A question we get asked a lot this time of year is, "Can I use my FSA or HAS account to pay for my plastic surgery procedure?" Of course, this varies by provider, but when considering using the remaining balance in your FSA or HSA account, consider the following.
What Is the Difference Between FSA and HSA Accounts?
The first thing you need to consider is the difference between FSA and HSA accounts. While both accounts offer tax benefits to those who utilize them, there are a few key differences.
FSA: FSA accounts are employer-sponsored Flexible Spending Accounts. Employer-funded FSA funds are usually pre-tax income that may or may not be matched or contributed to by your employer. You do not need to have medical insurance coverage to have an FSA account. FSA money can be used to cover co-pays, deductibles, coinsurance, prescription medications and medical procedures that are not covered by your insurance plan, such as certain surgeries. Check with your individual plan to see what it may be applied to.
You may also use FSA funds to cover over-the-counter medications if those medications have been prescribed by a doctor. So, for example, if your doctor writes you a prescription for fexofenadine for allergies, you can walk into your local discount store and use your FSA card to pay for a bottle of that medication, provided you submit that prescription to your plan. The downside to FSA plans is that if you don’t use up the remainder of the money in your account by the end of the calendar year, you lose that money.
HSA: HSA stands for Health Savings Account. HSA plans can be employer sponsored, but unlike an FSA account, you can sponsor your own HSA plan without the sponsorship of your employer, too. If you establish an HSA plan at an employer and quit, you can even take your HSA funds with you when you leave. You can also roll over unused HSA funds not used in a calendar year into the next year’s account! HSA money can be used on the same things FSA money can be used on.
What Kinds of Plastic Surgery Procedures Can Be Paid for With FSA/HSA Accounts?
Now that you know what the main similarities and differences are between HSA and FSA accounts, you’re probably wondering what kinds of plastic surgery procedures (if any) you can spend your money on. This is where it gets a little complicated.
First, it depends on the plan you have. For some, insurance may cover a procedure, and you could use your HSA or FSA to pay the co-pay or deductible. Procedures that are covered by insurance may include breast reduction surgery, gynecomastia breast reduction, breast reconstruction following breast cancer treatment, earlobe repair following traumatic injury, otoplasty to correct hearing, blepharoplasty to correct vision, rhinoplasty when deemed medically necessary and many other procedures as specified by your specific insurance policy.
Can I Use My FSA or HSA to Pay for Medication or Supplies Related to an Un-covered Procedure?
While, again, it depends on your individual plan, most of the time you can use your HSA or FSA plan to pay for prescriptions related to a cosmetic procedure, such as pain medications, antibiotics or other prescriptions - even if the procedure itself isn’t covered.
Does My FSA or HSA Cover Anesthesia?
If the procedure you are seeking is not covered by insurance, you may not be allowed to use your FSA or HSA for that procedure, but this also depends on your individual plan. Often patients will use their card to pay for anesthesia for an elective procedure only to be faced with a chargeback when their plan administrator realizes what the charge is for. This doesn’t always happen, but it’s still a good idea to be familiar with your individual plan before making charges you can’t pay for out of pocket.
If your doctor has deemed a plastic surgery procedure medically necessary and you’ve been putting off scheduling the surgery, this is a great time of year to make surgery plans. Whether you’re deciding how much to add to your plan for 2018 or you’ve got a bit to use up in 2017 before it vanishes, if you’re ready to take the next step and schedule your surgery, give Dr. Ryan Mitchell’s office a call at 702-376-3095.