Dentists are more flexible than ever before when it comes to accepting different methods of payment for costly dental work. Among the latest payment strategies are Flexible Spending Accounts and Health Spending Accounts. SO, which one is right for you as a patient?
A flexible spending account allows you to set aside a percentage of your gross, pre-taxed income to pay for eligible health care expenses for you, your spouse, and your dependents. This type of medical expense program is offered exclusively through your participating employer.
A Health Savings Account differs from a Flexible Spending Account in that its main purpose is to help cover the cost of deductibles and provide reimbursements for out-of-pocket expenses.
It’s very important to remember that if you make a reimbursement claim under your FSA, the IRS does not permit you to file the same claim on your HSA. In fact, you cannot legally have both a General Purpose FSA in tandem with an HSA.
However, you can keep an HSA if you opt for a Limited Purpose FSA account, which would only cover eligible dental and vision costs. You can maximize savings and collect additional tax benefits by managing both a Limited Purpose FSA and an HSA.
FSAs are only offered through your employee benefits package, so coverage will vary based on your employer’s account. In general, Flexible Savings Accounts will help cover any expenses for tools and services used for the treatment and prevention of illness and disease. In some situations, transportation costs may also be eligible for coverage. Most FSAs will cover the following out-of-pocket expenses:
A Flexible Spending Account can help you offset the cost of expensive preventative and restorative dental services. Depending on the scope of your employer’s coverage, dental procedures eligible for reimbursement include:
Strict rules set forth by the IRS must be abided by if you’re planning to use an FSA account to cover your dental or medical expenses.
Contributions to a Flexible Spending Account are not tax-deductible because the funds are extracted from your pre-taxed wages. One reason FSAs are so appealing is that they reduce the taxable amount on your remaining wages once the FSA funds are taken out.
FSAs have predetermined start dates and end dates dictated by the IRS, so keep in mind that reimbursement must correspond to services received within this time frame.
FSAs follow a use-it-or-lose-it approach. A Flexible Spending Account might only be a good option for you and your family if you anticipate a large amount of annual medical expenses.
It is understood that not every penny of an FSA can be used in a given year, which is why your employer will “flexibly” allow you to roll over up to $500 of unused money to the following year. However, if you consistently find yourself rolling over your unused funds, you might want to consider making smaller contributions to your account.
If you have any questions about covered medical services through your FSA, contact your employer’s Human Resources Manager. Before you schedule your next dentist appointment, call ahead to ask if your FSA is accepted and whether the cost of your care is eligible for reimbursement.
Welcome to the Encinitas dental office of Gregory Skeens, JR., DDS. We are your home for caring dental treatment that supports superior oral health and helps you achieve the beautiful smile you’ve always wanted. Our modern facility is equipped with cutting-edge technology and our team is here to make your visit enjoyable and relaxing.
We take a truly individualized approach to dentistry, which is why our practice is so popular. After every treatment, Encinitas dentist Dr. Skeens personally makes follow- up phone calls to patients to ensure that they are feeling well. Your comfort and well-being are of ultimate importance.