Millions of employees in the U.S. have the opportunity to take advantage of a
Flexible Spending Account to pay for out-of-pocked health expenses such as co-pays, deductibles
and healthcare not otherwise covered by insurance. FSA is not a new benefit
of employment, but with changing healthcare laws under ObamaCare, new
rules and guidelines apply to flexible spending in 2013 and beyond.
The biggest FSA change is in limiting the amount of pre-tax salary employees
are able to designate to their flex spending account. In years past, there
was no cap, though most employers typically set a $5,000 limit for employees.
New laws, which went into effect on Jan. 1, 2013, limit the amount individuals
can designate for FSA to $2,500. (Employees who work two jobs for unrelated
employers can elect up to $2,500 under each employer’s FSA.)
Use-it-or-lose-it rules also apply to FSAs saying unused dollars at the
end of the plan year are forfeited. The insurance plan year for most employers
ends on Dec. 31, meaning many employees lost any unused money in their
FSA at the beginning of the year. Some employers, however, offer a grace
period of two months and 15 days after the plan year ends to use the money.
If this is the case for you, there is still time for you to use your 2012
FSA funds. (Source:
Under FSA guidelines, LASIK and laser eye surgery are covered expenses.
However, if you hold a health savings account in addition to your FSA,
you may only use FSA funds for dental and vision care,
eye care would not be an eligible FSA expense. (A complete list of FSA eligible
expenses can be found
If you’ve been considering LASIK eye surgery, utilizing your FSA
funds will allow you to save money on the cost of vision surgery. If you
have funds remaining in your FSA from last year, keep in mind the “use-it-or-lose-it”
rule and schedule your LASIK surgery before time runs out. Contact Key-Whitman to
schedule a free consultation. We can help you decide if a LASIK procedure is the best way to spend
your remaining 2012 FSA funds or your 2013 funds.