The end of the year can be a super confusing time of year for medical planning, especially if you’re in the middle of your employer’s open enrollment period. You’re asked to think 12 months ahead and handcuff yourself to a plan and level of coverage. This is also when you can make allowances in your Flexible Spending Account, which is a great way to plan for LASIK.
Great. So what exactly is a Flexible Spending Account?
Glad you asked.
A Flexible Spending Account (FSA) is a special savings account available through your employer. You put money from your paycheck into it to set aside for medical expenses in the coming year. It’s a great option for people thinking about getting LASIK because you don’t pay taxes on it.
That’s right, the money you contribute to your FSA isn’t taxed by the government so you get to keep more of it, which takes some of the pressure off significant medical expenses. It can be used to pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses (or those not covered by insurance), and according to the IRS, “eye surgery to treat defective vision, such as laser eye surgery” is among them.
How it Works
You can put up to $2,550 into your FSA per year, though in most cases you must use that money during that period. Some employers offer a grace period of two extra months to use this money, or allow $500 to be carried over to the following year, but your employer isn’t required to offer either of those options (and they’re not allowed to offer both). So be sure to read the fine print.
What you don’t use, you lose, so you’ll want to put some thought into it.
Using Your FSA for LASIK
LASIK costs, on average, about $2,100 to $2,500 per eye, including the routine eye exam that follows the procedure. That means your FSA won’t cover the entire cost, but it will get you some of the way there. And it’s doing so with pre-tax dollars, so you get more mileage out of FSA funds than you would from savings set aside directly from your salary.
That’s a long-winded way of saying that if you know you want to get LASIK in the coming year, one way to plan and save for it is by using the amount allowed for by your FSA supplemented with other savings.
If you have any other questions about planning for LASIK, drop us a line so we can set you up with a consultation. You can call us at 800) 527-3745 or or fill out the form below to get in touch with us and learn more about LASIK. We’ll respond as soon as possible!