the initial cost, and includes lifelong post-op eye care. I have also read many reviews from people who have had it, so I'm aware of their outcomes. I also researched peer reviewed studies of LASIK and vision/eye health/quality of life outcomes. The doctor also told me that I have nice thick corneas so my risk for complications is much lower. So at this point I'm quite confident about getting it and aware of/prepared for any potential complications.

Thank you for all your input. I really appreciate those of you that are giving positive reviews about the surgery.

MrsPotato

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Re: LASIK Eye Surgey - Pay Full Amount Now or Finance
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2015, 11:42:49 AM »
Not sure if you have something similar in BC but I was able to use my HSA to pay for mine.  I'd say pay it now and go hair on fire to boost the ER savings back up.  Congrats, I can tell you three years post surgery it was the BEST personal decision ever.

I don't have access to an HSA at the moment, but apparently the surgery is tax deductible (either that or I can get tax credits for it). I'll have to look into it in more detail. And thank you, I'm even more motivated to finally get the surgery done! I'm glad that it worked out well for you.

Laser eye surgery is indeed an "eligible medical expense". Eligible medical expenses give you a federal nonrefundable tax credit, but the amount of the expenses is reduced by 3% of your net income or by $2,171, whichever is less.

You can only claim the amount you actually paid (i.e. $2,050). So if your net income exceeds ~$68k, you can't claim anything.

Let's suppose your net income is $50k. Then you can claim a nonrefundable credit of $550. The value of a nonrefundable federal tax credit is 15% of the credit amount. So that saves you $82.50 on your federal taxes. Your province likely allows you to claim a similar nonrefundable credit with a value of around 5-15% of the credit face value. So in the best case, you could save up to $165. That's better than nothing, but you probably shouldn't decide whether to have the surgery based on the tax credits.

Cathy, thanks for this breakdown. I really appreciate it! My income does not exceed $68k so I'm sure I can claim it. However, my income combined with my husband's does exceed $68k so I don't know if that will affect it. This year will be my first time filing taxes as a married person so I need to brush up on my tax policy knowledge and see how that affects things. But since the surgery will be done in the 2015 tax year, I still have time to figure it all out.

MrsPotato

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Re: LASIK Eye Surgey - Pay Full Amount Now or Finance
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2015, 01:29:56 PM »
Canada doesn't have a concept of filing as a married person. You'll still file separate returns and only your own net income matters. The much-publicised "income splitting" measure is actually just a tax credit that rewards you for having a higher income partner; it doesn't affect the overall nature of the tax regime. Also, there's no significance to being married for tax purposes in Canada. If you meet the CRA's definition of a "common-law relationship" (which might be completely different from your province's law on the topic), that is good enough for all tax purposes.

Thanks for this! I learn something new each day. I'm so lost when it comes to taxes. Where I'm from, no one files taxes and no one cares, lol! I'll do more reading on income splitting and taxes in general though :-)

MrsPotato

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Re: LASIK Eye Surgey - Pay Full Amount Now or Finance
« Reply #15 on: January 14, 2015, 01:55:04 PM »
Canada doesn't have a concept of filing as a married person. You'll still file separate returns and only your own net income matters. The much-publicised "income splitting" measure is actually just a tax credit that rewards you for having a higher income partner; it doesn't affect the overall nature of the tax regime. Also, there's no significance to being married for tax purposes in Canada. If you meet the CRA's definition of a "common-law relationship" (which might be completely different from your province's law on the topic), that is good enough for all tax purposes.

Thanks for this! I learn something new each day. I'm so lost when it comes to taxes. Where I'm from, no one files taxes and no one cares, lol! I'll do more reading on income splitting and taxes in general though :-)

Too bad you don't live in the USA. If you provide "specific information" to the IRS about somebody who is evading taxes and the IRS recovers the tax, you are entitled to at least 15% of the tax collected up to a possible maximum of 30% (if you were particularly helpful to the IRS). See 26 USC 7623. This could actually be an extremely lucrative side gig if you know a lot of people evading taxes.

Haha! That would be an awesome side gig for sure! And yes, unfortunately for you, I don't live in the US and I don't owe any taxes in my home country since I never made a dime there :-)