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Flex Spending Accounts (FSAs): What to know
- Posted on: Dec 6 2021
As 2021 is quickly coming to an end, there are only a few weeks remaining to use your Flex Spending Account (FSA) dollars on eligible heath care products and services at Tower Clock Eye Center. We get a lot of questions about which eye care-related expenses can be used with a FSA. Below is some useful information about Flex Spending Accounts and how patients can use their accounts to see their absolute best in 2022.
Most employer’s FSAs have a “use it or lose it policy” that expires at the end of the calendar year; meaning if you don’t use these dollars by the end of December your balance will be $0 on January 1.
Here are 4 common questions with answers to help maximize your flex spending this year:
What is a Flex Spending Account?
Flex Spending Accounts (FSAs) were established by the federal government in the 1970s and allow people to save money tax-free on healthcare-related expenses. These accounts are usually set up by an employer and employees choose whether or not to participate. The funds the employee contributes can be used to pay for healthcare costs throughout a given year. These funds can pay for many out-of-pocket expenses, including (in the eye care realm) eye exams, deductibles, prescription eye and sunglasses, and even our Premium LASIK. The limit for 2020 contributions was $2750. Unfortunately these funds have an expiration date, usually December 31, so it is a “use it or lose it” predicament.
How do people benefit from a Flex Spending Account?
FSA contributions are tax-free: they are deducted before payroll taxes. This is advantageous because your taxable income for the year will be lowered. By electing to contribute the maximum amount, people will maximize their tax savings. In using FSA dollars, people are essentially reducing their tax burdens and increasing their pay while setting aside money to pay for health care costs.
What expenses can I pay for with FSA dollars and how do I get one?
Since you’re reading this on an eye care website, we’ll just cover eye-related expenses that can be used with FSA dollars. Patients can use FSA funds on many common expenditures including:
- Premium LASIK
- Prescription eyeglasses and sunglasses
- Contact lenses
- Eye exams
- Copays and deductibles
- Computer glasses
- Dry eye treatment
- Everyday purchases such as contact lens solution and cleaners
Generally FSAs are available through a patient’s employer. It is usually an optional benefit so you will need to enroll in the program through work. Patients should contact their HR department to confirm Flex Spending Accounts are offered. Employees of companies that offer a Flexible Spending Account to their employees are eligible for an FSA.
Who accepts FSA dollars as payment?
Tower Clock Eye Center does! As mentioned above you can use these funds for any number of goods or services. And if you have questions, we’re here to help! Stop in and check out optical department or call to schedule your appointment – but please know that we’re very busy as we progress into December so it’s best to act fast. Our phone number is 920 499-3102.