Flex Spending Dollars

Flex Spending and Health Savings Accounts

One of the best ways to pay for a portion of your LASIK vision correction procedure or EYECARE costs, prescription eyewear or contact lenses is by setting the money aside in your Flex Spending Account (FSA) or Health Savings Account (HSA) beforehand, to take advantage of a tax savings. These accounts are an excellent way to pay for qualified healthcare expenses using pre-tax money. These accounts are set up through employers and funded through payroll deductions.

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Most plans contribute substantially or cover in full a pair of eyewear/contact lenses. Here at Angelo Eye Center, we accept nearly all vision insurance plans, and will make sure you don’t lose any of your benefits.

What’s the Difference?

Flex Spending Accounts (FSA)– Money set aside in your FSA is available in full at the first of the year, while the deductions from payroll are taken as the year progresses. One potential downside to FSAs is the “use it or lose it” provision. You generally must use the entire amount set aside in a 12 or 15-month period, or the funds will be forfeited. While there was previously no limit on the amount allowed to be set aside, most employers capped the amount at $5,000 per year. The major new change to the FSA is a limit of $2,500 that commenced with plan years January 1, 2013 and later. Employers may still choose to establish a lower cap so it is important to review your company’s plan.

Health Savings Accounts (HSA)– Money set aside in your HSA is available as the deductions from payroll are applied throughout the year. In 2013, families can choose to contribute up to $6,450, while individuals can contribute up to $3,250 per year. One of the upsides to Health Savings Accounts is the funds do not expire at the end of the year. Unused funds can continue to roll over to the next year.

Plus, you can save even more with a family Health Savings Account or by carrying funds over to the next year!

For questions about Flex Spending and Health Savings accounts, be sure to review your company’s plan.