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Use your FSA or HSA funds on contact lenses

If you wear prescription contact lenses, you can use the pre-tax funds in your flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA) to pay for your contacts and other qualified vision care expenses.

FSA and contact lenses

Contact lenses and associated care items such as saline and cleaning solution are eligible to purchase with an FSA card (also called a flex card). You can do this by purchasing your qualifying contact lens supplies from an FSA-approved retailer (either online or in-store) and using your FSA card at checkout.

If you don’t have a flex card, you will have to pay the up-front cost of the contacts or care items then apply for reimbursement through your FSA plan administrator. This means you’ll need to submit an invoice, receipt or explanation of benefits (EOB) to your plan administrator showing the purchase was a qualifying expense, and a statement that explains the expense was not covered by your health insurance plan.

Once approved, you will be reimbursed for the amount you spent on qualifying items.

It’s important to note that contact lenses are only covered with your FSA if you have a prescription for them. Cosmetic or costume contact lenses are not eligible for FSA reimbursement.

SEE RELATED: How to check your HSA or FSA balance

HSA and contact lenses

Similar to an FSA, prescription contact lenses and accessories are eligible to be purchased using funds from your health savings account (HSA). You may receive an HSA card to use at checkout for qualifying contact lens and lens care purchases or choose to file for reimbursement after paying with your regular debit or credit card.

A perk about an HSA account is that, while leftover FSA funds are generally forfeited at the end of each plan year, funds from your health savings account carry over from each year to the next. Because the funds accumulate over time, you can save up for bigger vision expenses such as LASIK or another corrective procedure.

It’s important to understand that only medically necessary procedures and products will be HSA or FSA approved. To get a better idea of what this does and does not cover, speak with your benefits administrator.

SEE RELATED: FSA vs HSA: What’s the difference?

Other FSA and HSA eligible vision expenses

Your FSA or HSA dollars are good for more than just contact lenses and cleaning solution. The funds can also be used toward:

  • Prescription eyeglasses

  • Prescription sunglasses

  • Eye drops

  • Eye care co-pays and deductibles

  • Routine eye exams

  • Reading glasses, which can be purchased at the needed magnification with or without a prescription

To discover what else is covered under your plan, contact your FSA or HSA plan administrator.

READ MORE: FSA/HSA for eyeglasses

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