Why are they important to your bottom line?
Weaving through the maze of medical and dental insurance in today’s world can overwhelm any consumer. You might be wondering: what insurance plan works best for my family? Do I need additional coverage? How much do I have to pay out of pocket? These are all legitimate concerns, but a great way to help with the costs is through a flexible spending account, or FSA.
A lot of people are unsure how to manage their budget to pay for dental expenses. Sure, insurance benefits do help, but there still is an out-of-pocket component that must be covered in order to get treatment completed. If your employer offers flexible spending accounts, this is an ideal way to help cover your costs tax free.
What is a Flexible Spending Account?
According to Healthcare.gov, a flexible spending account is a special account where you set aside money that can be used to help pay for health care costs. It can be used to pay co-pays and deductibles, is tax-free, and can be used to cover up to $2600 per year. If you are married and you and your spouse have different employers, both of you can have an account to manage dental and medical expenses.
Three Tips to Maximize Flexible Spending Accounts
1) Know what treatment you need to get healthy. See your family dentist at least twice per year to determine a plan of action. It is much easier and costs less to repair small cavities than to have major treatment such as crowns, root canals, and extractions. If you have a large treatment plan with several tooth replacements, the FSA can be a great resource to fund treatment.
2) Know if your company offers flexible spending accounts, and when the enrollment period begins. Most employers have an open enrollment period where all employees have the option to change, add, or stop insurance coverage and to enroll in a flexible spending account. Not taking advantage of this opportunity will cost you money.
3) Know your FSA balance. Once you have established the account, know when you must have all of the funds spent, and keep track of your balance. If you do not use the money in the account on qualified expenses before the deadline set by your employer, you will lose the remaining balance. Consider purchasing electric toothbrushes or fluoride adjuncts dispensed from your dental office if you have any remaining dollars in your account. They make great gifts and can have a huge impact on the dental health of your family.
Being able to participate in a flexible spending account is an awesome benefit offered by some employers. Take advantage of the opportunity to keep your teeth and gums as healthy as possible — tax free!
Dr. Tontra Lowe is a general, cosmetic, and sedation dentist located right next to the Haymarket Kohl’s. She and her staff were voted Best Dental Office in Haymarket for 2017. They truly believe everyone should smile with confidence!