Sandra Block writes in the USA Today (11/16) Your Money column, “In 2011, the average premium for employer-provided health insurance will increase nearly 9%, according to Aon Hewitt,” which “estimates that the average worker’s contribution to the premium will rise 12.4% to $2,209. The average worker’s out-of-pocket costs, such as co-payments, co-insurance and deductibles, will rise 12.6% to $2,177.” Block says that “one way to lower your out-of-pocket costs is to contribute to a flexible spending account. These accounts, funded with payroll deductions, let you use pretax dollars to pay for medical, dental and vision costs that aren’t covered by insurance. These accounts are still widely available, but if your health plan’s deductible has increased, maybe it’s time to consider a health savings account instead.”
Your HSA or Flex Spending accounts can be used for all your eye care needs including 2nd pair of glasses, prescription sunglasses and contacts.
In the Boston Globe‘s (9/9) Managing Your Money column, Cheryl Costa wrote that medical flexible spending accounts (FSAs) cover “eligible healthcare expenses,” such as “office visit co-payments and glasses/contact lenses.” In addition, FSAs cover “Braille books and magazines, guide dogs for the blind,” and “laser eye surgery,” which is often not covered by health-insurance plans. “For a full list of eligible expenses,” eye-related or otherwise, “check out IRS Publication 502,” Costa advised.
Eyeglasses (and contacts and eye examination fees)
You can include in medical expenses amounts you pay for eyeglasses and contact lenses needed for medical reasons. You can also include fees paid for eye examinations.
You can include in medical expenses amounts you pay for prescribed medicines and drugs. A prescribed drug is one that requires a prescription by a doctor for its use by an individual. You can also include amounts you pay for insulin. Except for insulin, you cannot include in medical expenses amounts you pay for a drug that is not prescribed.
You can include in medical expenses amounts you pay for legal medical services provided by:
Other medical practitioners.
if they are recommended by a medical practitioner as treatment for a specific medical condition diagnosed by a physician.