Flexible spending accounts (FSA) can be used to pay for qualifying LASIK procedures. LASIK is not the only laser eye surgery covered under an FSA but it is the most popular laser procedure in the United States.
Qualifying Medical Expense
According to the Internal Revenue Service, laser eye surgery is a qualified medical expense for an FSA. For it to be a qualifying medical expense, you must make an appointment with an ophthalmologist to first determine whether the procedure is medically necessary.
LASIK procedures are considered an elective decision. An ophthalmologist can provide you with an estimate for how much your procedure will cost. You can elect to increase your contribution the next year up to a maximum of $2,550 per year if the costs of your procedure run over what you contributed for that calendar year. By delaying the procedure, you could have less out-of-pocket expenses.
Typically, LASIK is not covered under medical insurance, and vision insurance may only provide you with a small discount. This leaves your FSA as the only means of paying for LASIK unless you pay out of pocket or take out a medical loan.
Pros and Cons of an FSA
You can use your FSA for other vision-related expenses such as glasses, contact lenses, eye exams and optometrist visits. FSA funds are taken out of your paycheck before taxes, saving you money on expenses you would pay for anyways. Employers can elect to contribute to your FSA. FSA funds must be used by the end of the calendar year or they are forfeited back to your employer. FSAs are only available through employer-sponsored health care plans.