Reviewed by Dr. Matthew Miller, OD
If you have opted into a flexible spending account (FSA), a savings accounts where you allocated pre-taxed funds to help pay for medical care costs, then you are eligible to use it on EyeBuyDirect prescription eyewear at checkout. However, the clock is ticking for you to redeem those valuable dollars toward deals on vision care products and services.
According to WageWorks, a trusted FSA administration firm, an estimated 8% of users miss their opportunity to reap the benefits of their FSA. Here’s how to avoid leaving that hard-earned money on the table.
Understand What Qualifies
One of the perks of having an FSA is being able to use it for costs outside of your insurance parameters. For example, the copay and deductible from your optometrist visit both qualify for FSA reimbursement.
There are also plenty of other out-of-pocket expenses that might go overlooked. These include prescription eye drops, prescription glasses, prescription sunglasses, readers, contact lenses, cleaning solutions, and eye surgery such as LASIK. You can even get reimbursed for your travel to and from your eye doctor or pharmacy for prescriptions.
Your best bet is to know what is eligible before you go shopping, so you know how to use FSA money wisely. Check your online FSA store (typically offered by your employer). There, you’ll find a definitive list of expenses that qualify for FSA use.
How to Use Your FSA Card
Your FSA provider likely offers a card that simplifies the redemption process even further. With this card, all you need to do is swipe it just like you would a debit or credit card. You can then purchase qualifying vision-care items with your allocated pre-taxed FSA dollars.
This method removes some of the guesswork surrounding proper FSA use. You won’t need to consult your qualifying list while at the store, because your card verifies eligible expenses at the point of purchase.
Using your card is also a great way to find out how much you’ve already spent. Plus, it ensures you won’t miss out on lesser-known FSA-qualifying purchases. Keep in mind that you’ll want to hold onto your receipts. Your employer may request them to verify purchases.
Submit FSA Claims
What if you don’t have a card? Or, what happens if you made a qualified purchase, but use your FSA funds? You can submit these expenses at any time within the term of your FSA coverage or grace period. And, you can do so right on your FSA provider’s website.
If you don’t know how to access your FSA website, check with your employer or third-party FSA provider. If this is your first time logging into an FSA website, you may need to set up an account.
Once you’ve accessed your FSA website, look for the option to submit a claim. From there, follow the steps outlined on the FSA claim page. These will vary according to your provider.
Typically, you will be asked to upload a digital copy of your receipt and answer a series of questions. For example, you’ll likely be asked to fill out some personal information along with the service or product type, your date of service or purchase, your provider’s name, and the cost not reimbursed by your health insurance provider. Once completed, your FSA provider will evaluate your claim and send you a reimbursement check toward all qualifying purchases.
Redeeming your FSA dollars is easy and a great way to save while investing your hard-earned money back into what’s best for your eyes. Schedule an eye exam today.