Did you know that the CARES Act is allowing employees to increase their FSA without a qualifying event during 2021? The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act makes important provisions for health savings accounts (HSAs), flexible spending accounts (FSAs) and health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs). On December 27, 2020, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 was signed into law expanding some provisions of the CARES Act. This relief package allows taxpayers to roll over unused amounts in their health and dependent care flexible spending arrangements from 2020 to 2021 and from 2021 to 2022. This provision also permits employers to allow employees to make a 2021 mid-year prospective change in contribution amounts. You can use your HSA to pay for eligible vision expenses for yourself, your spouse, or eligible dependents.
What can I pay for with my HSA funds?*
Funds must be spent on qualified medical expenses and can be used to pay for expenses not covered by your health insurance. The Internal Revenue Service has guidelines defining qualified medical expenses, which include costs toward diagnosis, treatment or prevention of any illness or disease affecting any part of the body, including vision care.
Vision services and products covered by an HSA include:
- Eyeglass lenses: Prescription lenses, bifocals and progressive lenses are covered. You can also choose safety lenses or sports protection lenses, as well as UV-protective, photochromic lenses (such as Transitions) and polycarbonate lenses.
- Sunglass lenses: Prescription sunglass lenses come in a wide variety of colors and types and are available with polarized, gradient and anti-reflective coatings. All prescriptions can be accommodated, and some plans may cover non-corrective lenses — especially if a medical condition is causing light sensitivity. Styles specifically designed for sports protection are also an option.
- Frames: Today’s eyeglass and sunglass frames are available in a wide variety of materials, styles and colors to suit everyone’s unique face shape, sense of fashion and budget. Specialty frames are available to provide protection from injury, as well as wear outdoors, in front of the computer or while playing sports.
- Contact lenses: Many types of contact lenses are available, including daily wear, extended wear and disposable. Toric lenses, which correct for astigmatism, and bifocal or multifocal contacts are an option if you have presbyopia.
- Accessories: Some HSAs also allow for the purchase of saline solution, contact lens cleaning fluid, eyeglass cleaner, wipes and even protective cases for your eyewear.
- Vision surgery: Procedures ranging from cataract removal to glaucoma procedures are usually covered. LASIK and other corrective treatments may be covered as well.
- Eye exams and screening: Comprehensive eye exams typically include refraction, as well as screening for glaucoma, cataracts and other potentially serious visual conditions.
Go ahead and use that flex spending account to improve your life. Start enjoying the freedom and benefits of better vision now!
* Source: All About Vision, January 2021