Elon discusses the future pricing of a Neuralink implant- high cost at the beginning, decline rapidly, an d then likely settle around a few thousand dollars (similar to the cost of LASIK).
Since Elon references the cost of LASIK eye surgery, I decided to LOOK into some pricing stats. For those who don’t know, LASIK is a surgery often performed with a robot and laser.
There’s lots of variation, but when I take an average of the prices I’ve seen, LASIK hovers around a cost of $2,000 — $3,000 for both eyes. I couldn’t find a good breakdown of the costs for LASIK, so here’s a breakdown of a very similar procedure called PRK. It’s a slightly more expensive procedure, but it’s cool to see how some of the specific costs would get broken up. My guess is similar percentages of the overall cost would be the same for LASIK:
The cost of a surgeon’s labor hovers around a quarter of the cost. Then the remainder gets split between the equipment and the follow-up appointments after the procedure.
25%: surgeon’s labor + materials
35%: laser + other tech equipment
40%: pre-operation and follow-up
Keep in mind, LASIK is considered an elective surgery and not an essential procedure. Because of that, it’s rare that insurance would cover the entire cost. I know this is only stuff the US audience would know about, but LASIK is also eligible for reimbursement with Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), and Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRAs). Okay, we all know most of us Americans don’t know about at least one of those accounts existing. Regardless, the cost ends up being about $2,000 — $3,000 for most people.
I will circle back to these numbers later in the episode. The numbers help because if we…