Around this time of year, you are probably hearing a lot about Flexible Spending Accounts. A Flexible Spending Account works in conjunction with health insurance plans and allow you to pay for a long list of out-of-pocket health care expenses with pre-tax dollars. This makes FSAs or “cafeteria plans” the perfect way to manage your overall health care expense exposure throughout the year. The money you designate as plan dollars are deducted from your paycheck before Uncle Sam takes his cut so you end up paying less taxes overall, plus the money is used to reimburse you for health expenses you are already paying for.
Of course, there is a catch. The money you put into a Flexible Spending Account has an expiration date, and depending on the exact details of your plan, some or all of it has to be used by the end of each calendar year. Flex Plan dollars are use it or lose it, and the list of FSA-eligible expenses changes every year. Consistently included on that list, however, are many products and services we offer in our offices. Vision examination fees and co-pays, prescription eyewear including sunglasses, and contact lenses are all eligible expenditures.
If you have questions about Flexible Spending Accounts or any of your other benefits, ask your human resources representative right away. You may be surprised to learn that you have been making contributions to an FSA all year and now have funds to spend (we hear about this situation more often than you’d think). If you also have an annual vision insurance benefit that is about to expire, we can help you make the best use of both in a single visit. Remember, whether it is vision insurance or flexible spending accounts: It’s your money, don’t let it go to waste.