ACA. ACO. CDHP. COB. EAP.
OMG. There is no shortage of acronyms when it comes to health insurance. Even the people who work in health insurance have to sometimes refer to their handy pocket glossary.
Instead of letting it all stress you out, let’s take a moment to appreciate one very special acronym that is actually incredibly important and beneficial to you – HSA. Or Health Savings Account.
But what is it, and why should you use it to your advantage?
Most people know the basic definition of an HSA. It’s a savings account that you contribute to with pre-tax dollars, and can use to pay for qualifying medical expenses. Most people deposit money onto their HSA on a bi-weekly or monthly basis, right out of their paycheck. The dedicated funds go right into their HSA, instead of to their bank accounts.
In order to sign up for an HSA, you must be enrolled in an HSA-qualified high-deductible health insurance policy (HDHP). This typically means that you pay a lower premium (payment) for your insurance coverage on a bi-weekly or monthly basis, but are subject to a higher amount you must pay out of pocket (your deductible) before your insurance kicks in. Most high-deductible plans only cover preventive care until you meet your deductible.
The 2020 contribution limits for HSAs are $3,550 if you have individual coverage, and $7,100 if you have family coverage under an HDHP. HSA-qualified plans (HDHPs) have deductibles that must be at least $1,400 for singles and $2,800 for families in 2020.
…an HSA is interest-bearing, and grows over time
If you don’t spend all the money in your HSA, your funds roll over into the next year, and your account continues to grow, including any investment returns or interest.
This is important to repeat, because many people assume if they don’t use it, they lose it. This is not true – HSA funds roll over from year to year, and your account continues to grow. Don’t lose those old benefit documents!
With the exception of California, Alabama, and New Jersey, most states offer extra tax breaks on the contributions you make to your HSA. In addition, HSAs are tax exempt for purposes of your federal income tax filings, and are also tax exempt for most state income tax filings.
Even better, many employers make a contribution to your HSA at the beginning of the year to get you started. And if an employer contributes, the money is not taxed as income to you. Make sure you check your benefit options carefully when it’s time for Open Enrollment.
You can use your funds to pay for your own medical expenses, or those of a spouse or other family member even if they aren’t covered by your HDHP. Family members include dependent children or qualifying relatives, as long as they’re a part of your tax household.
If you’re 55 or older, you can contribute an extra $1,000 a year (this is either called an “additional contribution” or a “catch-up contribution”). If two spouses are each 55+, please note that they each need their own HSA in order to be able to each make a catch-up contribution.
Once you’re enrolled in Medicare, you can no longer contribute to an HSA (even if you continue to work and have an HDHP plan through an employer). However, you can continue to withdraw tax-free funds from your HSA, as long as you use the money to cover qualifying medical expenses, including Medicare premiums.
Medical expenses can include deductibles, copayments, coinsurance, vision and dental care, and other out-of-pocket medical costs.
Many people are surprised to learn you can use your HSA to pay for things like acupuncture, chiropractor services, hearing aids, home care, breast pumps, pregnancy tests, and yes, eyeglasses!
Check out IRS Publication 502 for a full list.
The lens material known today as “Trivex” has a really interesting history. Its scientific roots are heavily embedded in the United States military, with applications ranging from helicopter windshields, transparent body armor, and fighter jet canopies. It wasn’t long before these scientists realized that the extreme impact resistance coupled with its fantastic optical clarity and ultra-lightweight properties would make it a best-selling optical lens.
So that’s great, but why should you choose Trivex lenses when picking out your next set of eyeglasses? Why not go with a polycarbonate lens instead?
There are a lot of reasons why Trivex lenses are some of the best eyeglass lenses, including their use to provide eye safety and protection. At Replacement Lens Express, we love the history of these lenses and proudly offer our Trivex lenses online. Start protecting your eyes with some of the best eyeglass lenses today.
Trivex lens material is incredibly impact resistant, sometimes being referred to as “shatterproof.” In fact, when the lens was originally designed, Trivex was subjected to rigorous ballistic and extreme performance testing to ensure the durability of the lens. As a result, Trivex lenses are ideal for athletes, safety-glass wearers, and children, who all benefit from their strength and safety.
Trivex lenses tint better than traditional polycarbonate lens material. So if you’re thinking about designing an interesting pink-to-clear gradient fade, or a more traditional grey sunglass lens, Trivex would be a better, more easily customizable choice here. You can learn more about our tinting process in our help guide.
When working with rimless frames, our opticians love Trivex lenses because they are easier to drill and the material is resistant to cracking around the drill holes. This makes Trivex lenses a sturdy, versatile choice for any frame.
Trivex lenses provide 100 percent protection from the sun’s harmful rays, protecting your vision and overall eye health. So put away your wallet and save some money here, as you won’t need to add a UV-coating to these lenses!
Trivex lenses are thinner and lighter than traditional plastic lens material. In fact, they are 10 percent lighter than polycarbonate lenses.
Trivex lenses have crisper, clearer optics than their injected-molded cousin, the polycarbonate lens. This helps make Trivex lenses some of the best eyeglass lenses, especially if clarity is a feature you need in your lenses.
The benefits of Trivex lenses make them some of the best eyeglass lenses when you’re ready for replacement lenses. Other lenses, like polycarbonate, might have a higher refractive index, but Trivex lenses have other qualities that make them a great choice when you’re looking for safety lenses to help protect your eyes.
At Replacement Lens Express, we have a wide assortment of lenses online. If you need an updated prescription but still love your old frames, let our team replace your lenses so you can keep the frames you love. Shop our collection of Trivex lenses online today!
When choosing between a standard sunglass lens and a polarized lens, consider the extra protection that polarized lenses offer your eyes when designing your next pair of sunglass lenses.
The technology behind polarized lenses is just as interesting as the reasons for choosing these lenses in the first place. Polarized lenses were first invented by NASA scientists to help protect astronaut’s eyes when they went up into space. These scientists studied the design of an eagle’s eye to understand how they reflected glare, giving the glasses the original name of Eagle Eye Sunglasses.
This NASA technology has been adapted for lenses to help protect your eyes. Polarized filters are put over the lenses that work to absorb light reflected off of horizontal surfaces. This horizontal light, also known as glare, is dangerous for the long term health of your eye. This polarized filter helps you see better when you’re driving or working somewhere with direct sunlight.
From a technical perspective, the polarized filters create an opening that only allows vertical light rays (not the horizontal light waves reflected off surface) to get through. This filtration blocks out any potential glare, allowing you to see clearly when normal glasses would give you a glare.
The polarized lens technology is an easy choice if you’re looking for less glare and more protection with your new lenses. You can shop our polarized lenses online at Replacement Lens Express.
While NASA technology in your sunglasses sounds awesome, there are also some great reasons to choose polarized lenses when you build your new lenses on our website!
Polarized lenses protect your eyes from dangerous UV rays. For the same reason you’re not supposed to stare directly at the sun, UV rays are harmful for your eyes. Constant exposure to UV rays can cause macular degeneration, vision loss, and other eye problems later in life. Cutting down the amount of exposure your eyes have to these UV rays will help keep your eyes healthy and strong.
With polarized lenses, you don’t need to add an extra UV coating to your sunglasses. Instead, this UV protection is an added benefit of choosing polarized lenses.
The filtration on polarized lenses also blocks blue light, a wavelength that works to keep us awake and alert throughout the day. Most of our exposure to blue light comes from staring at computer and phone screens, but at night, the blue light can disrupt your circadian rhythm. To help balance your circadian rhythm, researchers are recommending filtering out blue light at night (or reducing screen time).
While other lenses, like our clear EyeZen technology, can help reduce eye strain and protect your eyes when you’re inside or staring at a computer screen, polarized lenses will reduce your exposure to blue light when you’re outside.
The polarized lenses prevent intense sunlight rays from getting to your eyes, eliminating glare when you’re outside. This glare reduction keeps you safe while driving during the day and keeps your eyes on the road.
Whether you are a morning commuter, athlete, or outdoor enthusiast, the glare reduction provided by polarized lenses will give you the best advantage regardless of what activity you’re doing. But if you wear eyeglasses more than sunglasses, anti-glare coatings like the Crizal SunShield can also give you the same protection from glare with your eyeglasses.
When compared to non-polarized lenses, polarized lenses can make everything look darker. However, this filtration and lack of glare can also make those objects look clearer because your eye no longer sees those horizontal light reflections.
But by filtering out the glare, colors look more vibrant and objects look more clear. With your polarized lenses, you’ll always have a breathtaking view with no glare blocking your vision.
When you add polarized lenses to your sunglasses, you can choose from a variety of different colors. From the more traditional brown, grey, or green, to more vibrant colors like copper, amber, sunflower, rose, and ocean, you can pick a color that makes a bold statement and matches your favorite frames.
When you’re choosing lenses for your sunglasses, it can be hard to choose between polarized or tinted lenses.
Tinted sunglasses help with different things, depending on the tint of the glasses. For example, yellow tints can increase visibility with fog while darker tints can help motorcyclists and commuters filter out sunlight during long drives.
As we mentioned earlier, the technology behind polarized lenses blocks all horizontal light reflected off surfaces. This is handy for someone who doesn’t need to see those reflections and wants to protect their eyes.
What to see what this means? Here’s a test you can do to both verify that a frame has polarized lenses and better understand the technology for yourself.
When these lenses are overlapped, you should see black. This is because you’ve inverted the horizontal technology so you are now blocking out all glare from light.
When you do this same test with tinted sunglasses, you won’t get the same effect. But tinted lenses are better for someone who doesn’t want to filter out intense sunlight, including pilots and skiers who need the light to perform.
Tinted and polarized lenses provide different kinds of options for your sunglasses. But with eye protection, blue light and glare filtration, color enhancement, and color options, polarized lenses offer many improvements for your eyeglass experience.
Our process at Replacement Lens Express makes it simple to find lenses online. Our different polarized lenses offer you aesthetic and health benefits to keep your eyes safe from sunlight. Shop our different lenses online, and consider a pair of polarized lenses for your next sunglasses.
Here’s a shocker: staring at screens all day long is unavoidable these days. All that screen time is hard on your eyes and could cause digital eye strain. This is true even if you don't wear glasses.
Our eyes weren't designed to view millions of pixels all day. The good news is, there’s no reason to shut everything off in panic, or change your daily screenlife. With Eyezen glasses, you can actually ENHANCE it!
Tiny fonts and pixelated images cause our eyes to work harder in order to focus - this is uncomfortable!
Blue light comes from both the sun and artificial light sources (i.e. digital screens and fluorescent lights). It is part of the visible light spectrum and gets absorbed deep in your eye, making it one of the most intense forms of visible light that humans experience.
Essilor is the world's leading designer and manufacturer of eyeglass lenses.Their commitment to research and development is clear in each and every Eyezen product you'll find. Eyezen glasses were created to protect your eyes in several ways. This combination of groundbreaking vision solutions will keep your eyes relaxed and comfortable as long as you wear them!
EYEZEN + (Plus Up Your Protection!)
With Eyezen+ lenses, you will experience an upgrade from your everyday lenses. This will defend against Harmful Blue Light and will reduce eye strain through Essilor's Smart Blue Filter™ technology. And the best part? Your lenses will look clear to all those who see you!
Why Replacement Lens Express?
Replacement Lens Express is the world's leading online retailer of prescription eyeglass lenses. Our Connecticut based lab processes high quality eyeglass lenses for local optometrists as well - so you know that your lenses are getting the same meticulous love and care as the eye care professionals expect! We never compromise on labor, materials or quality. (Check out what our customers think of us!)
Our online business provides the same exact Eyezen lenses that you would receive from your local eye doctor - but at a fraction of the cost - saving you over 50%! Simply select from our 12 Eyezen products, customize your lenses (add an anti-glare coating if you'd like!) add them to your cart, and check out!
You can either send in your own eyelgass frame for our licensed optometrists to install the lenses into, or you can select from our full collection of name brand designer eyewear on our website.
It's never been so easy!
High Index 1.60
High Index 1.67
High Index 1.74
As always, email us at [email protected] if you have any questions about our products or services, or if you would like help placing your order!