by Amber Roberts

A Flexible Spending Account, also known as an FSA, can be a great money-saving resource for families. Similar to a Health Savings Account, or HSA, a FSA allows an employee to set aside pre-tax dollars for future medical costs. This money can be used on expenses like copays, eyeglasses, prescription medications – or even sunscreen and first aid kits.

If an employer offers a Flexible Spending Account, an employee can put away a set amount of their income, tax-free, to be used for qualified medical costs. Using the money can be as simple as swiping a debit card, while some plans require you to submit a reimbursement form.

The federal contribution limit to an FSA is set at $2600 for 2017, though each employer can choose a lower cap if they want to. Since the money is not taxed, someone who contributes the maximum amount to their FSA could end up saving over $600 per year! An employer can also elect to contribute up to $500 or offer a matching contribution to employee’s FSA, allowing for the opportunity to save even more on out-of-pocket health related costs.

So, what’s the catch? For many plans, on December 31st any unused money will expire, which can leave families with out-of-pocket expenses that may have been covered.

Though some employers allow either a grace period or for up to $500 to roll over to the new year, it is not required. What happens to the unspent money? Well, employers are allowed to keep it — and many do. They are required to put the money toward maintaining their FSA program, so it’s not like your employer is taking your money and running, but getting the most out of the money you saved throughout the year is definitely preferable.

So, how do you spend down your FSA account so you don’t lose what you’ve saved?

  • Get some prescription sunglasses to keep handy (It’s going to be summer again eventually, we promise!)
  • Expand your prescription eyeglasses collection so you can shake your style up whenever you feel like it
  • Grab a new pair of frames without lenses
  • Purchase year’s worth of contact lenses and stock up on contact cleaning solution

You don’t need vision insurance to use your FSA dollars on prescription eyewear, and if you have a debit card attached to your FSA you can enter it at checkout so you won’t need to deal with submitting receipts or reimbursement paperwork.

FramesDirect.com has expert opticians available to help customers with every step of their purchase; from selecting the best frames to suit your style, or making sure your prescription is correct, they’ve got you covered. They’ve added even more opticians to their staff to help you get the most out of your FSA before it expires, so you can be sure you understand how to use your FSA to make your purchase or get reimbursed, and know the prescription glasses you choose will be a perfect fit.

Top 5 eyewear picks for starting 2017 off on a fashionable note.

1. Round frames are in! These Carrera prescription sunglasses have a stylish, vintage vibe for both men and women that can’t be beat. Play with different frame and lens color combinations to create a look that’s uniquely you.

carrera-prescription-sunglasses

2. Fall in love with the timeless style from Prada. These prescription sunglasses flaunt the daring design elements that Prada is known for, while flashy color and a nod to the favorite cat’s eye shape guarantee you’ll be turning heads while seeing clearly.

prada-prescription-sunglasses

3. Oakley sunglasses are the ideal choice for an active lifestyle. They’re built to stand up to whatever you throw their way. These durable sporty wrap frames are a new take on a popular style and they offer a comfortable fit.

oakley-sunglasses-straightlink

4. A more subtle offering in Oakley frames are a men’s rimless prescription eyeglasses style that are comfortable, sturdy, and stylish. Built for performance, these frames look as just as good in the office as they do outdoors.

oakley-glasses-socket

5. The classic aviator style is given a fresh look with the Ray-Ban Caravan prescription sunglasses. Aviators are one of the most well-known styles of sunglasses, and Ray-Ban takes the look to a whole new level with the square shape of this popular pair. The smaller frame size makes this style a great choice for men or women.

ray-ban caravan rb3136

Wear the Pantone 2017 Color of the Year; “Greenery”

Colorful options will dominate the fashion scene this year. Get ahead of the game with these styles…

Chic Ray-Ban eyeglasses are a full rim frame option in a flashy bright green — perfect if you want to bring Pantone’s Color of the Year into your wardrobe. If you’re ready to add some funky color to your wardrobe after the year of rose quartz and serenity, this is the way to test the waters. Pick one of the more toned-down frame colors to get a look Jennifer Aniston would rock.

ray-ban eyeglasses rx7086

Not ready for something quite so bold as Greenery? Get a mellower earthy look with these Ray-Ban frames in Opal Green. They feature a new Wayfarer shape, an update on the classic favorite, and it looks amazing on men or women alike. These unisex frames are especially suited for oval or round face shapes.

new wayfarer eyeglasses

If you’re not quite ready to dive into flashy green or pink frames, you can grab these Women’s Coach eyeglasses frames. Rectangular frames give a trendy, stylish feel while the olive brown color mimics subtle but popular earthy tones.

Get the most out of the money from your Flexible Spending Account with FramesDirect.com!

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