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Posted on 10-26-2017

Frequently Asked Questions about FSA and HSA

                                    woman with FSA and HAS questions

Now that the nights are growing longer and colder and the winter holiday season is almost upon us, it’s useful to take stock of your finances and how much money you’ve allocated for vision care service and products. 

Many of the patients that we treat here at Hobson Eye Associates in Kennesaw save money in an FSA (flexible spending account) or HSA (health savings account). However, some patients may not be sure about how FSA and HSA spending works. Here are answers to your frequently asked questions about flexible spending and health savings accounts.

What are Flexible Spending and Health Savings Accounts?

Flexible spending and health savings accounts are designed to help employees pay for their out-of-pocket expenses that are not covered by medical insurance. The advantage of an FSA or HSA is that you can save money throughout the year by having your employer take it out of your paycheck automatically. 

How Does an FSA Work?

You can save as much as $2,550 each year in your FSA and the money will not be taxed as you use it for various health expenses, such as an eye exam. The catch is, you have to use the money each year or the funds will go away. It’s a case of use it or lose it, hence the urgency to make an appointment before the end of the year with your preferred eye doctor.

What can I Purchase With my FSA or HSA?

You can buy new contacts and new glasses with your funds. If your prescription has expired, you’ll need to get an exam to test the strength of your eyes. The money in your FSA can also be used for eye exams.

Can I buy Prescription Sunglasses With my FSA or HSA?

Yes, prescription sunglasses are covered with your flexible spending account. Prescription eyewear is categorized as a medical device, and this includes glasses that protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful UV radiation.

Can I buy Contact Lenses With my FSA/HSA?

Yes, you can use your FSA/HSA funds to get new contact lenses. Options include lenses for daily use, disposable lenses, and rigid gas permeable contact lenses, as well as bifocal contact lenses. Your optometrist will advise you on the most suitable choice.

When do FSA Funds Expire?

In general, the funds in your FSA will be set to expire at the end of the year. You don’t want to get caught in the rush of people all frantically trying to spend all their FSA funds at the last minute. But check with your FSA plan details, because some of these flexible spending accounts have a grace period to expire in March instead of on December 31. 

When Should I Place my Order?

Make sure to arrange for eye care services or to order new contacts, eyeglasses or prescription sunglasses before your FSA funds are set to expire (keeping in mind the possibility of a grace period, of course). If you are counting on having new eyewear so you can see better during all of the holiday festivities and family get-togethers, make an appointment as soon as possible.

Book Your Appointment for an Examination or New Eyewear at Hobson Eye Associates Today

Now that you have a better sense of what’s involved with using your FSA and HSA accounts, it’s time to make use of these funds before they expire at the end of the year. To learn more about our selection of eyeglasses, contacts, and sunglasses or to make an appointment for eye exam services with your preferred Kennesaw optometrist, please connect with Hobson Eye Associates today.

How long have you been contributing money to an FSA or HSA? Sound off in the comments section so your fellow patients can compare notes with you.

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