It's back-to-school time, and as you scramble to get your kids ready for the new academic year, there may be more to think about than just picking up school supplies.
This is because August is Children's Eye Health and Safety Month, sponsored by the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO). Each year, the organization aims to provides information to the public that can help protect and preserve your child's eye health.
Luckily, whether you have a standard flexible spending account (FSA) or a limited care flexible spending account (LCFSA), your benefits can cover a significant portion of vision care expenses that can help your child see clearly throughout the coming school year. Here are just a few of the AAO's suggestions of what you should cover as the calendar flips to September and school gets underway.
According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), an eye exam is recommended for school-aged children every two years if there is no vision correction issue present, and those who need glasses or contact lenses should visit on an annual basis.
Before your kids get back in the classroom this fall, make an appointment with your optometrist to ensure your child's eyesight is healthy - and use your FSA to offset the costs.
Another good plan is to make sure your kids have up-to-date glasses and contact lenses that can stand up to the rigors of childhood. Your FSA covers reading glasses, prescription eyeglasses and prescription contact lenses.
If your child's eye wear is in need of an update, your FSA can cover the fresh new look they've been looking for. Visit our Optical Store to browse our selection of leading eye care brands.
Are all types of contacts covered?
If contacts are designed to correct vision problems, they're FSA-eligible. Though insurance companies might have their own policies regarding coverage of specific types or brands of lenses, they're usually reimbursable with your tax-free funds. Plus, unlike some insurance providers, which may not cover contact lenses in place of eyeglasses, if the contacts are prescribed to correct vision they are eligible, regardless of insurance plan coverage.
Vision correction accessories
Are you running low on contact lens solution? Has your child misplaced a carrying case? In addition to vision correction methods, your FSA covers a huge slate of products that can protect and prolong the lifespan of your kids' eyeglasses and contact lenses. Contact lens solution, eyeglass repair kits, cleaning cloths and much more are eligible for FSA reimbursement.
From FSA basics to the most specific account details, in our weekly Asked and Answered column, our team gets to the bottom of your most-pressing flex spending questions. It appears every Wednesday, exclusively on the FSAstore.com Learning Center. And for the latest info about your health and financial wellness, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
If you use eyeglasses or contact lenses to correct a vision issue, there's a good chance you've discovered just how helpful your flexible spending account (FSA) can be to cover frames, lenses as well as eyeglass and contact lens accessories. But did you know that your FSA card can also cover prescription sunglasses that can protect your eyes from sun damage, provide optimal vision correction and help you look great in the process? It's true!
With money left to spend in your FSA, prescription sunglasses are a great investment as summer kicks off. Here's our quick buying guide to help you pick the perfect pair of specs you can wear for years to come.
- Update your vision prescription
If it's been a few years since you've been in the eye doctor's office, make sure your next pair of sunglasses have the most updated prescription possible so you will get the most out of your investment. https://www.aclens.com/Content/Display/160">All About Vision reports that you should go once a year or every two years to ensure that your prescription is up-to-date, or develop a schedule with your eye doctor based on the frequency your prescription changes.
- What's your pupillary distance?
One of the most important factors to know when investing in prescription sunglasses is your pupillary distance. According to ACLens.com, pupillary distance is the measurement in millimeters of the distance between the pupils of your eyes, which is used to determine the proper lens shape and alignment of your prescription correction to your line of vision.Make sure your eye doctor takes measurement!
- Pick frames that suit your face
Next, while you may be itching for those trendy frames that are all the rage this season, an awkward frame size could be uncomfortable and may not provide the optimal protection from the sun's rays throughout summer. Do some research in-store before making a purchase online to ensure that you're purchasing frames that compliment your facial shape, while still keeping your sense of style.
- Pick a lens to match your prescription
There are three primary lens materials that you can choose from when purchasing prescription sunglasses: high index, polycarbonate and plastic. According to VSP.com, plastic lenses are for individuals with light prescriptions, while polycarbonate are similar but are impact resistant and are ideal for kids and those with active lifestyles. Last but not least, high index lenses are the lightest and thinnest of all lens types and are typically used with higher prescription levels.
Visit FSAstore.com and shop for your next pair of prescription sunglasses. In addition to the web's largest selection of FSA-eligible products, our Optical Store can help you find the perfect sunglasses for summer in today's hottest styles!
For many FSA users, 2016 isn't over quite yet! The period between January 1 and March 15 is the FSA grace period (for FSA plans that ended on December 31, 2016), the last chance for millions of FSA holders to spend down the remainder of their 2016 funds before they are forfeited.
Companies have the option of choosing the 2.5 month grace period or the $500 rollover when setting up FSA plans for employees, so if your plan features the grace period, there is still time to spend down the remainder of your 2016 funds before the deadline! Whether you have $600 or $60 left in your account, FSAstore.com can help you spend down your remaining 2016 funds on the eligible products you and your family use the most. Here are a few ideas to keep in mind before March 15 arrives!
- Medical/Dental/Vision Care
First and foremost, your FSA is one of the easiest ways to save on medical spending, so whether you've been putting off a physical exam, a dental cleaning or even thinking about LASIK surgery, these are all qualifying medical expenses that can be covered with FSA funds. Before your 2016 plan year comes to a close, use your remaining funds to lay a healthy foundation for 2017!
- First Aid Kits
You may have a first aid kit at home, but what about your car, boat or workplace? Accidents happen when you least expect them, so be prepared for the worst wherever you're heading with FSA eligible first aid supplies.
- Mineral Sunscreen
The sun's rays are dangerous for your skin during any season, so if you'll be spending an extended amount of time outdoors in the coming months, make sure your skin is protected with mineral sunscreen! These products do not absorb into the skin, offer broad spectrum protection against UVA/UVB rays and are ready to protect from the sun as soon as they're applied.
- Sunscreen Lip Balm with SPF 15+
Don't let your lips suffer from a lack of sun protection year-round. Sun care lip balms that contain a sun protection factor of 15 or above are FSA eligible! Apply it before heading outdoors to safeguard your lips from the elements.
Check Out: Coppertone Sport Sunscreen Lip Balm SPF 50
Bandages are staples of the modern household that can handle cuts, scratches and bruises large and small. They can also run out fast over the course of the year, so this is the perfect opportunity to plan ahead.
- Neck Supports
Orthopedic neck supports are considered FSA eligible expenses, so if you're traveling in the future or simply need some pain relief when you're lounging around the house, these neck pillows can make a huge difference!
Check Out: IMAK HappiNeck Orthopedic Neck Support
- Contact Lens Accessories
In addition to contact lenses being FSA eligible, products like lens solution, carrying cases and other accessories are eligible for reimbursement as well.
- Eyeglass Accessories
On the opposite end of the spectrum, eyeglass wearers have plenty of care considerations of their own when maintaining their eyewear. Cleaning clothes, eyeglass repair kits and other accessories are FSA eligible, so use your benefit to ensure they're in great shape year-round.
Has your family's thermometer seen better days? These devices have evolved by leaps and bounds in recent years to make taking a temperature easier than ever. Oral, in-ear, forehead and other designs are all eligible with an FSA!
Check Out: Braun Forehead Thermometer
- Blood Pressure Monitor
If you or a loved one has a history of hypertension or a family history of heart disease, blood pressure monitoring is a smart choice for future health decisions. Smartphone-enabled blood pressure monitors make it easier than ever to track numbers and share them with healthcare professionals to better realize your long-term health goals.
Check Out: Qardio Arm Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor