Considering nearly two out of every three Americans wear prescription glasses, it's surprising there's so much confusion around the FSA eligibility of eye wear and vision care. What's even more surprising is why more Americans aren't using their tax-free funds to pay for the products and services necessary to maintain proper eye health. And we're not just talking eyeglass repair kits and lens wipes -- there are some seriously surprising eye care items on our Eligibility List.
Since this winter is just getting started let's get ahead of your eye care and protection so you can make the most of the outdoors in the months ahead.
Contact lenses? Yes!
Let's be clear: there are plenty of places to buy contact lenses. But how many of them allow you to choose from a huge range of brands, entirely with your FSA, without wondering if the ones you want are eligible. Maybe we're a little biased, but we think you'll enjoy buying your contacts this way. (Oh, and when you pay with your FSA card, you can skip the receipts process!)
Prevention starts with protection…
No, we're not talking about high school health class… But the same thinking applies. According to a survey from The Vision Council, 75% of American adults in a survey are concerned about UV eye exposure, but only 31% report wearing sunglasses when going outside.
And cloudy days aren't much safer than sunny ones; you can still do some damage when it's overcast, because UV rays break through clouds and can damage unprotected eyes. Prescription sunglasses are FSA-eligible, so what's stopping you from being smarter than the 69% of people who leave their eyes unprotected?
Some lesser-known eye care options
We've used plenty of digital ink showing how laser eye surgery (more commonly known as LASIK) is completely eligible for FSA and HSA reimbursement. And we hope people are realizing that LASIK surgery is often inexpensive enough to cover entirely with their flexible spending funds.
It's not limited to LASIK, either. Medically necessary treatments and routine eye exams are all part of FSA eligible vision care.
Now, for arguably the most surprisingly eligible vision care expense of all -- guide dogs. The National Federation of the Blind has a list of guide dog schools that can connect you or your loved ones with the right service animal, should you need assistance getting around because of visual impairment or blindness.
Don't waste time hunting for ways to spend your tax-free funds. In That's Eligible?!, we'll bring you these updates every Monday, so you don't have to. And for all things flex spending, be sure to check out the rest of our Learning Center, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Most first-time eyeglasses wearers will have to choose between two types of corrective eye wear: reading and prescription eyeglasses. Learn more.
One of the unfortunate aspects of aging is the breakdown in the quality of vision for some. But, if you're a person who has never dealt with vision correction methods before, learning about the degree of specialization in today's eyeglasses can seem overwhelming.
However, to keep things simple, most first-time eyeglasses wearers will have to choose between two types of corrective eye wear: reading and prescription eyeglasses. Conditions like nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism or others are typically treated with these two options, but many new eyeglass wearers are unaware of the differences between them.
Let's examine the difference between the two most popular eyeglasses options.
Reading glasses 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 decreased elasticity in the eye's lens that makes objects difficult to see from close range. These glasses come in generic strengths to improve the wearer's vision when reading. Standard reading glasses 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 glasses are not designed to correct vision problems, and unlike prescription glasses, are not designed for full-time use.
Prescription eyeglasses are specially designed for a patient's specific vision problem, and can be used to correct just about any condition. Unlike reading glasses 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 glasses, but they are typically made with higher quality materials, lenses and frames, as well as offering great variety in style and enhanced durability.
If you're in the market for eyeglasses, make sure to visit FSAstore.com! We've partnered with Glasses.com to offer our customers a huge selection of prescription eye wear to complement our huge selection of FSA eligible reading eyeglasses, contact lenses and vision correction accessories!