Use Your FSA on Eyewear by the End of the Year

Many employers offer access to Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA), which let you put away pre-tax dollars for eligible healthcare products and services (think everything from surgery and medical bills to thermometers and first-aid kits). Storing money in an FSA account is a great deal, provided that you spend it; FSA operates on a use-it-or-lose-it provision.

In other words, FSA funds are use it or lose it, and any unused money left over at the end of the year is no longer yours. Unused funds go to your employer, who can split it among employees in the FSA plan or use it to offset the costs of administering benefits.

FSA Store estimates that more than $400 million is forfeited every year in FSA funds because employees either miss or forget their spending deadlines (based on estimates using data from the 2017 FSA and HSA Consumer Research conducted by VISA). It’s your money — and it’s pre-tax. It doesn’t make sense not to use it. 

Under no circumstances can your boss give the money back to you directly, according to IRS rules. Once the plan year is over, that money is gone. So if you have any left toward the end of the year, you’ll need to figure out when and how to spend it.

What Can Flexible Spending and Health Savings Accounts Be Used for?

Your flexible spending account or health savings account will typically cover expenses like prescription drugs, doctor visits, and prescription eyewear, as well as prescription eyeglasses, prescription sunglasses, and contact lenses year-round. You can use these funds for prescription eyewear, whether or not you have vision insurance. See the list below to find out if your prescription eyewear is covered.

  • Eyeglasses (including reading glasses)
  • Prescription sunglasses
  • Sunglasses (only if medically necessary and prescribed by a physician)
  • Contact lenses and related cleaning/storage solutions

At Dr. Kye Mansfield, we offer a large selection of eyewear, sunglasses, and contact lenses. Use those funds by the end of the year as a holiday gift to yourself!