For the tax year 2017, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service announced new contribution limits for Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA) and Health Savings Accounts (HSA). This year, an individual can set aside up to $2,600 in a health FSA and up to $3,400 in an HSA. Individuals considering medical procedures – like LASIK – can rest assured that their FSAs or HSAs may be used to cover some or all of the cost.
FSAs or HSAs are a popular financing option for LASIK. “Every day I see patients who use their flexible spending or health savings accounts to pay for their LASIK surgery,” said Dr. Eric Donnenfeld, a member of the American Refractive Surgery Council. “By doing this, they are saving money on a lifetime of vision care costs using tax-free money. Essentially, they are investing in their health and vision.”
If you are thinking about using your FSA or HSA as a financing option for LASIK, here are a few facts to consider:
- If you choose to have LASIK, you can use your FSA or HSA dollars to help pay for the procedure. BUT the entire cost of the procedure, particularly using the most advanced technologies, may not be covered by your FSA fund.
- If your specific program provides a “grace period,” you may have a small window – between one and a few months at the beginning of the year – to combine any remaining FSA funds from the previous year with the FSA funds from the current year. This may help you pay for healthcare expenses – such as LASIK – in excess of the annual cap using your combined FSA funds.
- Funds in HSAs are available without a time limit.
- Married couples and families have a higher contribution limit ($6,750 with an HSA). This family contribution is a good financing option for LASIK, as it will likely cover the cost of using the most advanced technologies.
Finally, don’t forget to check with your company’s benefit manager for advice on how to best use your Flexible Spending Arrangement or Health Savings Account plan.