Understand how best to use your FSA program for LASIK next year.
Now that we are officially well into the fall season, it is time to start planning out the rest of our year and begin looking forward to the fresh start that 2013 holds in store in just a few short months. For many people, the end of the year means saving up money for the hectic holiday seasons that await us. However, for people who reap the benefits of Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA), this time of year means just three months left to use the pre-tax dollars their employers have helped them set aside for the past year.
For those who are new to FSAs, this employer-sponsored benefit allows employees to deduct a certain percentage of their paycheck in order to pay for eligible medical expenses on a pre-tax basis. Nearly 90% of employees work for companies who offer Flexible Spending Accounts to help lower net healthcare costs, and the program is a great option for employees who expect to incur medical expenses that would not otherwise be reimbursed by regular health insurance plans.
However, FSA funds run on a “use it or lose it” basis, meaning that 2012 recipients have just a short time left to put their pre-tax dollars to good use or it will not be rolled over to this upcoming year. For people who are not already enrolled in FSA programs, now is the perfect time to start planning ahead for how they want to allocate their cost-saving dollars in 2013.
To help you learn more about how you can reduce your out of pocket costs by hundreds, even thousands of dollars with the FSA program, we have put together some basic information about FSAs and what changes to the program you can expect for 2013:
What Are The Benefits Of A Flexible Spending Account?
Flexible Spending Accounts are one of the most versatile, yet underutilized benefits that are currently offered to employees as a way to reimburse medical expenses such as LASIK. FSAs allow employees to set aside their own money in order to cover co-payments, deductibles and other uninsured medical expenses ranging from prescriptions to corrective eye surgery. Plus, because these expenses are paid with pre-tax dollars, this amounts to a 20% to 30% cost savings.
You can also choose to deduct a share of money from each of your paychecks throughout the year, or many companies will even allow you to use all of the savings you are setting aside at the beginning of the year .
Changes to FSA For 2013
While there has always been no legal limit to the amount of pre-tax salary you can set aside into your health savings account (most employers typically set their own limit of $5,000), the rules are set to change on January 1st, 2013. Next year, all employees will be limited to putting just $2,500 pre-tax salary into their health savings accounts. Therefore, you should start thinking now of how you want to spend your FSA funds with these new limits set in place.
Using FSA For LASIK Eye Surgery
Laser vision correction is just one eligible FSA expense under current IRS guidelines and, depending on your tax bracket, using an FSA to pay for your LASIK surgery could save you significantly―even with the new 2013 restriction of $2,500. However, before you set aside funds for you FSA next year, it is first important to schedule a LASIK evaluation with your eye doctor to find out whether or not you are a good candidate for this beneficial vision correction procedure.
To schedule a complimentary LASIK consultation today, be sure to contact OCLI. Our patients often sat that LASIK surgery is the best investment that they have ever made, and with Flexible Spending Accounts, you can reap these benefits with little to no out-of-pocket expenses.