Home » A Guide to HSAs and FSAs: You can buy glasses with that?

A Guide to HSAs and FSAs: You can buy glasses with that?

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (June 1, 2018) — Many Kentuckians wrestle with healthcare expenses—and especially vision care—but find comfort in certain type of savings plans. Statistics show that many in the higher-income brackets understand how HSAs (health savings accounts) and FSAs (flexible spending accounts), in particular, can save them money, according to a Health Affairs Journal national report.

An HSA is a personal savings account that can be funded with pre-tax dollars to be used for qualified medical, dental and vision expenses for those with a high-deductible health plan. The FSA is another method of that allows an employee to set aside money tax-free to pay for eligible expenses.

HSA providers Health Equity and Optum Bank, a subsidiary of United Healthcare Group, have continued to grow in recent years. And many employers have assisted in that growth. The city of Lexington, for example, offers HSAs to its employees.

So, it is good news that 2018 HSA changes only enhance the amounts of money you can tuck away. And the over-65 market in Medicare is a prime target for future expansion with HSAs. Recently U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., along with Sens. Bill Cassidy, R-La., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, proposed legislation that lays out further favorable treatment of HSAs. Sen. Paul’s Penny Plan Budget remarks this past April touted a strong expansion model for HSAs for the Budget Year Fiscal 2019.

A number of employers often encourage participation in FSAs. For example, the University of Kentucky offers two kinds of FSAs:

  • Dependent care provides for use of tax-free dollars to pay for child care expenses. An employee may contribute $500 to $5,000 each year to this FSA. Each household has a maximum $5,000 contribution.
  • Healthcare allows for saving tax-free dollars for eligible medical expenses. The employee may contribute $250 to $2,600 each year to this FSA. ConnectYourCare manages these FSA benefits. The rules for contribution limits are often specific to each situation.

Below is an infographic that assists in answers for the average Kentuckian to find the dollars for vision care this year.