Imagine walking down a New York City street and tossing $1,000 in cash down a manhole. It’s the kind of thing that would only make sense if you just won the lottery — and took home the significant lump sum that afternoon.
And since most of us didn’t win millions this week, you’re probably not in the business of tossing around cash for sport.
If you have a flexible spending account through your employer, you may do just that if you don’t use your benefits before the end of the calendar year. Many health spending accounts permanently expire at the end of 2017 if they go unused. That means money you earned disappears forever.
The good news is that you can use your funds for a wide range of medical and dental services, so make sure you take advantage of your accounts before it’s too late.
Flexible spending accounts, or FSAs, use the money you elect to set aside from your paycheck for health care expenses (including dental).
FSA funds are tax-free, meaning you receive a tax break for income placed into an FSA account.
You can place up to $2,600 per year into an FSA per employer. Most FSA funds must be used within the year, though check with your employer to make sure. Some employers offer grace periods for part of the new year.
Health savings accounts (HSAs), on the other hand, are usually paired with a high deductible insurance plan. The insurance itself may cost less, but since your out-of-pocket costs may be greater, a health savings account can help cover those costs tax-free.
In 2017, for example, a high deductible plan for an individual according to the IRS is one with an out-of-pocket maximum of $6,550 and a minimum deductible of $1,300.
Many HSAs don’t expire at the end of the year; they will roll over to the next year. Check with your benefits provider to learn the details of your personal plan.
In general, most dental care deductibles and co-payments can be covered by spending account funds. That means that cleanings, fillings, crowns, extractions, sealants, dentures, and more can be paid for by Flexible Spending Account and Health Savings Account funds. Other periodontal disease treatment and some orthodontic treatments can be covered too.
Prescription medication and over-the-counter medication with a doctor’s prescription can be paid for by FSA funds as well.
FSAs and HSAs cannot be used to pay for the insurance premium itself or cosmetic procedures like teeth whitening.
Since many procedures, like dental implants, take more than one visit to complete, now is the time to plan to use your funds for dental care before it’s too late.
Call us today or send us an email to ask about using your spending account benefits this year at Bloom Dental Group. We look forward to working with you and helping you make the most out of every dollar.