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Did you know that for the tax year 2023, you can use your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or your Health Savings Account (HSA) for laser vision correction? LASIK, PRK, ICL, and refractive lens exchange qualify as eligible expenses. It's time to get the eyesight you deserve!
By utilizing these tax-free accounts, you can pay for your refractive surgery with pre-tax dollars, resulting in savings of up to 20%-30% if you’re eligible. That’s huge! Read on to find out more about FSAs and HSAs and how you can make use of them for your refractive surgery.
Why Are HSAs and FSAs Popular Options for Financing LASIK in 2023?
HSAs and FSAs are a great way to use pre-taxed dollars to pay for refractive eye surgery. Depending on how much money you set aside, these funds could cover the procedure in full.
An FSA, also known as a Flexible Spending Arrangement, can be used for a cash advance and to save pre-tax dollars, which enables you to immediately use the entire amount you set aside for the year. For example, if you commit to $2,600 for the entire year, you’ll be able to use that amount starting in January. Even though your FSA payroll deduction may only be $100 per pay period, you’ll still be able to use the entire $2,600 upfront, before you’ve even contributed it to the account.
What Is a Health Savings Account (HSA)?
An HSA is a component of your health insurance that provides a tax-free “piggy bank” into which you can place pre-tax dollars through payroll deductions. You can then use those tax-free funds to pay for out-of-pocket healthcare expenses. The caveat is that you must be enrolled in a high-deductible health care policy in order for you to be able to be eligible for an HSA.
For 2023, the contribution amounts increased slightly. The amounts you can set aside for health savings accounts are $3,850 for an individual or $7,750 for a family.
Unlike an FSA (which we’ll get to later), there is no threat of “use it or lose it,” so you can accumulate funds into your HSA until you’re ready to use them. And, if you’re 55 or older, you can contribute an additional $1,000 towards your HSA.
Can You Use HSA for Laser Vision Correction?
Does HSA cover LASIK? Yes, LASIK using a HSA can even be more affordable if you get any additional discounts through your insurance company. So, if you’re still wondering, can I use my HSA for LASIK surgery? Now you know, the answer is YES!
How to Use an HSA to Pay for LASIK Surgery
With your HSA, as mentioned above, there is no time limit to utilize the funds. You can fund your HSA every year up to the contribution limit ($3850 for an individual and $7750 for a family). You can use your saved dollars as you go, or you can continue saving until you have enough money to cover your LASIK procedure.
If your employer offers an FSA account (which we’ll detail below), you typically can’t have one in addition to your HSA, but there are exceptions to this. You can always check with your employer for more specific details.
What Is a Flexible Spending Account (FSA)?
An FSA account is similar to a HSA, with a few key differences. A FSA also allows you to set aside pre-tax income to pay for certain out-of-pocket medical expenses. Each year you can set the level you’d like to contribute, and your payroll deductions are spread out accordingly over the course of the year.
- A key difference from a HSA is that the FSA contribution limit is $3,050 for 2023.
- One of the great things about flexible spending accounts is that you can access the total annual amount of your contributions even if you haven’t made all of your pre-tax contributions.
- Keep in mind, that there's a “use it or lose it” provision where you must use the full contribution amount by the end of the year, or else you forfeit those funds. That being said, there may be a grace period for some plans, so be sure to check with your employer for details.
Does FSA Cover Laser Vision Correction?
The IRS limits what medical expenses can be paid for using FSA. So can you use FSA for LASIK? Yes! The IRS allows the use of FSA for LASIK surgery. Using FSA for LASIK is as simple as using the debit card that you’ve been given to access your funds.
How to Use FSA to Pay for LASIK Surgery?
If you're a candidate for LASIK or another laser eye surgery, you can use your FSA dollars to help pay for your surgical procedure. However, there could be a catch: the entire cost of the procedure may not be covered by your FSA funds, especially if you’re opting for the most advanced technology.
However, if your company’s FSA plan has a grace period, you can combine the remaining FSA funds from the previous year with your FSA funds from the current year. So if you wanted to, you could leave all of your previous year’s FSA money in your account until the grace period, and then combine it with the full amount for the next year. Essentially, doubling up on your yearly FSA distributions can help to offset the full cost of LASIK. Be sure to get confirmation that your plan does, in fact, have a grace period, or you could risk losing your previous year’s contributions. Your employer will have specific details available for you to consider.
The bottom line is that refractive surgery is an eligible medical expense for both FSA and HSA accounts, but the rules could change at any given time. So, while you can, take advantage of the fact that you can use your FSA or HSA for LASIK eye surgery, or other laser vision correction procedures.
We encourage all patients to check with their employer for guidelines relating to their specific plan.