Cost of LASIK: St. Louis has more options than ever!
If you live in St. Louis, there are more options than ever to pay for LASIK and its modern variations: ASA (Advanced PRK), Kamra, RLE, ICL, LRI, or SMILE. In addition to financing with terms like no interest and low monthly payments, many patients are opting to utilize flex spending accounts (FSAs) or health savings accounts (HSAs) to cover significant portions of the costs for these life-changing procedures. At Brinton Vision, we know it is important to understand how they work and how they can help you change the way you see the world.
LASIK and Flex Spending Accounts
FSAs are employer-sponsored plans that set aside money for eligible expenses on a pre-tax basis. They reduce taxable income while helping to ensure that medical costs not covered by insurance are still covered. These expenses can include:
- All laser vision correction procedures provided by Brinton Vision
- Elective surgeries
- Dental care
- Deductibles not paid by insurance
- Prescription drug co-payments
- Other qualified expenses.
FSAs reduce the amount you pay in income taxes because they decrease your taxable income. These plans are 100 percent employee-funded; employers do not contribute to these funds.
FSAs are sometimes referred to as flex plans, reimbursement accounts, Flex 125 plans, tax savings plans, medical spending accounts, Section 125 accounts, or cafeteria plans. There are no eligibility requirements to establish an FSA.
Remember that, if you contribute more than you need to your FSA, by law, you cannot get your money back. That’s why it’s good practice to take a look at your FSA as you near year’s end. If you have money left, don’t let it expire and lose it — use it for your vision correction procedure.
LASIK and Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)
Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are another creative way to pay for otherwise uncovered medical expenses. Some HSAs are available through employers, and they are also available through banks, insurance companies, and other financial institutions.
HSAs are funded through pre-tax, tax-deductible contributions, and both employers and individuals can contribute. To qualify for an HSA, you must be under 65 years old, not be listed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return, and have a high-deductible health insurance plan. For 2017, this means having a deductible of at least $1,300 for an individual or $2,600 for family coverage.
HSAs can be used to cover basically the same list of qualified expenses as FSAs, including paying for a significant portion of the cost of laser eye surgery, including LASIK, at Brinton Vision. They can also be rolled over to cover medical expenses after retirement.
One of the biggest differences between FSAs and HSAs is that, unlike FSAs in which unused allocations are lost at the end of the year, money remains in an HSA until it is spent.
There are other differences, too. For example, you can change your contribution amount at any time with an HSA; your HSA can follow you to a new place of employment; and the maximum contribution for HSAs is higher than that for FSAs.
Click here to visit the IRS website for more information about the benefits and risks of FSAs and HSAs.
Questions about how to use your FSA or HSA for your procedure? Looking for the best LASIK in St. Louis? We’re happy to help. Give us a call — 314.375.2020, or click here to book an appointment online.