The cost of laser eye surgery

We’ll explain what laser eye surgery is, how it works and what you could expect to pay.

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A guide to laser eye surgery costs

Updated 19 March, 2024
Written by Joshua Malin
Reviewed by Steven Spicer

What is laser eye surgery?

Laser eye surgery is a medical procedure where an ophthalmologist (a specialist eye surgeon) uses a computer-controlled excimer laser to reshape the surface of your eye. It’s used to correct or improve eyesight issues like:

  • Short-sightedness (myopia), where the eye doesn’t focus light correctly, making distant objects look blurred.1
  • Long-sightedness (hyperopia), where you can see objects in the distance better than closeup objects.2
  • Astigmatism, a refractive error where the front surface of your eye is more oblong than round, resulting in blurred vision.3

According to healthdirect, the Australian Government’s health resource, laser eye surgery can also treat health-related conditions, like eye diseases and some cases of age-related macular degeneration (the macular is part of the retina at the back of your eye).4 Depending on your treatment, the surgery may take around 10-20 minutes per eye.

Before you can receive laser eye surgery, you will need to book an appointment to assess your suitability for the procedure. To be eligible, you typically need to:

  • Be over 18
  • Have a normal cornea (e.g. not thin or abnormally-shaped cornea)
  • Not suffer from very dry eyes
  • Not have any condition that affects healing
  • Have a stable eyeglass prescription, not one that changes often
  • Not have an autoimmune disease
  • Avoid activities that pose a risk to your eyes (e.g. contact sports for some laser eye surgeries)4

Expert tips for laser eye surgery costs

Our health expert, Steven Spicer, has some tips on how to get laser eye surgery without breaking the bank.

Steven Spicer
Executive General Manager – Health, Life & Energy

Keep an eye out for out-of-pocket costs

The benefits of laser eye surgery do come at a cost. Since Medicare doesn’t typically contribute towards this type of treatment, you will be required to pay the full cost unless you hold an eligible extras policy. Even then, you are likely to have out-of-pocket expenses so ensure you are fully aware of the associated costs prior to treatment.

Consider cover through extras

There are health funds that will pay a benefit towards laser eye surgery on some of their extras policies. Keep in mind that these benefits are usually on the higher levels of health cover, involve waiting periods and don’t always cover the full cost of the procedure.

Do your research

Do your research on the specialist, their clinic and which type of surgery will best suit your needs before locking it in. If you are planning to take out an eligible extras policy to help with the cost, it is a good idea to do so early as laser eye surgery can carry a significant waiting period.

Types of laser eye surgery

LASIK eye surgery

PRK eye surgery

ReLEx eye surgery

ICL eye surgery

Laser eye surgery costs

How much does laser eye surgery cost in Australia?

Other costs

Does private health insurance cover laser eye surgery?

Is laser eye surgery covered by Medicare?

More information

Is laser eye surgery worth it in the long term?

Where do you go for laser eye surgery?

Questions to ask before laser eye surgery

Meet our health insurance expert, Steven Spicer

Steven Spicer
Executive General Manager – Health, Life & Energy

As the Executive General Manager of Health, Life and Energy, Steven Spicer is a strong believer in the benefits of private cover and knows just how valuable the peace of mind that comes with cover can be. He is passionate about demystifying the health insurance industry and advocates for the benefits of comparison when it comes to saving money on your premiums.

1 healthdirect. ‘Short-sightedness (myopia)’. Last reviewed September 2021. Accessed March 2023.

2 healthdirect. ‘Long-sightedness (hyperopia). Last reviewed September 2021. Accessed March 2023.

3 healthdirect. ‘Astigmatism’. Last reviewed August 2021. Accessed March 2023.

4 healthdirect. ‘Laser eye surgery’. Last reviewed July 2022. Accessed March 2023.

5 Eye Treatment Options. Accessed March 2023.

Average cost of laser eye surgery was taken from a random selection of nine laser eye surgery clinics across Australia. March 2023.