Did you know that for the tax year 2022, 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 all qualify as eligible expenses.
With 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! If you haven’t used your 2021 FSA funds, there’s good news for you.
Legislation has been passed allowing you to use those funds until the end of 2022. You can even combine your 2021 and 2022 funds for your surgery if you need to. Read on to find out more about FSAs and HSAs, and just how you can use them for your refractive surgery.
Why Are HSAs and FSAs Popular Options for Financing LASIK in 2022?
HSAs and FSAs are a great way to use tax-free money to pay for refractive eye surgery. Depending on how much money you set aside, these funds could cover the procedure in full.
With a FSA, you can also use it for a cash advance. That’s because you’ll be able to use the entire amount you set aside for the year right away. 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 health insurance that provides a tax-advantage “piggy bank” into which you can place pre-tax dollars through payroll deductions. You can then utilize 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 2021, the contribution amounts increased slightly. The amounts you can set aside for an HSA is $3,600 for an individual or $7,200 for a family.
Unlike an FSA (which we’ll get to later) there’s no requirement to “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, you can use HSA for LASIK or other refractive procedures. HSA laser eye surgery is more affordable, especially if you get an additional discount 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 HSA to Pay for LASIK Surgery
With your HSA, as mentioned above, there isn’t a time limit to utilize the funds. You can fund your HSA every year up to the contribution limit ($3650 for an individual and $7300 for a family). You can use it as you go, or you can save up until you have enough money to cover your LASIK procedure.
If your employer offers an FSA account (which we’ll go into in detail below), you typically can’t have one in addition to your HSA, but there are exceptions to this. Check with your employer for details on this.
What Is a Flexible Spending Account (FSA)?
An FSA account is similar to a HSA, with some 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 $2,850 for 2022.
- One of the great things about a FSA is that you can access the full annual amount of your contributions, even if you haven’t made all of your pre-tax contributions yet!
- However, there is a “use it or lose it” provision where you must use the full contribution amount by the end of the year, or else you’ll forfeit those funds. That being said, there may be a grace period for some plans, check with your employer for details.
Does FSA Cover Laser Vision Correction?
The IRS imposes limitations on what medical expenses can be paid for using FSA. So can you use FSA for LASIK? Yes! The IRS is allowing the use of FSA for LASIK surgery. Using FSA for LASIK is as easy as using the debit card that you’re been given to access your funds.
How to Use FSA to Pay for LASIK Surgery?
You can use your FSA dollars to help pay for LASIK surgery if you’re a candidate for LASIK or other laser vision correction procedures, but there’s 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 costs of LASIK. Be sure to get confirmation that your plan does in fact have a grace period, or you risk losing your last year’s contributions. Check with your employer for details on their policy.
The bottom line is that refractive surgery is an eligible expense for both HSA and FSA accounts, but the rules could change at any time. So, while you can, take advantage of the fact that you can use your FSA or HSA for LASIK, or other vision correction procedures.
We encourage all patients to check with their employer for guidelines relating to their specific plan.
Have you been considering refractive surgery? Dr. Kraff is Chicago’s leading LASIK and PRK surgeon. Why wait? Call us to schedule your consultation today.