Use Your Flex Spending Dollars on Eye Care Before the Year Ends!
Do you have a flexible spending account? As the year slowly ends and the holidays approach, you might not be thinking about if you’ve used up your FSA.
It’s a busy time of year, meaning you may not be thinking about your flexible spending account. But you should. Keep reading to find out why you should use your flexible spending dollars on eye care before the year ends!
What is a Flexible Spending Account?
A flexible spending account, or FSA, is a tax-advantaged financial account that your employer typically provides as part of your health care benefits package. With an FSA, you annually choose an amount you would like to contribute.
You usually select this amount at the beginning of the year, up to a maximum of $2,850. Your employer then deducts the amount you have allocated, pre-tax, from your wages over the year.
You can use your FSA funds throughout the year to pay for health care costs or other medical expenses not covered by your health insurance. The obvious advantage of an FSA is the tax savings you can enjoy by having one.
However, the potential drawback is that you must use the funds you allot to your FSA within the calendar year or forfeit them to your employer. This is commonly referred to as the “use it or lose it” rule.
What About a Health Savings Account?
Another healthcare savings option is a health savings account or HSA. HSAs are an option for individuals with a high deductible health care plan.
You can use funds deposited into an HSA account for many of the same healthcare expenses as an FSA. The significant difference between the two types of accounts is that funds in an HSA account do not expire. They will also roll over into the following year if not used.
Using Your FSA for Eye Care
You can use your FSA fund for various healthcare-related expenses, including co-pays or deductibles for medical visits, prescription medications, eye care, dental care, and healthcare supplies. People with FSAs are often surprised at all the healthcare expenses covered!
There are many eye care expenses that your FSA covers. If you have funds left in your account, using those dollars to ensure the health of your vision is an intelligent investment. Here are some of the ways you can use your FSA dollars to pay for eye care:
Considered an elective procedure, LASIK is not usually covered by health insurance. However, if you have an FSA, you can use part or all of it to pay for your LASIK procedure.
Taking advantage of the pre-tax savings offered by an FSA is a smart investment and using those funds to pay for LASIK surgery is another. Correcting your vision with LASIK means you can save money by no longer needing to pay for things like glasses or contact lenses.
Reducing these out-of-pocket expenses can make a significant impact on your budget. When added up, these expenses often far exceed the cost of LASIK.
What’s more, most LASIK patients pay off the procedure in as little as two years. After this point, you’ll own your vision.
Do you have cataracts? You may find out you need cataract surgery to see clearly again.
You may not know that you can not only use your FSA account to pay for any part of the surgery not covered by insurance, but you can also use it to pay for a vision-correcting premium intraocular lens or IOL. Premium IOLs implanted during cataract surgery resolve the vision problems caused by cataracts and result in restored near, middle, and distance vision or corrected astigmatism.
While not every premium IOL is suitable for every patient, a wide range of options can reduce or eliminate your need for vision-correcting glasses or contact lenses. Insurance does not cover premium IOLs, meaning using your FSA to pay for them will reduce your out-of-pocket expenses during cataract surgery.
For many cataract patients, this is well worth it when it means they get to improve their vision!
Have you considered updating your look with a new set of frames? Do you need a pair of backup glasses after losing your primary pair?
You can use your FSA dollars to help pay for or offset the cost of new frames and lenses. You can even use them to buy sunglasses.
Depending on your prescription and the customization options available, lenses can often cost as much as designer frames. Using your FSA funds can lessen your out-of-pocket costs for lenses with several vision zones, special coatings, or scratch-resistant surfaces.
Like prescription glasses, vision-correcting contact lenses are another way to use up your FSA account funds before year’s end. You can stock up on lenses, buy backup pairs, or even try those daily contacts.
The supplies you need to clean, disinfect, and store your contact lenses, like contact lens solution, are also covered.
If you’re due for an annual eye exam or overdue for one, now is a great time to come in and check your eyes. You can use your FSA dollars to pay for eye exam costs or co-pays not covered by your insurance.
An annual or bi-annual eye exam ensures your eyes are healthy and that your vision is clear. Exams are a covered FSA expense that makes good use of any remaining funds in your FSA account before you lose them at the end of the year.
If you have FSA dollars to spend before the end of the year, there are many eye health options from which to choose. At Rocky Mountain Eye Center, we offer many of the eye care services covered by your FSA: from LASIK and cataract surgery to comprehensive eye exams to quality eyeglasses and contact lenses.
Don’t lose your FSA dollars! Schedule an appointment at Rocky Mountain Eye Center in Pueblo, CO, now!