When it comes to insurance, taxes and many money matters, all the acronyms can quickly get confusing. So you’re not alone if you’ve been wondering about the differences between a Health Savings Account (HSA) versus a Flexible Spending Account (FSA). Which one is best for you? And does either cover LASIK? Here’s a more in-depth look at the Flexible Spending Account, LASIK and your options.
1. What is FSA? How is it different from HSA?
An HSA is available to individuals who have a low-premium, high-deductible health insurance plan. An FSA, conversely, is available to those with high-premium, low-deductible health insurance plans. Both plans may be offered by an employer, and allow employees to set aside pre-tax dollars for health-related costs.
As of 2019, an individual may contribute up to $2,700 to an FSA. These funds can be used at any point throughout the year, somewhat like a line of credit, when needed. If any funds in the FSA are not used at the end of the year, the owner of the FSA may either roll over $500 to the next year’s FSA or use the remainder of the funds within two and a half months. After either of those actions are taken, any remaining funds are lost and go back to the employer (if the employer has been matching your contributions).
Be sure to check these details with your particular employer and FSA, because different plans may have different stipulations.
2. Does FSA cover LASIK?
We have good news for you: LASIK laser eye surgery is eligible to be paid by funds from an FSA! This is a smart approach to paying for the procedure, as you can save a good deal of money by using pre-tax dollars.
A recent average in the U.S. for LASIK costs is around $2,300 per eye. So if you contribute the maximum amount ($2,700) to your FSA in one year, you can potentially have more than half of your procedure costs saved. Or if you’re able to roll over $500 from a previous year, and then contribute the maximum amount in that next year, you could have $3,200 saved up to use for the surgery - which is a significant chunk of your likely total costs. When it comes to your FSA, LASIK is a great use for your funds.
3. How can I use my FSA to pay for LASIK?
Contact the eye surgery center where you plan to have your laser eye surgery and ask them to look into the details of your FSA. We regularly help advise patients on how to use their FSA dollars to their advantage, and guide them through some of the tricky language that’s often found in FSA documents.
4. Can I use my FSA to pay for other types of vision care?
Yes! Your FSA money can also be used to cover other eye care needs, like contact lenses, glasses, prescription sunglasses and more. Again, ask your eye care center to guide you on the specifics of using these funds, and when the best time would be to do so.
Nothing should stand in the way of you getting LASIK if you’re ready for it. Your FSA may be an excellent option to help you pay for the procedure. Any more questions? Call us; we’re happy to help!