The end of the year is a time to gather with friends and family, reflect on 2022, and set goals for 2023. It’s also the time to use up any remaining flex dollars before they expire.
If you have a flexible savings account, it’s paramount that you know how many flex dollars you have left and make a plan now for how you will use them. A lack of planning can leave you scrambling to spend them in the last few weeks of the year.
In the hecticness of the holiday season, it can be easy to forget about your flex dollars. Keep reading to find out why you should use your flex dollars on eye care before the year ends!
What Are Flex Dollars?
Flex dollars are funds in a flexible spending account or FSA. An FSA is a special type of account offered by most employers as part of their benefits package.
With an FSA, you set aside a predetermined amount of your salary into your FSA account. Some employers match contributions, or contribute a predetermined amount of their own. You can then use your flex dollars to help pay for many out-of-pocket healthcare expenses.
The great thing about an FSA is that the dollars you put into it are pre-tax. You do not have to pay income tax on this money. This allows you to save money by reducing your taxes.
As a result, your flex dollars can go further than your typical dollar. There is another type of similar account you should be aware of.
It’s called a health savings account, or HSA. There are a few key differences between these two accounts. Most important is the fact that the funds in an FSA do not generally roll over from year to year.
If you do not use all the money you have in your account by the end of the year, you will lose it. Every January, your account will reset back to zero. Some employers may offer a grace period of a few additional months, but this is not a guarantee.
On the flip side, funds in an HSA do roll over into the next year. This is because they are owned by the individual.
An HSA stays with the owner, even if they change jobs. Because an FSA is owned by the employer, it is not portable in this way.
An HSA also has different limits from an FSA. These are reviewed every year and are usually adjusted for inflation. The annual contribution cap for an FSA in 2022 is $2,850. For an HSA, the limits are $3,650 (for one person) and $7,300 (for a family).
How Can You Put Your Flex Dollars Toward Eye Care?
You can use your flex dollars towards a variety of healthcare-related expenses, including your eye care. Every year, Americans spend billions of dollars to maintain healthy vision.
If there was a way to save money on your eye care, wouldn’t you want to take advantage of it? Because standard medical insurance does not include vision, many people view their eye care as a separate kind of expense.
In reality, it’s a healthcare expense all the same. This means that your FSA can help pay for a variety of eye care-related costs.
Your flex dollars can be applied to eye exam copayments, contact lenses, glasses, contact solution and cases, prescription sunglasses, reading glasses, eye drops, eye care accessories, and more.
Use Your Flex Dollars for LASIK
You can also put your flex dollars toward a procedure like LASIK. LASIK can permanently correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism, so you no longer have to depend on glasses or contacts. Because it’s an elective procedure, however, LASIK is not covered by insurance.
That doesn’t mean permanent vision correction has to be out of reach. Your flex dollars can help you finance LASIK, and save money while doing it.
Many patients plan ahead by putting money into their FSA every month so they can use those funds towards LASIK by the end of the year. Your FSA can also help cover the cost of other procedures like PRK, SMILE, refractive lens exchange (RLE), and cataract surgery.
If you have any questions about what is considered eligible, contact your provider at Cheema MD Eye Care directly. If you still have flex dollars remaining and it’s been a while since your last exam, it’s a great time to schedule one.
This ensures you are seeing as well as you can be, and thanks to your FSA, this can be at no additional cost to you! The way in which you redeem your flex dollars can vary per provider.
They may issue you a card that you can use in our office. They may also require that you send them a receipt so that they can reimburse you.
Would you like to save money on your eye care this year? Don’t let your flex dollars expire! Schedule an appointment at Cheema MD Eye Care in Kingston, NY, today.