Top advice for anyone fortunate enough to have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA). When you have health insurance through an employer, you may also have a Flexible Spending Account, commonly known as an FSA. An account where pretax money is deposited is essentially like having found money to spend on healthcare expenses. However, few people take advantage of their FSA. If you want to get the most out of your Flexible Spending Account, here are some tips to keep in mind.
In most cases, money deposited into an FSA must be used up by the end of each year. If you don’t do this, you lose whatever money you had in your account. Since this is pretax money, failing to use it doesn’t make sense. Since you already know some of your recurring medical expenses, such as prescriptions and co-pays, using your FSA money for these expenses is a very smart decision.
Look Beyond the Medical Expenses
If you are like some people, your employer may offer you not only an FSA for healthcare expenses but also an FSA for dependent care expenses. Should this be the case, this opens up a world of possibilities as to how you can spend your FSA money. For example, should you have an FSA for dependent care expenses, money from this account can be spent on such things as licensed care for an elderly parent, day camps for children, and even after-school child care if you have kids under the age of 13.
Plan How Much You Want to Contribute
The people who use their Flexible Spending Accounts in the smartest ways possible begin by planning how much money they want to contribute to their accounts. For a healthcare FSA, you can contribute a maximum yearly amount of $2,550. If you have an FSA for dependent care expenses, the amount jumps to $5,000 per year.
Vision and Dental
Yes, you can use money from your FSA for certain vision and dental expenses. In fact, money from your FSA can be used to pay for an eye exam, new glasses, or even new contact lenses or lens fluid. As for your teeth, FSA funds can pay for your dental checkup, having a cavity filled, or even getting that dreaded root canal procedure you’ve put off way too long.
An FSA Can be Used For Certain Mileage Expenses
Yes, money from your FSA can actually help ease the pain you feel each time you fill up your vehicle’s gas tank. If you wish, you can claim mileage to and from your medical appointments, which can add up quickly. Also, a dependent care FSA will pay for mileage incurred by a care provider. An example of this would be if you have a nanny or babysitter who drives your child to school each morning.
Since an FSA is useful in so many ways, do all you can to get the most out of your account each year. By doing so, you’ll not only save money but ensure you and your family members are as healthy as possible.