Use it or lose it… Don’t let your FSA funds go down the drain!
Everything you need to know about using FSA for LASIK surgery.
People who have elected to have LASIK rather than wearing glasses or contacts will tell you that it was one of the best investments that they ever made – their only regret is that they didn’t do it sooner! They are thrilled at being able to see the alarm clock, not stumbling out of bed in the morning, or having to blindly reach for glasses on the nightstand. Imagine being able to see clearly without glasses or contact lenses in an emergency or to drive, watch movies, play sports, and swim.
LASIK eye surgery can dramatically change the life of anyone who has ever dealt with frustrating, impractical, or uncomfortable corrective lenses. Because of this, it is easy to see why about half a million Americans make the personal investment for this popular eye procedure year after year. However, while LASIK has become more widely available since it was first introduced 20 years ago, there are still many people across the country who believe they cannot afford this life-changing vision procedure.
Luckily, there are benefits and programs available that have made the option of LASIK surgery easier and more readily available than ever before. The Flexible Spending Account (FSA) is one of the most underutilized benefits offered in the United States and can help to save upwards of $2,500 on LASIK surgery procedures.
What is a Flexible Spending Account?
A Flexible Spending Account (FSA) is an employer-provided program that helps individuals use pre-tax dollars from their paycheck to fund qualified medical procedures. Each year, employees are able to deduct a percentage of their paycheck that they chose to set aside for eligible medical expenses. Nearly 85% of large companies, and many smaller ones as well, offer these medical and health care spending accounts.
FSAs also allow employees to set aside their own pre-tax money to cover co-pays, deductibles, and other medical expenses that are not normally covered by medical insurance. However, the one downfall to this helpful program is that it follows the “use it or lose it” provision. Any money set aside that is not used by the end of the year is lost for good, not rolled over to the next year. Therefore, it is important to properly plan how much money you want to set aside, and when and how to utilize it.
Can FSAs Be Used For LASIK Surgery?
Under IRS guidelines, vision correction procedures (including LASIK eye surgery) are an eligible FSA expense. This tax-free Flexible Spending money can be used for eligible medical expenses such as LASIK, thereby reducing your out-of-pocket costs by thousands of dollars.
This is the time of year that many people choose to enroll in FSA programs, however, it is important to understand that these enrollment periods are brief. Therefore, be sure that you contact your employer as soon as possible to learn if your company offers this beneficial flex spending program.
Once you learn if you are eligible, it is important to find out whether or not you are a good candidate for LASIK surgery before you set aside funds for your FSA.
Mark Mandel, M.D., the most experienced refractive corneal and LASIK specialist in Northern California, provides complimentary consultations to all patients. Schedule an appointment with us today to learn more about the costs and benefits of this helpful laser eye procedure. Before you know it, you could be enjoying the clear, sharp vision that many LASIK patients experience every day.