Getting LASIK tomorrow - Limited FSA Question

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
Post Reply
Texanbybirth
Posts: 900
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2015 12:07 pm

Getting LASIK tomorrow - Limited FSA Question

Post by Texanbybirth » Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:05 pm

Hi all,

I'm very excited to be getting LASIK tomorrow at a very reputable local eye surgeon. I don't want to discuss the pros and cons of this procedure. It has been thoroughly vetted from a personal standpoint, and my wife and I have discussed it for about 3 years now as we saved up the cash to do it.

FROM A FINANCIAL PERSEPCTIVE:

We're covered by a HDHP at work, which means we get to use an HSA. During open-enrollment in May I chose the Limited Health Care FSA option, which money can be used to pay for dental and vision expenses, including LASIK. I've downloaded and saved the PDF document that shows LASIK as a valid expense to be reimbursed, I've called and spoken with an agent at our HR company to confirm this, I've got an e-mail confirming the expense is valid, and I can see on the website reimbursement section that LASIK is an option to reimburse. I'm pretty sure I've covered all my bases here, but I'm still just a little weary because the $2,650 is not a small amount of money for my family to be out if something goes awry.

Has anyone else used the Limited FSA to reimburse for LASIK? Isn't it also true that I'll be eligible to take the full balance of the LFSA to reimburse myself now, even though my payroll deductions won't be fully satisfied until May of next year?

Thanks for your help here!

tesuzuki2002
Posts: 484
Joined: Fri Dec 11, 2015 12:40 pm

Re: Getting LASIK tomorrow - Limited FSA Question

Post by tesuzuki2002 » Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:16 pm

Texanbybirth wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:05 pm
Hi all,

I'm very excited to be getting LASIK tomorrow at a very reputable local eye surgeon. I don't want to discuss the pros and cons of this procedure. It has been thoroughly vetted from a personal standpoint, and my wife and I have discussed it for about 3 years now as we saved up the cash to do it.

FROM A FINANCIAL PERSEPCTIVE:

We're covered by a HDHP at work, which means we get to use an HSA. During open-enrollment in May I chose the Limited Health Care FSA option, which money can be used to pay for dental and vision expenses, including LASIK. I've downloaded and saved the PDF document that shows LASIK as a valid expense to be reimbursed, I've called and spoken with an agent at our HR company to confirm this, I've got an e-mail confirming the expense is valid, and I can see on the website reimbursement section that LASIK is an option to reimburse. I'm pretty sure I've covered all my bases here, but I'm still just a little weary because the $2,650 is not a small amount of money for my family to be out if something goes awry.

Has anyone else used the Limited FSA to reimburse for LASIK? Isn't it also true that I'll be eligible to take the full balance of the LFSA to reimburse myself now, even though my payroll deductions won't be fully satisfied until May of next year?

Thanks for your help here!
You are supposed to elect LPFSA amounts prior to the current year... so in December last year you should have done this. You would then have withholdings going into it since January of this year and they will remain thru 2018 year end. All you would do is pay for the procedure and get reimbursed by the LPFSA provider. I just did this 2 years ago.. I paid $4250 total. I collected $2,550 back from the LPFSA. it reduces your year end earning by said amount you elected. $2,550.00 in my case.

Oh and while the LASIK does some weird things with night and low light vision that they say will last for many many year.. basically forever.. I'm still satisfied with the huge benefits of it for someone who is very active outdoors person... I would do it again next year if I had to.

Texanbybirth
Posts: 900
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2015 12:07 pm

Re: Getting LASIK tomorrow - Limited FSA Question

Post by Texanbybirth » Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:19 pm

tesuzuki2002 wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:16 pm
Texanbybirth wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:05 pm
Hi all,

I'm very excited to be getting LASIK tomorrow at a very reputable local eye surgeon. I don't want to discuss the pros and cons of this procedure. It has been thoroughly vetted from a personal standpoint, and my wife and I have discussed it for about 3 years now as we saved up the cash to do it.

FROM A FINANCIAL PERSEPCTIVE:

We're covered by a HDHP at work, which means we get to use an HSA. During open-enrollment in May I chose the Limited Health Care FSA option, which money can be used to pay for dental and vision expenses, including LASIK. I've downloaded and saved the PDF document that shows LASIK as a valid expense to be reimbursed, I've called and spoken with an agent at our HR company to confirm this, I've got an e-mail confirming the expense is valid, and I can see on the website reimbursement section that LASIK is an option to reimburse. I'm pretty sure I've covered all my bases here, but I'm still just a little weary because the $2,650 is not a small amount of money for my family to be out if something goes awry.

Has anyone else used the Limited FSA to reimburse for LASIK? Isn't it also true that I'll be eligible to take the full balance of the LFSA to reimburse myself now, even though my payroll deductions won't be fully satisfied until May of next year?

Thanks for your help here!
You are supposed to elect LPFSA amounts prior to the current year... so in December last year you should have done this. You would then have withholdings going into it since January of this year and they will remain thru 2018 year end. All you would do is pay for the procedure and get reimbursed by the LPFSA provider. I just did this 2 years ago.. I paid $4250 total. I collected $2,550 back from the LPFSA. it reduces your year end earning by said amount you elected. $2,550.00 in my case.
Thank you. Sounds like you had an easy time, which I'm hoping for too!

Our plan year is June to May, so open enrollment for us was May of this year. It'll be a little wonky at tax time. I'm not exactly sure how much I'll get to deduct this year, probably only the portion attributable to 2018. However, I'm certain I signed up for the LFSA benefit correctly. :beer

aristotelian
Posts: 4560
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:05 pm

Re: Getting LASIK tomorrow - Limited FSA Question

Post by aristotelian » Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:09 pm

Lasik is pretty much the raison d'etre for LP-FSA. Make sure you get a detailed statement with the service and office visits listed, not just a credit card receipt.

tesuzuki2002
Posts: 484
Joined: Fri Dec 11, 2015 12:40 pm

Re: Getting LASIK tomorrow - Limited FSA Question

Post by tesuzuki2002 » Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:23 pm

Texanbybirth wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:19 pm
tesuzuki2002 wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:16 pm
Texanbybirth wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:05 pm
Hi all,

I'm very excited to be getting LASIK tomorrow at a very reputable local eye surgeon. I don't want to discuss the pros and cons of this procedure. It has been thoroughly vetted from a personal standpoint, and my wife and I have discussed it for about 3 years now as we saved up the cash to do it.

FROM A FINANCIAL PERSEPCTIVE:

We're covered by a HDHP at work, which means we get to use an HSA. During open-enrollment in May I chose the Limited Health Care FSA option, which money can be used to pay for dental and vision expenses, including LASIK. I've downloaded and saved the PDF document that shows LASIK as a valid expense to be reimbursed, I've called and spoken with an agent at our HR company to confirm this, I've got an e-mail confirming the expense is valid, and I can see on the website reimbursement section that LASIK is an option to reimburse. I'm pretty sure I've covered all my bases here, but I'm still just a little weary because the $2,650 is not a small amount of money for my family to be out if something goes awry.

Has anyone else used the Limited FSA to reimburse for LASIK? Isn't it also true that I'll be eligible to take the full balance of the LFSA to reimburse myself now, even though my payroll deductions won't be fully satisfied until May of next year?

Thanks for your help here!
You are supposed to elect LPFSA amounts prior to the current year... so in December last year you should have done this. You would then have withholdings going into it since January of this year and they will remain thru 2018 year end. All you would do is pay for the procedure and get reimbursed by the LPFSA provider. I just did this 2 years ago.. I paid $4250 total. I collected $2,550 back from the LPFSA. it reduces your year end earning by said amount you elected. $2,550.00 in my case.
Thank you. Sounds like you had an easy time, which I'm hoping for too!

Our plan year is June to May, so open enrollment for us was May of this year. It'll be a little wonky at tax time. I'm not exactly sure how much I'll get to deduct this year, probably only the portion attributable to 2018. However, I'm certain I signed up for the LFSA benefit correctly. :beer
ahh Yes.. I see the issue. I don't know how NON-Calendar year LPFSA work... I would assume you can only claim your elections that will be in there thru this year... and then you'll need another LPFSA expense next year between January and May to collect the remaining amount.

Texanbybirth
Posts: 900
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2015 12:07 pm

Re: Getting LASIK tomorrow - Limited FSA Question

Post by Texanbybirth » Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:26 pm

tesuzuki2002 wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:23 pm
ahh Yes.. I see the issue. I don't know how NON-Calendar year LPFSA work... I would assume you can only claim your elections that will be in there thru this year... and then you'll need another LPFSA expense next year between January and May to collect the remaining amount.
I believe I will get the full benefit amount this year, but the tax break could be broken up between 2018 and 2019 because of the payroll deductions hitting in 2018 and 2019.
aristotelian wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:09 pm
Lasik is pretty much the raison d'etre for LP-FSA. Make sure you get a detailed statement with the service and office visits listed, not just a credit card receipt.
Great, and thanks for the documentation point! I'll be sure to get more than, and not less than, enough for the FSA team.

I figured LASIK and expensive orthodontics (braces) are the two major expenses one would incur under the LFSA. I did have to get a crown last year, and the tax break would have been nice, but it wasn't a planned expense!

User avatar
tennisplyr
Posts: 1744
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 1:53 pm
Location: Sarasota, FL

Re: Getting LASIK tomorrow - Limited FSA Question

Post by tennisplyr » Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:29 pm

Have you confirmed this with your insurance company?
Those who move forward with a happy spirit will find that things always work out.

Texanbybirth
Posts: 900
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2015 12:07 pm

Re: Getting LASIK tomorrow - Limited FSA Question

Post by Texanbybirth » Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:34 pm

tennisplyr wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:29 pm
Have you confirmed this with your insurance company?
There's no insurance benefit with this procedure, as it's elective/cosmetic.

For my vision insurance I'd have to go to one of their "recommended" facilities, but they'll only give me $150. It's worth it to me (and my wife's peace of mind) to go to this doctor. Supposedly I can use my vision benefit this year to get sunglasses worth up to $180 after the procedure though. 8-)

User avatar
wabbajack
Posts: 123
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2018 8:05 pm
Location: Indianapolis

Re: Getting LASIK tomorrow - Limited FSA Question

Post by wabbajack » Thu Sep 13, 2018 4:07 pm

Texanbybirth wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:34 pm
tennisplyr wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:29 pm
Have you confirmed this with your insurance company?
There's no insurance benefit with this procedure, as it's elective/cosmetic.

For my vision insurance I'd have to go to one of their "recommended" facilities, but they'll only give me $150. It's worth it to me (and my wife's peace of mind) to go to this doctor. Supposedly I can use my vision benefit this year to get sunglasses worth up to $180 after the procedure though. 8-)
I can't speak to the LFSA as I did not use that, however I will share that I had LASIK in 2014 and then withdrew the amount from my HSA in 2016. IRS hasn't said anything to me about it. It's a qualified expense and I have paperwork, but I'm still relieved I don't have to prove anything - yet.

As for vision insurance, can you use the benefit to get sunglasses if they are not prescription? If so, I would be kicking myself for not getting new Ray Bans every year :?

Post Reply