Can you use a HSA for glasses?

Learn how to use a Health Savings Account (HSA) for purchasing glasses in 2024.

In 2024, the rules surrounding health saving accounts (HSAs) have undergone some changes. One common question that many people have is whether they can use their HSA to cover the cost of glasses. In this article, we will explore the answer to this question and provide valuable information about HSAs and glasses.

Can you use HSA for glasses?

One of the main advantages of having a Health Savings Account (HSA) is the flexibility it provides when it comes to healthcare expenses. HSAs allow individuals to set aside pre-tax money to pay for qualified medical expenses. However, not all expenses are eligible for HSA coverage. In the past, using HSA funds for glasses was not permitted in most cases. However, with the updates for 2024, individuals can now use their HSA funds to pay for glasses.

When it comes to using HSA funds for glasses, there are a few important factors to consider. First and foremost, the glasses must be prescribed by a qualified healthcare professional. This means that you will need to have a valid prescription from an eye doctor or optometrist in order to use your HSA funds for glasses. It's important to schedule regular eye exams to ensure that your prescription is up to date and to address any changes in your vision.

Additionally, the cost of the glasses must be considered a medical expense according to IRS guidelines. This means that the glasses must be primarily for medical reasons, such as to correct vision problems or to protect your eyes. If the glasses are purely for cosmetic purposes, they may not be considered a qualified medical expense and therefore cannot be paid for with HSA funds.

It's worth noting that HSA funds can be used to pay for a wide range of vision-related expenses, not just glasses. For example, you can use your HSA funds to pay for contact lenses, prescription sunglasses, and even laser eye surgery. This flexibility allows individuals to choose the vision correction method that best suits their needs and preferences.

When using your HSA funds for glasses or any other vision-related expenses, it's important to keep detailed records and receipts. This will help you in case of an audit or if you need to provide documentation to your HSA provider. By keeping organized records, you can ensure that you are using your HSA funds appropriately and in accordance with IRS guidelines.

In conclusion, while using HSA funds for glasses was not permitted in the past, the rules have changed for 2024. Now, individuals can use their HSA funds to pay for glasses, as long as they are prescribed by a qualified healthcare professional and meet the IRS guidelines for qualified medical expenses. This added flexibility allows HSA account holders to better manage their vision-related expenses and choose the eyewear that best meets their needs.

Can you use a health saving account (HSA) for glasses?

Yes, you can absolutely use a health saving account (HSA) to cover the cost of glasses. This is a new development for 2024 that provides individuals with more flexibility and options for managing their healthcare expenses.

Having the ability to use your HSA to pay for glasses can be a significant advantage. Glasses can be an essential medical device for individuals with vision impairment, and being able to use tax-free HSA funds can help alleviate some of the financial burden associated with purchasing new glasses.

What are the benefits of using an HSA for glasses?

Using an HSA for glasses comes with several benefits. Firstly, by using HSA funds, you can pay for your glasses with pre-tax money, effectively reducing the overall cost. This can make a significant difference, especially for individuals who need to purchase glasses regularly due to changes in their prescription or general wear and tear.

Additionally, using HSA funds for glasses can help you better manage your healthcare budget. By utilizing tax-free dollars, you can set aside a specific amount each year dedicated to your vision needs. This can help you plan for future glasses purchases and alleviate some of the financial stress associated with unexpected expenses.

What are the downsides of using an HSA for glasses?

While using an HSA for glasses has its advantages, it also has some downsides. One potential drawback is the need for proper documentation. To use your HSA funds for glasses, you must provide a valid prescription from a qualified healthcare professional. This ensures that the expense qualifies as a medical expense according to IRS guidelines.

Another downside is the potential limitations on the amount you can spend. HSA contribution limits apply to your overall account, and using a significant portion of your funds for glasses may limit your ability to cover other medical expenses throughout the year. It's crucial to consider your overall healthcare needs before allocating a significant portion of your HSA funds to glasses.

HSA vs FSA for glasses

When it comes to using tax-advantaged accounts for glasses, it's essential to understand the differences between HSAs and flexible spending accounts (FSAs).

While HSAs offer the advantage of allowing you to carry over unused funds from year to year, FSAs have a "use it or lose it" policy, meaning you must spend the funds within the plan year or forfeit them. This can be beneficial for individuals who anticipate needing glasses regularly and want to budget for them accordingly.

However, FSAs have contribution limits, and the funds are not portable if you change employers. On the other hand, HSAs are available to individuals with a high-deductible health plan (HDHP), and the funds belong to the account holder, regardless of employment status.

Where can you find more information about HSA eligibility for glasses?

If you have further questions or would like more information about HSA eligibility for glasses, it is recommended to consult with a qualified financial advisor or contact your HSA provider. They can provide you with specific details regarding your HSA and help you navigate the process of using your funds for glasses.

The IRS website also serves as an excellent resource for understanding the eligibility requirements for medical expenses and HSA guidelines. Familiarizing yourself with the official guidelines can help ensure that you make informed decisions regarding your HSA and vision care expenses.

In conclusion, the ability to use an HSA for glasses is a valuable update for 2024. It provides individuals with more flexibility and options when it comes to managing their healthcare expenses. By using tax-free HSA funds, individuals can reduce the overall cost of glasses and better plan for future vision care expenses. However, it's essential to understand the guidelines and limitations associated with using HSA funds for glasses. Consulting with a financial advisor or your HSA provider can help ensure that you make the most of this opportunity.

What do you do if you're unsure?

If you’re unsure, it’s best to consult your HSA provider or a tax professional to confirm expense eligibility. 

What are HSA benefits for employers?

If you’re an employer, there are multiple benefits to offering HSA to your employees, including:

  • Attracting and retaining talent
  • It’s a cost-effective healthcare option
  • Enhances employee satisfaction and productivity
  • Increases the utilization of employee benefits
  • Has tax advantages for both you and your employees

Want to learn more? Check out our blog on what is an HSA

Get started with Forma today

Looking to offer an HSA as part of your employee benefits package? At Forma, we provide Pre-tax Accounts - including HSAs - to companies worldwide. 

If you want your business to profit from the employee and employer benefits of HSAs, fill out the form below, and one of our experts will be in touch.