Do You Know Your FSA Balance?
It’s that time of year. Have you checked the balance in your Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA’s)? This pretax medical deduction can help you to spend less on your health care while experiencing the maximum tax benefit. There is a catch – you must use monies within the current calendar year to reap the rewards. By spending all of the money in your account before the year-end deadline, you ensure you are getting the most benefit from your hard-earned dollars.
FSA’s allow you to set money aside pre-tax from each paycheck to contribute to your yearly medical expenses. The entirety of that account is available for you to use at any time for medical care, including dental and vision. However, as these accounts are annual, which means that you must use these funds prior to the start of the next calendar year.
What does this mean?
Because your FSA account funds typically do not roll over for the next calendar year, unlike health savings accounts or HSA’s, now is a good time to check that balance. If you still have a balance left in your account, consider scheduling an eye exam before you lose those funds.
What is eligible for FSA funds?
FSA funds can be applied to eye exams and some procedures, but they can also be eligible for use for:
- Prescription eyeglasses
- Prescription sunglasses
- Reading glasses
- Contact lenses and contact lens care
While FSA funds can generally be applied to all these different forms of eye care, some exceptions do exist. For example, while all corrective contact lenses are eligible, the eligibility of lens cases, solutions, and contact lens-specific eye drops depend on the product itself. Some brands may also have different eligibilities, which you should discuss with your prescriber and provider prior to purchase.
Other than reading glasses, FSA’s do not cover non-prescription eyewear, or non-prescription color contact lenses. However, FSA does cover eye exam co-pays and often partially covers some eye procedures such as LASIK, which is deemed medically necessary. This can be especially helpful for those at higher risk for eye conditions, such as those with diabetes.
If you are unable to purchase necessary eye care supplies such as contact lenses in person, it is also good to know that FSA can also be used online, by entering in the card numbers as you would with any spending card. If you do not currently have a spending card associated with your FSA, you may also be able to send a copy of your eye care receipt to your provider for FSA reimbursement. To get the most out of your FSA funds, check your balance today and discuss any needed exams or eyewear with Bissell Eye Care!
About Bissell Eye Care: John D. Bissell, OD owns and operates Bissell Eye Care servicing Northern Pittsburgh and Alle-Kiski Valley regions. With two locations to treat patients, we offer evening and Saturday appointments. Bissell Eye Care provides comprehensive eye examinations for the entire family beginning as early as 6 months, ocular disease detection and treatment, eyeglasses, sunglasses, activewear, contact lenses, and low vision examinations for those with significant vision loss. We accept most types of vision and health insurance plans. For more information, visit bisselleyecare.com or call our Bakerstown Office at 724-443-6767 or Natrona Heights office at 724-226-0444.