Renowned Lasik Surgeon, Dr. Stewart Shofner Shares 5 Important Tips to Maximize Next Year's Flex Spending and Health Savings Accountsby Shofner
An important change has been made to Health Savings Account Plans for 2013. The maximum amount of money you can put into your Flex Spending Account, also known as a "Cafeteria Plan" has been reduced to only $2,500 per calendar year. Although both Flex Spending Accounts and Health Savings Accounts are ways for some employees to save for medical expenses with "pre-tax" money, there are some key differences to be aware of. Dr. Stewart Shofner at Shofner Vision Center in Nashville, TN stays abreast to changes with healthcare accounts and reassures patients that LASIK vision correction surgery is covered under both plans, subject to the plan maximum.
"Most insurance companies don't include Lasik surgery as a covered medical expense, so these plans are very helpful to my patients that want to improve their vision, reduce their dependency on glasses or contacts and also save some money," says Dr. Shofner. He continues by explaining the differences between the two major plans and offers helpful tips to maximize next year's healthcare plans.
Flex Spending Account (FSA):
• Maximum amount of pre-tax dollars for 2013 is only $2500.
• Employers, not the employee, own a Flex Spending Account.
• Deposits into a Flex Spending Account are not refundable to individuals, so any monies not used within calendar year are not refunded back to individuals.
• Remaining balances that are not used by individuals are returned back to the employer.
Health Savings Account (HSA):
• Maximum amount of pre-tax dollars for 2013 is $3100 for an individual or $6250 for a family.
• The employee, not the company, owns a Health Savings Account.
• Typically offered by employers that have High Deductible Health Insurance Plans.
• Only money already deposited into the HSA account can be used. However, if an individual underestimates next year's medical expenses, a change to increase (Up to maximum amount) the amount deposited is possible during the year.
• Monies not used can be rolled over from year to year.
1) Flex Spending Account. Individuals that are offered this type of plan should carefully estimate as accurately as possible for medical expenses during the year. This amount is determined during the enrollment period, which is typically in October.
2) Health Savings Account. Individuals should fund as much as possible to cover medical expenses. These tax-free dollars roll over from year to year and includes 100% risk free from loss.
3) HSA account holders that underestimate medical expenses can also change the amount at anytime during the year.
4) Employers that offer these plans usually have a company employee to answer questions and give advise.
5) Don't have one? Express interest in obtaining a healthcare plan to your employer and ask colleagues to do the same.
About Shofner Vision Center
Dr. Stewart Shofner at Shofner Vision Center specializes in Lasik, Cataract Vision Correction Surgery and Comprehensive Eye Care. Dr. Shofner has performed over 30,000 Lasik surgeries and over 10,000 ocular surgeries in Nashville/Middle Tennessee area. Dr. Shofner recommends anyone experiencing impaired vision, changes in vision or has questions about budgeting Lasik into a FSA or HSA plan should contact Shofner Vision Center. Located in the heart of Nashville, Shofner Vision is the only trusted eye center and offers a "No Fear - No Pressure" complimentary exam to determine if Lasik vision correction surgery is appropriate for you.