Save 30% or More on LASIK - Use Your Flex Spending Account!
If your medical expenses reach 7.5% of your income in any given year, the price of your LASIK / laser vision correction can be deducted for tax purposes. In May 2003, the IRS confirmed that laser vision correction indeed qualified as a medical expense for this purpose. Most people, however, end up not reaching the 7.5% threshold. Therefore, they turn to another popular program: Flex Spending.
Flexible Medical Spending Account (FLEX Account)
Your company may very well offer a FLEX account, and you may not even know about it. A Flexible Spending Account (FSA), (also called flex plan, reimbursement account, Flex 125, Tax Saving Plan, Medical Spending Account, a Section 125, or a Cafeteria Plan), is an employer-sponsored benefit that allows individuals to pay for their eligible medical expenses on a pre-tax basis (there are also similar accounts for dependent and child-care expenses). If you expect to incur medical expenses that won't be reimbursed by your regular health insurance plan, you may consider taking advantage of your employer's FSA, if one is offered.
A FLEX account allows you to choose a certain amount to be withheld from each paycheck, and deposited in a special account. You can then use the money in this account to pay for your LASIK.
There are 2 advantages of using a FLEX account: a) you save automatically, and, b) the money is before tax, which means you can save up to over 30%!
You must use up all the money before Dec. 31 or you lose the unspent money. Using a FLEX account, you would chose to set aside a certain amount of money for your LASIK, and this would then be deducted from your FLEX account. Ask your Benefits or Human Resource Department for details.
How can I benefit?
FSA saves you money by reducing your income taxes. The contributions you make to a Flexible Spending Account are deducted from your pay BEFORE your Federal, State, or Social Security Taxes are calculated and the contributions are not taxable. The end result is that you decrease your taxable income and increase your spendable income. You save hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year.
|Your Annual Contribution||Estimate Income Tax Savings|
|15% Tax Bracket||28% Tax Bracket||31% Tax Bracket|
How Does It Work?
At the beginning of the flex spending plan year (which usually starts January 1st), your employer asks how much money you want to contribute for the year (there are limits). You have usually only one opportunity to enroll in a given year, unless there is a qualified “family status change,” such as marriage, birth, divorce, or loss of a spouse’s insurance coverage. The amount designated for the year is taken out of your paycheck in equal installments each pay period and deposited in a special account by the employer. As medical expenses are incurred, that are not fully covered by your insurance, you submit a copy of the Explanation of Benefits or the provider’s invoice and proof of payment to the plan administrator, to have a reimbursement check issued to you.
What Expenses Are Eligible?
Any expense that is considered a deductible medical expense by the IRS and is not reimbursed through your insurance can be reimbursed through the FSA. These include most elective surgery, LASIK / laser vision correction, deductibles, eyeglasses, and prescription drug co-payments.
If you prefer to speak with us directly, call 212-759-9617
Note: This offer is only available to US residents. Not all employers participate in FSA programs. It is recommended that you check with your Benefits Manager to see if your employer participates. It is also important to calculate how much money to contribute for the year. If you put more money than you need, by law, you lose it. For LASIK surgery, we recommend that you have a consultation first to determine candidacy prior to making any allocations to your Flexible Spending Account.