My eyes are bad, they have been for a while. So bad, it turns out, that I can’t have laser eye surgery. No LASIK, no PRK, no Custom LASIK, no acronyms at all! Anyways, this has foiled my possible money-savings plans, but I thought I’d share them anyways.
- Decide if I want laser eye surgery by November.
- Max out my Flexible Spending Account (FSA) during Open Enrollment in December. (Say, $3,000.)
- Get the procedure done in January.
- Get my $3,000 back from the FSA afterwards in January.
- (Travel to less-developed countries in 2008 without worrying about being blind without my glasses…)
By timing it this way, I not only get the tax benefit of paying for my procedure with pre-tax money (saving 28% or whatever your tax bracket is), but I also effectively get a 0% interest payment plan for 12 months with no credit check. This is because for all the FSA plans I have worked with, you can get the full reimbursement upfront, but you still only fund the FSA via equal amounts from your paycheck.