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Contacts and Your FSA/HSA: What You Need to Know

Flexible spending accounts (FSA) and health savings accounts (HSA) let you contribute pre-tax dollars to use toward medical expenses that your insurance does not cover. But, these two types of accounts have their differences. Here's a high-level overview.

FSA

  • Check with your program administrator on the amount you can contribute as it varies year to year.
  • Consider how much money you think you will use. If you don't spend the money you set aside by December 31 of the contribution year, the money will be lost. It does not roll over, nor will it be refunded.

However, some employers offer one of two options as a safety net:

  • Grace period: Employers provides up to two and a half extra months to use FSA funds.
  • Carryover: Employers allow you to roll over up to $500 to use the following year.

HSA

  • Check with your program administrator on the amount you can contribute as it varies year to year.
  • HSA contributions roll over annually and earned tax-deferred interest.

You can set up an HSA if you meet the following criteria:

  • You're covered by a high-deductible health plan (HDHP)
  • You're not covered by an additional medical plan
  • You cannot be claimed as a dependent on someone's tax return
  • You're not entitled to Medicare benefits

Which Products Qualify?

FSA

FSA-qualified contact lenses are marked with a symbol to make them easily recognizable. Prescription glasses, reading glasses and lens accessories are also eligible, but check with your plan administrator to see which products qualify.

HSA

There's an extensive list that includes contact lenses, eyeglasses and eye exams.

How To Pay For Products

FSA

If you have an FSA debit card, you can use it to make purchases, but make sure to keep receipts in case questions arise. If you don’t have a debit card, you'll pay up front for items and submit your purchase confirmation page (via email, fax, mail) to your FSA account administrator for reimbursement. Orders must be placed by December 31 to be eligible for reimbursement.

HSA

HSA trustees or medical insurers will issue a debit/credit card that you can use to place orders online or over the phone with our Customer Service Team.


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