Temporary Change for 2022 Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA)

If you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), 2022 may be your only chance to pay for your entire LASIK procedure using pre-tax dollars.

According to the IRS, Laser eye surgery is a qualified expense for use of FSA funds. In previous years, patients were able to pay for part of their LASIK procedure using pre-tax dollars set aside in their flexible spending account. But, because of contribution limits established by the IRS, most patients were not able to pay the entire fee for the correction of both eyes. More recently, in light of the financial stress of the pandemic, the government put some temporary changes in place to benefit employees with FSAs. One of the temporary changes that were put in place was the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2021.

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 permits employers to amend their flexible spending account plans to help participants avoid forfeiting unused amounts for the 2020 and 2021 plan years. The federal government gave employers the opportunity to extend the deadlines for workers to use up their flexible spending dollars. Additionally, employers can also allow employee accounts to be rolled over into 2022. Because of the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2021, you may be able to cover the cost of your entire procedure with your accumulated funds.

FSA contribution limits

2021 – $2750

2022 – $2850

If your employer elected to allow you to carry over your full amount, you may have as much as $5600 pretax dollars available for your use in paying for an elective procedure such as LASIK, or PRK. ($5600 assumes that you have not used any of your FSA dollars in 2021 and that you elected to put aside the maximum amount allowable.). The average cost of LASIK in the United States is approximately $4200 in the United States per the American Refractive Surgery Council.

If you have a Flexible Spending Account, speak with your benefits manager to get the specifics about your benefits and how this rule exemption affects your plan.