An estimated 15% of American adults have hearing loss, but less than one-third of those who could benefit from hearing aids actually use them, in part because of cost. It turns out that hearing loss left untreated has far-reaching health, emotional, and financial costs for individuals and society. But there are ways to find savings to treat hearing loss within your FSA and HSA healthcare spending accounts.
Remember back about a year ago when you were planning for this year’s healthcare coverage? You were pouring over the benefit options and features deciding which plan was right for you and your family. Many of you enrolled in plans that featured a healthcare spending account – either a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or a Health Savings Account (HSA) – allowing you to set aside pre-tax dollars to cover qualified out-of-pocket medical expenses.
The funds in those accounts are available to use for hearing loss treatment and purchasing hearing aids. And here’s the potential savings they can provide.
- Pre-tax savings
The money you designate to be deposited in either your FSA or HSA account is pre-tax meaning it does not count towards your taxable income come tax time. There are IRS set limits to the amount of money that can be deposited annually, and it can change from year to year.
2018 FSA limit: $2,650
2019 FSA limit: Not released by the IRS yet
2018 HSA limits: $3,450 for individual coverage and $6,900 for family coverage
2019 HSA limits: $3,500 for individual coverage and $7,000 for family coverage
Note: HSA account holders over age 55, can contribute an additional $1,000 regardless of coverage type.
Planning is needed when using an FSA account. The funds that you deposit into the account must be used by the end of the year or you risk losing it. So, now is the time to schedule an appointment with a provider near you if you plan to use FSA dollars to treat a hearing loss yet this year.
- Triple tax savings from HSAs
While FSAs are spending accounts based off a “use it or lose” it principal, HSA accounts roll over from year to year. Your HSA is just that, your account. The money goes in tax-free, the interest earned over the years is tax-free and the money you withdraw is tax-free if it is used for eligible medical expenses like hearing aids.
- Potential employer contributions
Much like a 401K plan, many employers may offer to contribute to your FSA or HSA account to encourage you to plan and save for out-of-pocket medical expenses. Contributions may also be tied to employer wellness plans to encourage healthy behaviors.
So, don’t let your hearing loss go untreated any longer when you can use FSA or HSA dollars which are essentially tax-free. Need more information on the cost of hearing aids? Check out our pricing guide.