FAQ: Flexible Spending Account (FSA) & Health Savings Account (HSA)

FAQ: Flexible Spending Account (FSA) & Health Savings Account (HSA) Answered by a Jacksonville, FL Optometrist


Whether you have an insurance policy or want an alternative to an insurance policy, you may want to look into your options and see if you should open a flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA). You should compare both to see which one you’re able to have and which one is the smart decision for your situation. Depending on whether you have insurance or not, your FSA or HSA may be used for your next eye exam at Val-Uvision, serving Jacksonville, FL and the surrounding area.

1. What Are Flexible Spending Accounts and Health Savings Accounts?

Both FSA and HSA are accounts you set aside money into before the government takes money out for taxes. These accounts act like a savings account you may only use for qualifying healthcare expenses. FSA and HSA accounts both work similarly in the sense that an employer determines the amount they want to add to their account from each paycheck. An HSA program, though, is only for individuals who have a high deductible insurance policy, and the money placed into the HSA is used to pay for the deductible and other expenses not covered by the policy.

2. How Does a Flexible Spending Account Work?

When you sign up for a flexible spending account, you designate an amount that is taken out of your paycheck, and this amount is taken out each day until the amount is met. The money you set aside in this account is available at the beginning of the year for you to use for qualifying medical services. Although your employer owns the account, you’re in charge of how you spend it. The flexible spending account will help you save money on your taxes. The money you put in the account isn’t taxed, and because it’s taken out before your taxes, you could be in a lower tax bracket. You must use all of the money in your account by the end of the year, or you’ll end up losing it.

3. How Does a Health Savings Account Work?

You decide how much money you want to put into an HSA account. This money goes into the account before taxes are taken out. The money you set aside in this account is meant to cover your deductible and other qualifying medical expenses. Some of the qualifying medical expenses may be expenses not covered by a standard health insurance policy such as eye exams and other vision care. This particular policy is only for those who have a high-deductible insurance policy. The money you have in your account at the end of the year will roll over into the following year.

4. What Can I Purchase With my FSA or HSA?

You can use the money for the co-pay for a yearly eye exam or the complete yearly exam. You may use the money to pay for vision expenses such as all prescription eyewear purchases. You can use the money to buy prescription sunglasses, reading glasses and even progressives. You can purchase your contact lenses with the money as well. If you would happen to need prescription eye drops, you can use the money from your plan to cover the cost.

5. Are Nonprescription Sunglasses Covered by an FSA/HSA?

Nonprescription sunglasses aren’t covered by an FSA or HSA account. These accounts are only intended for prescription eyeglasses and sunglasses.

6. Who is Eligible for an HSA?

Only people who have a high-deductible plan that meets the IRS’s guidelines for maximum annual deductible and out-of-pocket expenses. You can’t be covered by any non-high deductible health plans or Medicare, TRICARE or Veterans Administration benefits to qualify for an HSA.

7. How Can You Determine if an FSA Would Benefit You?

In order to determine if you would benefit from a policy like this, you have to start with estimating the amount you spend on co-pays and other out-of-pocket expenses and determine if you have enough expenses that you’d need an FSA.

Schedule an Appointment With Your Local Optometrist in Jacksonville, FL

At Val-Uvision, serving Jacksonville, FL, and the surrounding area, we accept both HSA and FSA. Get your money’s worth out of your account by getting an eye exam and even prescription eyewear from us. Schedule an eye exam in JAX today!

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