Use It or Lose It: Use Your FSA or HSA before It ExpiresOct 18, 2017
If you have a flexible spending account (FSA) or a health savings account (HSA) as part of your health plan, it’s important to know that you can use these funds for an eye exam or other vision services whether you have vision insurance or not. Particularly if you have an FSA, you need to use your funds before they expire at the end of the year or risk losing them, and so planning a visit to your Tulsa optometrist may be a good option in that regard.
What Are FSA and HSA?
FSAs and HSAs both serve as special bank accounts designated to cover certain out-of-pocket medical expenses. The funds held in them are deposited before taxes, so they are not counted towards your taxable income, and any qualified withdrawals you make are not taxed either. These accounts are quite different from each other in some respects, however, and that includes what happens to the balance remaining in them at the end of each year.
If you have an HSA, your funds will roll over from one year to the next. That roll-over will not count towards your contribution limit for the New Year, and so your balance can grow significantly over time. Withdrawing funds from this account for non-medical purposes, however, will incur a significant tax penalty. The funds in your FSA will not roll over for the most part, meaning that whatever is left at the end of the year will be lost.
What You Can Get
Many people with FSAs and HSAs don’t realize that they can use the funds for vision-related services even if they don’t have vision insurance. That means you can receive an eye exam from your Tulsa optometrist and pay for it through your flexible spending account.
This is a great way to ensure that you make good use of the funds you’ve contributed before they expire in the case of FSAs, and it’s also important to know if you have an HSA, since it means you don’t have to pay for your eye care out-of-pocket. Eligible services from your optometrist include annual eye exams, extra contact lenses, an extra pair of glasses and prescription sunglasses.
The Importance of Getting an Annual Eye Exam
Even if you have no history of vision problems, there are plenty of reasons to have your eyes examined on a regular basis. In many people, vision deteriorates gradually over time. You may not notice at first that there is a problem, but your optometrist can catch the warning signs early.
That allows them to provide treatment that can slow the degeneration or that can spare you the discomfort and complications that will come when your condition worsens by treating the problem promptly. Vision screenings also often catch signs of other underlying health issues like high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes.
Comprehensive Care from Your Tulsa Optometrist
As the end of the year approaches, there’s no better time to schedule an appointment with your optometrist in Tulsa. Contact our offices today at (918) 376-7972 to schedule an appointment.