Using HSA/FSA (Health Savings Account / Flexible Savings Account) To Get New Prescription Eyewear and Prescription Sunglasses

Did you know that two-thirds of Americans have a health savings account (HSA)? That accounts for approximately 22 million Americans. A flexible savings account (FSA) is another option provided to Americans for saving up for health expenses. 

How can an HSA FSA plan help you with prescription eyewear? Many people don’t know what they can use their health savings plans for and how contributing to them can help with many costly medical expenses. 

If you have an interest in learning more about HSA or FSA plans and how they can help you with prescription glasses, then keep reading on. 

HSA Account

What are FSA and HSA and how do they differ? An HSA is essentially a savings account. 

It is untaxed money that can grow in an account set aside for health care expenses. Usually, these funds cannot qualify for healthcare premiums. 

You can only contribute to an HSA if you have opted for a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP). These plans are typically offered through employer-sponsored health plans and oftentimes, the company will contribute a certain amount each year. 

The funds in your HSA account also don’t have an expiration date. This means that they are rolled over each year. As long as you are a part of an HDHP, then you can contribute. 

For 2021, the maximum contribution for self coverage was $3,600 and family coverage was $7,200. The self-coverage will remain the same for 2022, but the family coverage contribution will increase to $7,300. 

FSA Account

FSA plans act similarly to HSA plans. You will have options for enrollment in an FSA through your employer-sponsored health plan. 

An employer can also make contributions to this account, but it is not a requirement. Be sure and ask about the amount your company contributes to your plan before deciding. 

However, you can still contribute to this account tax-free. They also cannot be used for health insurance premiums each month. 

FSA plans have a limit of $2,750 each year. It can cover deductibles, copayments, medications, and durable medical equipment. 

HSA vs FSA Account

One of the biggest differences between these two accounts is that FSA plans typically don’t have roll-overs each year. That means the money you have in it has to be used by the end of the year. 

There are a few exceptions to this rule, but it is completely dependent on what the employer allows. For instance, there may be a small grace period to use the money by or a percentage of the money can be carried over into the following year. 

Additionally, FSA plans are not used with marketplace plans. If you pick this option, then you will likely only have an option for opening an HSA.

If you leave your job, your HSA account will remain and you can use the funds for appropriate medical costs. However, if you leave your job and have an FSA, the employer technically owns those funds and you risk losing your money. 

HSA plans are more friendly towards retirement plans. You can withdraw the money after age 65 without penalty for nonmedical expenses, but you will owe taxes. If you withdraw before 65, you will owe taxes and incur a 20% fee. 

If you are wanting a longer-term investment, then HSA plans are more beneficial. However, both savings accounts come in handy when figuring out medical expenses. 

What Qualifies as Medical Expenses?

Does prescription eyewear qualify as a medical expense? In short – yes. The three main categories that HSA or FSA plans cover are medical, dental, and vision costs. 

Some other things that these health savings plans can cover are:

  • Medications
  • Co-payments
  • Medical products
  • Taxes on medical products

Contact lenses and prescription eyewear fall under vision coverage. What if you want prescription sunglasses?

Yes – you can use your FSA or HSA account for prescription sunglasses. Keep in mind, that prescription eyewear qualifies as a medical expense but regular sunglasses do not. 

Check with your retailer before purchasing. Some may require direct payment with your FSA or HSA card. Otherwise, you can apply for reimbursement after you purchased your eyewear.

In most cases, FSA requires you to go through your account for reimbursement. Make sure you save all your receipts and prescriptions.

Blue light lenses are a bit of a grey area. 

If they are used in conjunction with a prescription, then you are good to go. However, glasses that only have blue-light blockers may not always qualify as a medical expense. In this situation, check with your provider first before using your health savings plan. 

Eye and Vision Exams

Your HSA and FSA plans allow you to use your money for eye or vision exams Many times, this benefit comes in handy for people who opt only for medical insurance and do not select vision insurance. 

Additionally, some clinics provide same-day fitting for eyeglasses. You can use your savings account to cover both of the costs without worrying about contacting your provider. 

Are you considering Lasik surgery? It is well known that this costly procedure is not usually covered by health insurance. However, your health savings plan can be used for paying for Lasik treatment. 

HSA FSA Plans for Prescription Eyewear

If you have been wanting a new pair of prescription glasses or are looking at prescription sunglasses, your HSA FSA plans can be used to cover the costs. Additionally, you can use these health savings plans for vision exams, Lasik surgery, and more. 

If you have questions on qualified expenses, then reach out to your provider. Otherwise, contact us today and let us help you get set up with a new pair of glasses and a yearly eye exam.