Can I Use My FSA/HSA For Vision?
One option for covering health care costs is using a Health Savings Account or Flexible Spending Account. FSAs and HSAa are special accounts that you can choose to put money into specifically to pay for out-of-pocket health care costs.
These special spending accounts are unique in that the money you put into them isn’t taxed, so you save a little bit each time you put money into the plan and use it. There are limits on how much can be deposited into the plan yearly, but using an FSA can go a long way to helping ensure health care.
A lot of people may not be aware that vision and eye care costs typically qualify as eligible expenses.
Difference Between HSA and FSA
HSA and FSA accounts are very similar in how they work but do have a few key differences.
- To qualify for an HSA, you must first have a high-deductible health insurance plan, whether purchased individually or offered through your employer. But an HSA can be set up by individuals directly with a bank or credit union.
- HSAs often let you roll over all or some portion of the unspent amount of the funds you deposit over the course of the year. This way, you can build up a rainy day fund specifically for health emergencies.
- With FSAs in comparison, more often than not, if you don’t spend the money in them by the end of the year, you lose it.
- FSAs must be set up by your employer, with deductions taken directly from payroll before you get your paycheck.
The option to set up an HSA or FSA won’t be available to everyone. But for those with the opportunity, they can be a great way to help get the most out of your existing health insurance or plan and pay for covered medical care at a reduced cost.
What Types of Care Do These Accounts Cover?
HSA and FSA accounts cover many of the same things as traditional vision insurance plans. For many people, these styles of accounts will cover most, if not all, eye care medical costs they may run into during a typical year. Here are the types of expenses typically considered eligible:
- Prescription Corrective Lenses: If you require corrective lenses to improve your vision, they are most likely HSA or FSA-eligible.
- Frames: Of course, you'll need frames to hold your lenses in place, and these are likely to be covered by your HSA or FSA. You can choose your stylish frames from the extensive selection at Asheville Vision and Wellness.
- Prescription Sunglasses: Sunglasses are a luxury unless you need them to see more clearly. They are most likely HSA or FSA-eligible if you require prescription UV protection.
- Eye Exams: An yearly eye checkups are recommended for everyone over the age of six, which your HSA or FSA may cover in part or in full. Make an appointment for an eye exam at a convenient time to check for any changes in your vision that may require the usage of corrective lenses. Exams for your entire family are likely eligible under the same account.
- Contact Lenses: If you require contacts for vision correction (rather than just changing your eye color), you may be eligible for an HSA or FSA.
- Reading Glasses: As we become older, most individuals will experience more difficulty in their near vision and need glasses and or contact lenses to aid in reading more clearly. If you need reading glasses, you may be able to purchase them with your HSA or FSA, even if they are not required for everyday usage. But just like corrective lenses and sunglasses, you will need a prescription to be covered by an FSA or HSA.
- Other Eye Health Needs: If you require drugs or have other eye health expenses, you should check whether they are HSA or FSA-eligible. Certain medications can fall under these accounts' general medication allowances.
Just like traditional vision insurance, HSA and FSA accounts are generally limited when it comes to covering more expensive medical costs. Many chronic conditions begin to put our eyesight at ever greater risk as we age. Issues like cataracts, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy require costly and ongoing treatment.
Since eye-related complications are common in chronic and acute medical diagnoses, these expenses are often covered by general health insurance instead of vision plans, FSAs, or HSAa. LASIK surgery usually isn’t HSA or FSA eligible, but if your doctor considers the surgery to be medically necessary, you should check with the account holder. Some plans make allowances to use funds in those cases.
Asheville Vision and Wellness
For Buncombe and surrounding counties in North Carolina, Asheville Vision and Wellness has the expertise, respect, and technology you can trust with your vision. If you have any concerns or questions regarding insurance, coverage options, or eye care costs, our knowledgeable staff can help answer your questions.
Since 1989, our staff has served the area using the latest science and medical treatments to keep your vision healthy. Our optometrists are certified in diagnosing, treating, and managing ocular disease with examinations customized just for your unique eye-care needs. We accept a wide variety of insurance plans and payment options.
If you have concerns about your eyesight or are overdue for an annual checkup, schedule an appointment online or call us at (828) 747-9260.