What can I spend my HSA on?
Are you enrolled in a health insurance plan that has a higher deductible than most other plans? If so, you may be able to take advantage of a special tax-exempt savings benefit available only to people subscribed to qualified high deductible health plans (HDHPs) — a health savings account (HSA).
With an HSA, you can set aside pre-tax income in a federally insured savings account that you can draw upon to pay for medical expenses.
Your HSA can cover your health insurance deductible costs and other qualified medical expenses. Plus, your HSA funds don’t have to be used before the end of the year. They roll over into the following year and will keep accumulating interest.
Setting up an HSA can be a smart financial decision and can make it easier to ensure that you and your family will have access to the care you need.
How does an HSA work?
An HSA is like a standard interest-bearing savings account. Funds you contribute are tax-deductible with tax-free interest — as long as they are spent on qualified medical expenses.
In 2020, individuals can contribute up to $3,550 per year to an HSA, and families can contribute up to $7,100. People who are 55 and older are allowed an additional $1,000 in contributions.
Once you’ve set up your account, you can decide how much to contribute. It’s common to contribute a set amount each month, and many plan administrators also accept lump-sum deposits.
Most HSAs issue debit cards or checks that can be used to pay for qualified medical expenses. Some also offer online bill payment options.
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:
Prescription lenses, bifocals and progressive lenses are covered. You can also choose safety lenses or sports protection lenses, as well as UV-protective, light adaptive lenses (such as Transitions) and polycarbonate lenses if you need them.
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.
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.
Toric lenses, which correct for astigmatism, and bifocal or multifocal contacts, are an option for those who have both near and distance prescriptions.
Some HSAs also allow for the purchase of saline solution, contact lens cleaning fluid, eyeglass cleaner, wipes and even protective cases for your eyewear.
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.
Don’t neglect your vision — it’s a vital part of your health. If you’re due for an eye exam, be sure to check with your HSA provider to validate what is covered by your plan.
NEED AN EYE EXAM? Find an eye doctor near you and make an appointment.
Page updated February 2020