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Contacts and Your FSA/HSA: What You Need to Know

Flexible spending accounts (FSA) and health savings accounts (HSA) let you contribute pre-tax dollars to use toward medical expenses that your insurance does not cover. This means less taxable income and more money for glasses, contacts, copayments and other eye care expenses. Nice, right?

But, these two types of accounts have their differences. Here's a high-level overview.


The amount you can contribute to an FSA varies year to year, so make sure to check with your program administrator. However, make sure you don't put more money in your FSA than you think you'll spend within a year; if the cash set aside is not used by December 31 of the contribution year, the money will not roll over or be refunded. Long story short, use it or lose it.

That said, some employers offer one of two options to alleviate money loss:

  • Grace period: When an employer provides up to two and a half extra months to use FSA funds.
  • Carryover: When an employer allows you to roll over up to $500 to use the following year.
  • How do I know which products are FSA-qualified? marks qualified contacts with an FSA symbol to make them recognizable. Prescription glasses, reading glasses and lens accessories are also eligible, but check with your plan administrator to see which products qualify.

  • How do I pay for items from with my FSA?

    That depends on your plan. If you have an FSA debit card, use it to make purchases, but make sure to keep receipts in case questions arise about eligibility. If you don't have a debit card, you'll pay up-front for items and submit your purchase confirmation page (via email, fax, snail mail) to your FSA account administrator for reimbursement. And remember, all orders must be placed by December 31 to be eligible for reimbursement.


Just like an FSA, the amount you can contribute varies yearly, so check with your program administrator to confirm. Unlike its cousin the FSA, HSA contributions roll over year after year and earn tax-deferred interest.

  • Who can set up an HSA?

    You can establish an HSA if you meet the following criteria:

    • You're covered by a high-deductible health plan (HDHP)
    • You're not covered by an additional medical plan
    • You cannot be claimed as a dependent on someone's tax return
    • You're not entitled to Medicare benefits
  • How do I know which products are HSA-qualified?

    There's an extensive list that includes contact lenses, eyeglasses and eye exams.

  • How do I pay for items from with my HSA?

    HSA trustees or medical insurers will issue a debit/credit card that you can use to order contacts online or over the phone with our Customer Service Team.

If you have any other questions about how to use your FSA or HSA to purchase contact lenses or eyewear, please contact your plan administrator.
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