When it comes to healthcare, we understand that rising costs can make it difficult for many people to get the care they need. In an increasingly complicated world of health insurance, benefits, and out of pocket expenses, it can be difficult to find money to pay for a visit to the eye doctor. Though difficult, you can’t afford to ignore your vision and your eye health. Your eyes are a crucial part of your life and need routine care and exams to keep them in top shape. Fortunately, there are several ways you can take advantage of your health coverage and benefits in order to get your eyes checked.

Most people deal with some increased stress during these last few months of the year. Whether you’re coordinating family gatherings around the holidays or trying to get tax documents in order, a visit to the eye doctor should be added to your list. We want to make sure that you get the most from your health insurance coverage and take full advantage of any benefits offered by your employer. The end of the year is a great time to ensure you have done that. Here’s how you can get the most out of your benefits and keep your eyes healthy at the same time:

What Is A Health Savings Account?

A health savings account (HSA) is a tool established in 2003 to help people like you get the most out of their pre-tax benefits. It helps eliminate some of the stress associated with losing funds for healthcare. Individuals can contribute a certain amount to their account as determined by the IRS each year. These pre-tax contributions not only save you money on your tax bill, they give you a safety net when it comes to paying for healthcare.

Health savings accounts also give you the option of investing. By choosing to invest your HSA’s funds, you can earn interest while building your safety net. These are a great tool for consumers and allows you to take more control over your health. However, there can only be so much of a good thing. As mentioned earlier, the IRS dictates annual contribution limits for these plans. So, if you’re near or already at your limit by the end of the year, you should start spending in order to avoid paying out of pocket post-tax.

What Are Flex Benefits?

Employers are offering flex benefits more and more frequently to their employees as a form of health insurance coverage. What exactly this means for you depends on your employer, the specific plan you are on, and your income. However, flex benefits generally have a use-or-lose policy attached to them. This means that any benefits not used by the end of the year are lost. Therefore, it is in your best interest to use as much of them as you can, hopefully all of them. Keep in mind that some employers offer flex benefits as well as an HSA. In this case, you definitely want to use all of your flex benefits so that you can make maximum contributions to your HSA and not have to take any money out.

How Do Flex Benefits And HSA Plans Affect My Eye Health?

At this point, you may be wondering how all of this financial information affects your eye health. You may even be thinking that reading it is giving you a headache. Don’t worry, you aren’t alone. Though it may be confusing or dull, understanding how your benefits work allows you to get the most out of your healthcare.

Since many flex benefits need to be used before the end of the year, people are often left unsure of how to use the remainder of their funds. A visit to the eye doctor can be a great, beneficial way to get the most out of your benefits. Fortunately, most flex benefits can be used to cover more than just medical bills or prescription drug costs. In fact, most plans give you the option of using remaining funds for vision health. You can schedule a visit for an eye exam, a new pair of prescription glasses, or new contact lenses.

Health savings accounts work similarly. Though you don’t lose your remaining funds at the end of the year, you may want to spend some so that you can continue making pre-tax contributions. Your HSA can also be used for much more than medical bills. Choosing to use a portion of these savings to invest in your eye health is a great idea. By visiting an eye doctor regularly, you can keep your eyes healthy as you age and catch any eye-related diseases early. Not to mention you’ll be seeing clearer than ever if you’re having trouble with your eyesight.

What Can I Get At A Visit With The Eye Doctor?

If you’re considering using your end-of-year healthcare funds to visit the eye doctor, you’re making a smart decision for your health. If you don’t already go to the eye doctor on a regular basis, you might be wondering if it’s worth your time. We assure you that it is.

At a routine eye exam, the doctor will talk to you about your eye health and any concerns you may have. They will then test your visual acuity (how well you can see) and determine if you need glasses or contacts to help see better. The doctor will also screen you for eye-related diseases like glaucoma, cataracts, and misalignment. Your doctor will then discuss findings with you and advise you on further treatment options if necessary. For example, they will provide you with a prescription for glasses or contact lenses to help you see more clearly. Most eye clinics even offer a shop to buy your new frames and lenses right at the office before you leave.

Making a visit to the eye doctor is one of the best ways you can use your end of year flex benefits or HSA. Your eyes (and your wallet) will thank you for it.