Ring in the new year by learning how to use rollover funds from your HSA for LASIK
To enjoy clearer vision, and freedom from glasses and contacts, many patients may be considering LASIK surgery in the new year. While the surgery itself is safe and effective, the procedure can present a steep expense for certain patients.
Thankfully, there are a number of affordable payment options available. One of the most common is a Health Savings Account (HSA). Using HSA for LASIK offers patients a flexible payment option that alleviates some of the upfront cost of the surgery.
LASIK is the most popular refractive surgery for patients who want clearer eyesight and freedom from glasses and contacts. The procedure improves vision and corrects refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.
During LASIK, a surgeon uses a laser to reshape the cornea by removing thin, microscopic layers, and smoothing irregularities.
The surgery is considered extremely safe and effective. Around 98.5% of LASIK patients report being happy with their outcome.
Patients can expect to pay anywhere between $1,500 to $3,000 per eye ($3000 to $7,500 for both eyes)
Various factors contribute to the range of prices. Surgery will usually be more expensive in places with a higher cost of living and in cases where surgeons lease their equipment. The experience of the eye doctor and the prestige of the clinic will also determine the final price of LASIK surgery.
Factors such as the quality of the patient's vision (how good or bad their vision is) will not affect the cost of LASIK.
Patients often ask: does insurance cover LASIK surgery? Unfortunately, insurance companies do not cover the entire cost of the procedure.
LASIK is an elective surgery. This means the procedure is not considered a medical necessity. While the surgery reliably gives patients clearer vision and corrects refractive errors, there are less expensive methods — such as glasses and contacts — that produce similar results.
There are a number of LASIK payment options available outside of insurance. One of the most common is the Health Savings Account (HSA).
An HSA is a tax-exempt bank account that allows you to pay for certain medical expenses. Patients can open an HSA if they have a high-deductible insurance plan. The HSA will help them pay for expenses not covered by their insurance.
If a patient qualifies for an HSA, they can deposit a sum of money each year to their account. The amount patients are allowed to pay into their HSA account fluctuates yearly.
As of 2023, the yearly sums for an HSA are $3,850 for an individual and $7,750 for a family. Patients and their families can use this amount to pay for several medical expenses not covered by insurance.
A Flexible Spending Account (FSA) is another common type of health account. An FSA is similar to an HSA — but not identical.
In an FSA, patients can only set aside pre-tax money. Many people open an FSA through their employer. Unlike an HSA, patients do not need a health insurance plan to fund their FSA.
The biggest difference between an HSA and an FSA is how and when patients can use the funds in their accounts. With an FSA, patients must use the funds they contribute by the end of the year. For example, any funds contributed in 2023 would need to be used in the same calendar year.
HSAs are more flexible. They allow unused payments to roll over from year to year. This means payments accumulate over time. For example, someone who contributed to an HSA in 2023 could use the funds to pay for a procedure the following year.
Patients can pay for LASIK and a variety of other medical procedures using their HSA account. While the IRS sets limits on the procedures covered by HSA, LASIK and other optical surgeries are included.
Since funds roll over each year, patients can take advantage of accumulated funds to pay for their LASIK surgery.
When a patient opens up an HSA, they will receive a credit or debit card associated with their account which they can use to pay.
Patients can also transfer money directly from their HSA account to pay for LASIK and other surgeries. Because funds roll over every year, patients can use accumulated funds for the purchase.
If you’re in the greater Los Angeles area and have questions about LASIK, and the payment options available to you, contact Dr. Besser’s office to schedule a consultation.
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