Every December and January, there’s a flurry of activity around using FSA money for various eligible expenses. In December, you’re using up any leftover FSA funds; in January you get to take advantage of a replenished supply of funds.
An FSA, or Flexible Spending Account, is an account that allows you to set aside a portion of earnings before tax for eligible expenses, like medical expenses, dependent care, and so on. Money deducted from your paycheck that goes into an FSA is not subject to taxes which means you save come tax time.
The good news is, vision care expenses such as prescription eyeglasses and contact lenses are FSA eligible and are one of the most popular uses of FSA funds. As long as you have a valid prescription from your eye doctor, you can submit these claims during the plan year. “Use it or Lose it” is the name of the game here. FSA funds don’t roll over into the next year, although there is a 2 1/2 year grace period after December 31st for you to get your claims in for the previous year.
Eligible vision care expenses include:
- prescription contact lenses, including prescription colored lenses
- saline solution
- enzyme cleaner
- lens storage cases
- prescription eyeglasses and sunglasses
- eye surgery
Flexible Spending Account – Wikipedia
FlexibleSpendingAccountsOnline.com – third party site on FSAs and HSAs
IRS Site on Eligible Medical Expenses – government site