One of the most common questions we receive is about LASIK (laser eye correction) surgery, and if it's FSA- or HSA-eligible. Many people don't realize that LASIK surgery is not only eligible, but is often inexpensive enough to cover entirely with their flexible spending funds.
Believe it or not, the March FSA deadline is already approaching. If you're on the fence about correcting your vision, and have remaining funds burning a hole in your FSA wallet, it might be time to consider putting your money toward something a little bigger before the deadline.
What's even better is that you can use your entire FSA balance to cover LASIK surgery -- even before any contributions have been deducted from your paycheck.
First, a quick overview of LASIK
Many people don't realize LASIK eye surgery is FSA- and HSA-eligible because they probably see it as elective, rather than necessary. But LASIK doesn't just slightly improve vision; it corrects nearsightedness, farsightedness, and even astigmatism in patients, possibly eliminating their need for glasses or contacts. In other words, it can dramatically improve their lives while reducing eye care costs.
Using tax-free funds for LASIK
Now, to be fair, not all patients will qualify for LASIK surgery. Unfortunately, 20-30% of candidates won't be able to get the surgery because of various pre-existing conditions. But for those who do, this quick surgery can be a life-changing procedure, made more affordable by using FSA and HSA dollars.
In short, if you've been putting aside FSA funds to save up for LASIK, be sure to check with your eye doctor to see if you qualify.
To prepare, your eye doctor will require a checkup to look for possible risks, and then determine your needs, and whether LASIK will fix these problems. From there, you'll then discuss costs and fees, then figure out the best way to use your tax-free dollars for the surgery.
If you're planning to use FSA funds, you can offset your out-of-pocket costs to the tune of hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars. Remember – you can use up to $500 of unused FSA funds before the March deadline, or lose them entirely. So, if you're considering LASIK surgery, and have a good amount of unused money in your FSA, this is a great way to spend down your funds while potentially improving the quality of your everyday life.
And of course, if you're looking to get LASIK surgery at a later date, it's a great reason to max out your FSA contributions all year, to cover the entire cost of the procedure.
If you're planning to use tax-free HSA funds, you will also save considerably on the costs of LASIK surgery, possibly covering the entire procedure. Plus, HSA funds never expire, giving you more flexibility to schedule the surgery at a convenient time, without having to meet a claim deadline.