LASIK surgery is a safe and effective procedure that has helped millions of patients achieve improved vision; in fact, most LASIK patients no longer rely on eyeglasses or contact lenses to see clearly. But one factor that prohibits patients from undergoing this life changing procedure is its cost. When performed using the most advanced technology available, LASIK can cost $2,000 or more per eye. Since the procedure is considered elective, health insurance does not cover any portion of the cost of LASIK. This means that patients must pay for the full cost of treatment out of their own pockets. At Chicago Cornea Consultants™, Ltd., a reputable laser eye surgery practice, we advise patients on all of the possible ways to pay for LASIK, including employer-sponsored FSAs.
What Is an FSA?
An FSA is a flexible spending account that is used to cover the costs of health care. It can be used for copayments and deductibles, as well as certain medications, medical procedures (including LASIK), and medical equipment. Employers offer these accounts as a way for employees to cover health-related costs with earnings that are exempt from tax deductions.
How an FSA Works
Employees can put a maximum of $2,500 into their FSA each year. Since this money is not subject to tax deductions, they are able to build up the amount of money in this type of account at a faster rate than they would with a regular saving account. However, FSAs do come with some limitations and downsides that employees should keep in mind:
The money in the FSA can only be used to cover approved health care costs (LASIK eye surgery is one such approved procedure).The full amount of funds in the FSA can’t be carried over year-to-year. Some employers allow employees to carry over $500 to be used in the next year, or allow a 2.5-month grace period in which funds can be used. Be sure to plan carefully to ensure that you use the full amount in your FSA each year, and check with your employer to find out if the company will roll over $500 to the next year or if a grace period is offered.After enrolling in an FSA, you can’t choose to reduce the amount of money that is contributed. When patients sign up, they should have a good idea of how they will be spending the funds in the FSA.
For patients who plan wisely, an FSA can allow for 10 to 35 percent savings (depending on the individual’s income tax rate) on medical care. For LASIK patients, this is a significant reduction in the cost of treatment. If you wish to undergo LASIK this year, talk to your employer to find out if you can sign up for an FSA account. Once you have the funds in the FSA, we can schedule your LASIK surgical appointment, and you can undergo surgery at a reduced cost to you.
To find out if you are a good candidate for LASIK, and to receive a personalized quote, contact Chicago Cornea Consultants™, Ltd.