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Using vision insurance, FSAs or HSAs for sunglasses

An older gentleman wears sunglasses while looking at the beach with his granddaughter

Vision insurance will almost always cover prescription sunglasses, but it’s unlikely to cover sunglasses without prescription lenses. Some plans do offer a percentage discount on non-prescription sunglasses when you buy them from an in-network provider.

Vision insurance eligibility is usually limited to vision products and eye doctor exams that help correct your vision. Since prescription sunglasses offer UV protection and correct your eyesight, you could be covered. But make sure to double check with your vision insurance provider or employer.

SEE RELATED: Where can I get vision insurance?

How do I use my vision insurance for sunglasses?

How you use your vision insurance depends on where you plan on buying prescription sunglasses.

If the store is in-network, you may be able to have your insurance benefit applied directly to your order when you pay. If the store is out-of-network, you will probably need to file a claim for reimbursement. You usually have the choice of filing the claim online or with a paper mail-in form.

Either way, you will need to attach your receipt. Make sure to hang on to a copy for your own records.

You’ll need to provide basic personal details, such as name, address, phone number, member ID, group number, and information about where you bought your sunglasses. You will be asked to list any additional costs, such as lens add-ons.

If your insurer accepts your claim, you will receive a check for the covered amount.

SEE RELATED: Is vision insurance worth it?

Maximizing vision insurance with an FSA or HSA

If you’re enrolled in a flexible spending account (FSA) or a health savings account (HSA), you might be able to save even more money on sunglasses.

FSAs and HSAs are special accounts that allow you to pay for eligible health expenses — certain vision expenses included — with your own pre-tax dollars. These funds are directly withdrawn from every paycheck in equal amounts throughout the year.

The benefits of vision insurance and an FSA or HSA can be stacked, meaning you can use vision insurance to reduce the cost of an expense, then use one of your health accounts to pay with pre-tax FSA dollars.

In addition to your vision insurance savings, an FSA or HSA can save you about 30 cents on every dollar you contribute.

READ MORE: What’s the difference between an FSA and an HSA?

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