Eyeglasses: FSA Eligibility

Eyeglasses: requires a prescription to be eligible with a Flexible Savings Account (FSA)
Eyeglasses are eligible for reimbursement with a prescription with a flexible spending account (FSA), health savings account (HSA), health reimbursement arrangement (HRA) and a limited-purpose flexible spending account (LPFSA). Eyeglasses are not eligible for reimbursement with a dependent care flexible spending account (DCFSA).

Eligible expenses for Limited FSAs can vary. To find out exactly what your Limited FSA covers, contact your FSA administrator.

Prescription eyewear to correct vision problems are products that are designed to treat a specific medical condition, and therefore are eligible for reimbursement under the vast majority of consumer spending accounts. These products include:

Reading eyeglasses vs. Prescription eyeglasses

Depending on the type of vision issue that a patient is diagnosed with, be it nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism or others, they will typically have to choose between two types of corrective eyewear: reading and prescription eyeglasses.

Reading eyeglasses are designed to treat presbyopia, which is a condition that most adults experience once they reach the age of 35 to 45. Presbyopia is caused by a decrease elasticity in the eye's lens that makes objects difficult to see from close range. These eyeglasses come in generic strengths to improve the wearer's vision when reading. Standard reading eyeglasses are only designed to view objects at close range, which is why bifocals are commonly used to shift between short range and distance vision. Reading eyeglasses are not designed to correct vision problems, and unlike prescription eyeglasses, are not designed for full-time use (National Center for Biotechnology Information).

Prescription eyeglasses are specially designed for a patient's specific vision problem, and can be used to correct just about any condition. Unlike reading eyeglasses that can be purchased over-the-counter, patients must consult an eye doctor to obtain an accurate prescription that will work to alleviate his/her eyesight condition. Prescription eyeglasses are more expensive than reading eyeglasses, but they are typically made with higher quality materials, lenses and frames, as well as offering great variety in style and enhanced durability (American Academy of Ophthalmology).

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