It’s flex spending time! If you’re thinking about LASIK and are lucky enough to have an FSA (Flexible Spending Account), you’ll need to contribute to the account soon in order to use those dollars in 2015.
FSA’s allow employees to set aside tax-free dollars that can be used to pay for some out of pocket healthcare costs. LASIK is one of the many procedures that can be paid for with FSA dollars. Here’s a brief summary of FSA’s for those of you who missed our original blog on this topic in 2012:
Employees are either given an FSA debit card which they can use to pay directly for services using their FSA funds, or they pay out of pocket and then submit a receipt to their employer for reimbursement from their FSA account.
An important note to consider is that there’s a deadline for making contributions to an FSA plan. For most plans that deadline is between October and December for the following calendar year. This means you would have to contribute by the deadline in 2014 in order to have access to the funds beginning in January 2015. So if you’re planning to have LASIK in 2015, you need to contribute now. Be sure to ask your plan’s administrator, which would typically be your human resources director, what the deadline is for your particular plan, so you don’t miss out on these savings!
There are some changes in the rules for FSA’s since our last blog on the topic. The bad news: The limit that you can contribute has been decreased to $2,500.00 per year. The good news: The “use it or lose it” component of flexible spending has softened a bit. Employers now have 2 options for money left over in an FSA account at the end of the calendar year. They can either give the employee a 2 1/2 month grace period to use the money left over OR allow $500.00 to be rolled over into the FSA account for the following year. They can’t, however, do both.
Although this is good news , if you put aside the entire $2,500 for LASIK and are not a candidate for the procedure, you could still lose money in your flexible spending account. So, it pays to plan ahead! If you’re considering LASIK, you should first find out if you’re a candidate for the procedure before contributing any money to your FSA. Since the deadline for most plans is within the next few months, you should start now! At Mandel Vision, we offer free LASIK consultations with corneal specialist and micro-surgeon Dr. Eric Mandel in our state-of-the-art laser vision correction center in Manhattan. You can call us at 888-866-3681 to make an appointment, or you can book your appointment online by visiting our website at www.mandelvision.com and clicking on the “book your consultation online” button on our home page.
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