Cataracts,Diabetic Retinopathy,Dry Eye,Glaucoma,LASIK,Premium Lens Options,Refractive Lens Exchange,Uncategorized

How to Save on Eye Care Services

The team at Sweeney Eye Associates wants to empower you to make the most of your dollars, especially when it comes to ophthalmology procedures. While we recommend you consult with a qualified tax professional, we can help you learn where you can save on procedures and how you can use pre-tax dollars to plan for better vision this year.  

Understanding Qualified Medical Expenses: What’s covered, what’s not?  

First and foremost, routine eye exams conducted by qualified professionals like ophthalmologists or optometrists are generally tax-deductible. These exams play a vital role in maintaining eye health and detecting any issues early on. Additionally, the cost of prescription glasses, including frames and lenses prescribed to correct vision, can also be deducted. 

Elective surgeries like LASIK, and Refractive Lens Exchange are generally deductible. These procedures can significantly improve vision and reduce dependence on glasses or contact lenses.  

Cataract surgery with or without upgraded lenses, including multifocal, accommodating, toric, light-adjustable, and others, is eligible for tax deductions. These upgraded lenses can enhance vision outcomes tailored to specific needs.

Certain cosmetic ophthalmology procedures, such as eyelid surgery for vision obstruction, brow lifts for eye strain, eyelid malposition repairs, treatment for eyelid lesions or tumors, and orbital decompression for proptosis, may qualify for tax deductions when recommended by board-certified ophthalmologists for medical purposes. Consultation with Dr. Jaffe, and proper documentation are essential for eligibility.

Expenses related to prescribed medications for eye conditions and treatments for chronic eye conditions like glaucoma or macular degeneration may also qualify for deductions. It’s crucial to keep detailed records and prescriptions for these expenses. 

If you use contact lenses, whether soft or rigid gas permeable (RGP), both the cost of the lenses and the cleaning solution are typically deductible. It’s important to note that cosmetic contact lenses may not qualify for this deduction unless they are prescribed for vision correction purposes. 

Medically necessary devices and equipment, such as prescription eyeglass readers or low vision aids, are generally deductible. Adaptive technology for visual disabilities, such as screen readers and magnification devices, may qualify for tax deductions. These technologies assist individuals with visual impairments in accessing digital content and performing daily tasks more independently. 

If you travel for medical appointments related to ophthalmology, including visits to specialists or surgical centers, transportation expenses like mileage, parking fees, and public transportation costs are deductible. Keeping meticulous records is key here. To claim mileage for medical appointments, including visits to Sweeney Eye Associates or Beltline Surgery Center, you typically need documentation from the office confirming the medical necessity of the travel. This can include appointment schedules, letters from healthcare providers recommending travel for treatment, or receipts showing the purpose of the visit. Keeping detailed records of mileage, such as a mileage log or using a mileage tracking app, is also essential to support your deduction claim. Always consult with a tax professional or refer to IRS guidelines for specific requirements and documentation needed for claiming mileage deductions related to medical expenses. 

Other miscellaneous expenses directly related to eye care, such as eye patches, artificial eyes, eye drops, and prescribed nutritional supplements, may qualify for deductions. Always consult IRS guidelines or a tax professional for specific eligibility. 

Leveraging Pre-Tax Dollars for Eye Procedures 

Utilizing pre-tax dollars can significantly impact your savings on this year’s ophthalmology procedures. Here’s a brief overview of how different accounts can help you save money:  

  1. Health Savings Account (HSA)
  • Contributions are made with pre-tax dollars, reducing taxable income. 
  • Funds can be used for qualified medical expenses, including eye procedures. 
  • Withdrawals for medical expenses are tax-free. 
  • Contributions can roll over year to year, providing long-term savings potential.  
  1. Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
  • Contributions are pre-tax, lowering your taxable income. 
  • Funds can be used for eligible eye care expenses. 
  • Note the “use it or lose it” rule, which requires using funds within the plan year.  
  1. Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA)
  • Employer-funded account for qualified medical expenses. 
  • Contributions are not taxed. 
  • Reimbursements for qualifying ophthalmology expenses are tax-free. 

Long Story Short:  

Understanding what qualifies as a deductible medical expense related to eye care can lead to significant tax savings. By leveraging pre-tax accounts like HSAs, FSAs, and HRAs, individuals can fund ophthalmology procedures and related expenses while benefiting from tax advantages. At Sweeney Eye Associates, we encourage our patients to prioritize their eye health while making informed decisions about tax deductions and pre-tax savings strategies. For personalized guidance and to ensure eligibility, consult with a tax professional or refer to IRS guidelines. Together, we can optimize your tax strategies and manage your eye care costs effectively.
Disclaimer: This guide is provided for reference purposes only and should not be considered as personal tax advise.