An HSA (Health Savings Account) and an FSA (Flexible Spending Account) are money-saving tools designed to cover healthcare expenses. The best feature about these two is that they offer employees tax advantages for healthcare expenditures. Although they are similar and cover costs that your high-deductible health plan would not, they are different.
Here are some of the most significant differences between HSAs and FSAs:
To qualify for an HSA, an employee must be part of a high-deductible health plan (HDHP). However, the only qualification for an FSA is working for an employer sponsoring an FSA plan.
Employees can save up their HSA funds for a few years and use the entire balance at once. FSAs have a “use-it-or-lose-it” feature, meaning that you must use the funds within the year. You forfeit the unused funds unless you have a rollover option or use it within the grace period.
Employees own their HSA account, so they retain their funds when they change employers or even after retirement. On the other hand, FSAs are tied to the employer. So, if you retire or change your employer, you lose your funds, except if there is a carryover option.
Employees can withdraw HSA funds without incurring penalties if they spend it on eligible healthcare expenses. They incur a 20% penalty and income tax for non-eligible expenses if one is below the age of 65. FSAs do not attract the same tax benefits, but you must pay back funds used for non-eligible expenses.
Consult your financial advisor or employer for the best option for your situation and healthcare needs.
The healthcare-related benefits here are numerous, though most people usually spend the funds on pain relief medication and eyeglasses. Some of the eyecare benefits you can access using your HSA and FSA include:
The above are the general benefits of both HSA and FSA accounts. Depending on the plan you are on, you can have additional benefits regarding safety eyewear, eye surgery, eye allergy products, and health products and accessories.
For more on HSA/FSA benefits on eyecare, visit TMS Eyecare at our offices in Wichita or Arkansas City, Kansas. Call (316) 669-4760, (316) 686-7212, or (620) 442-2577 to schedule an appointment today.