At some point, you may have selected a Health Savings Account (HSA) or a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), either on its own or in addition to your regular health insurance coverage. Both of these accounts can play a key role in allowing you to cover health expenses in the way you see fit, without those funds being subject to taxes.
However, there are some important differences between an FSA and an HSA that anyone who has one should be aware of. At Lake Havasu Family Eyecare, we want to be sure that you have a good understanding of how these accounts work so that you can use them to your full advantage.
What Is an HSA?
A Health Savings Account, or HSA, is helpful when your insurance plan has a high deductible — in fact, you can only apply for one if you have a High Deductible Health Plan, regardless of whether your insurance plan comes through an employer or other source. It allows you to deposit money in an account before taxes that you can use on any health-related expenses, ranging from medication, to rehabilitation expenses, to dental work.
You can typically store more money in this type of account than in an FSA, and importantly, you can expect it to roll over year-to-year. So, if you have money stored in your HSA in December but know you’ll need an annual doctor’s appointment in February, you don’t have to worry about the money disappearing from your HSA on January 1st.
The flexibility of an HSA added onto High Deductible Health Plans with lower monthly premiums is great for people who might be unable to rely on employer-provided healthcare, or who are generally healthy and don’t expect to pay anything beyond basic healthcare costs for the year.
What Is an FSA?
A Flexible Spending Account, or FSA, can be helpful if you use it to the fullest every year. Like an HSA, an FSA is an account loaded with money that won’t be taxed and can be used on various health expenses. But unlike an HSA, an FSA has a lower contribution cap — although a person’s employer may make a separate contribution to the account — and it typically expires at the end of the year.
Furthermore, an FSA is typically only available through your employer and might disappear if you have to change jobs. While the potential for employer contributions makes an FSA a great option, the “use it or lose it” nature of an account that expires at year’s end makes it necessary to plan ahead.
Notably, both types of accounts are able to be used on health expenses not covered by insurance. With an FSA, as long as an item or procedure appears on the list of eligible expenses, it can be paid for using money from this account.
Using Your HSA or FSA at Lake Havasu Family Eyecare
So, let’s say that we’re down to the end of the year, and there’s a sizable amount of money left in your FSA. That’s great, and congratulations on saving money for so much of the year!
Because your FSA funds will run out when the year ends, it’s a smart idea to head into Lake Havasu Family Eyecare. You’ll want to undergo a routine eye exam before getting new glasses or contact lenses, but smart planning over the course of the year with your FSA or HSA means you have the budget for your vision needs when you need it.
At Lake Havasu Family Eyecare, you can use your FSA or HSA funds on:
- Eye exams to track your eye health and generate an updated vision prescription
- Glasses, including designer frames and high-tech lenses
- Contact lenses for a variety of fits and optical needs
- Prescription or non-prescription sunglasses
- Eyewear accessories, drops, vitamins, and a whole range of eye care products
Our staff can examine your HSA or FSA, determine what kind of coverage is available, and help you maximize your return on what’s left in your account. We’re constantly staying in touch with how these accounts change and helping people use their HSAs and FSAs wisely to meet their needs.
Questions? Contact Lake Havasu Family Eyecare Today
Our friendly office staff is more than happy to answer any questions you may have about your HSA or FSA account, or to help you schedule an appointment and get you into new eyewear with the funds already in your account. call us today or click here to schedule an appointment. We look forward to seeing you!