Let's face it: glasses and contact lenses are expensive. And it's not like you can avoid buying eyeglasses and contacts if you need them. (You have to be able to see after all!)
So, how can you save money on eye care? You probably know what we're going to say, but we'll say it anyway. You can use your FSA to buy prescription glasses and contact lenses!
FSAs: A Brief Refresher
First off, an FSA, or flexible spending account, is an employer-sponsored healthcare benefit that allows employees to set aside a certain amount of money (up to $2,750 for a single person as of 2021) each year to cover the cost of qualified medical expenses. The benefit? It's huge. Using FSA funds allows you to use pre tax dollars to pay for eligible expenses like eyewear and optical and vision accessories!
Remember the excitement of back to school shopping? A new outfit for the fashion forward, footwear for the shoe-obsessed, school supplies galore for the studious? That's how we like to approach shopping for vision care: there's something for everyone.
Let's start with the basics. A lot of people have vision problems (whether they're nearsighted, farsighted, have astigmatism, or all three). Glasses are usually the most common first step eye doctors recommend.
If you're one of the many people who need glasses, you might remember the first time you wore them. Maybe you were coming home from the optometrist, a passenger in a car, looking out the window. And you saw the details on the branches of trees. Leaves weren't just green blobs! All glasses wearers fondly recall the cliche: they had no idea how clear the world could look.
That excitement may have faded over the years, when you have to think about getting your glasses adjusted, cleaning them all the time, and the stress of picking out a new pair that you're going to be wearing every day. But think back to the excitement of being able to finally see clearly and the thrill of back to school shopping. Getting new glasses can be exciting! So exciting, in fact, that you don't even have to leave your house to do it. We've made it super convenient with our huge selection of eyeglasses, whether you're looking for a deal (we have pairs as low as $29) or the latest in designer fashion with brands like Chloé, Burberry, Versace, Jimmy Choo, and Ray Ban. Best of all, since you're buying prescription eyewear, you can use your FSA card for any of these glasses!
It can definitely be annoying to be a glasses-wearer when it's sunny outside. We should all be wearing sunglasses not only to block the sun's glare to help us see, but also to protect our eyes from harsh UV rays. Left unprotected, UV rays can cause cataracts or macular degeneration (yikes!), so it's definitely important to wear sunglasses.
But that brings us back to the original point: what do you do when you wear glasses? Sure, you can take off your eyeglasses and put on regular sunglasses, but then you may have blocked the sun but can no longer see! Alas, there is a solution (and we're not talking about transitional lenses, although you could go that route): prescription sunglasses.
Prescription sunglasses are a necessity for a glasses-wearer, which is why you should be just as happy with them as you are your regular glasses. Whether you're looking for classic aviators, trendy wayfarers, or a cool cat eye, we've got sunglasses shapes to fit your style. And, we've got great brands, like Nike, Oakley, and all your designer favorites (including Dolce & Gabbana and Giorgio Armani). Plus, since they're prescription, you can use your FSA dollars!
We've talked about a couple of moments that give you that joyful feeling: the excitement of back to school shopping and the memory of not even realizing how vivid the world can look with your first pair of glasses. But we can't forget about that incredible feeling of slipping into another world when you're reading a truly great book (or article, for that matter). Picture this: you're sitting on your favorite armchair in comfortable loungewear, the light is pouring in through the window, you're holding a steaming cup of coffee, and you're about to open that new book you can't wait to read. You start looking for your reading glasses, but they're nowhere in sight! Turns out you left them in your car and it's getting serviced. What's a farsighted (or just person who needs reading glasses) to do?
We're here to make sure you're never in this hypothetical situation. Both prescription AND nonprescription reading glasses are FSA eligible, so naturally we carry them in all sorts of stylish colors and shapes. Since they're such a steal, why not get a few pairs? You can keep one in the car, in case you find yourself at a beautiful outdoor spot, and a couple at home (one for your favorite reading nook, or another incase you can't find the other). And, we have them in different strengths, from +1 to +2.25 and everything in between.
Blue Light Glasses
This gets a bit trickier. We all know how difficult screen time can get on our eyes, so blue light glasses can be super helpful. We covered screen time and blue light glasses in an earlier article, but if you're looking for the key takeaways, blue light glasses protect your eyes from high-energy visible (HEV) blue light coming from smartphones, computer screens, TV screens, iPads, and even LED and fluorescent lights.
Why do we need blue light blocking glasses? Too much blue light can cause headaches, blurred vision, and even long-term eye damage.
So now that we've convinced you to get your hands on some blue light glasses, we have to break some somewhat bad news: blue light blocking glasses aren't usually FSA eligible, but you might be able to get reimbursed if you need them to treat a medical condition. We suggest contacting your FSA administrator or HR department to see.
We also broke down the FSA and HSA eligibility of contact lenses. Since contacts correct vision problems (think nearsightedness and farsightedness), they're a medical expense, meaning they're FSA eligible.
Contacts make things super convenient -- you can see without glasses. They're great for sports and other physical activity and you don't have to deal with glasses fogging up when you wear your mask. Since contacts make your life easier, we think the process of getting contact lenses should be just as convenient, which is why we carry all sorts of top notch brands, including Biofinity, Acuvue, and Focus Dailies. We know there are a lot of online marketplaces for contacts, but we're proud of our range and ability to use your FSA dollars in one easy step.
That being said, if you're looking to express yourself by changing your eye color, cosmetic contact lenses aren't eligible to use FSA funds, FYI.
Eye Doctors and Eye Exams
We've talked about using your FSA money to buy glasses and contacts, but what about your regular eye doctor appointments? Eye exams with a medical professional are eligible for reimbursement with an FSA!
Whether you've been wearing glasses and contacts for years or have perfect vision, it's important to get a yearly eye exam and see an eye doctor to check on your prescription and the general health of your eyes.
Another eligible expense? You guessed it! Eye surgery, including LASIK, can be FSA eligible! This one may be surprising, so it's definitely an option to learn more about.
Other Vision Care
So prescription eyeglasses and sunglasses, reading glasses, contact lenses, and eye exams and surgery are all vision care you can use your FSA funds for. But that's not all -- you can also use your FSA dollars for all kinds of vision care accessories!
Those include contact lens necessities, like contact lens solution, rewetting drops for contacts, and contact lens cases. Other vision expenses like glasses lens cleaning spray, lens wipes, anti-fog gel, lens cleaning cloths, and eyeglass repair kits are also included. If you're interested, our website has tons of options for contact lens care and glasses care.
In fact, from prescription glasses to contact lenses to vision accessories, we have an entire range of high-quality vision care products. Simply head to our optical section to take a look.
And, if you're looking for a complete resource on vision and eyewear eligibility, you'll find every option we've covered (plus surprises like seeing eye dog guide schools) on the web's most comprehensive Eligibility List.