Don’t Lose Money With Your Flexible Spending Account

Happy child patient at dentist

Did you know that Americans lose an average of 14% of the money they invest into flexible spending accounts every year?

A lot of folks don’t realize they can use their FSA dollars for dental work in Flower Mound, leading to a forfeit of money put away for things like cleanings, teeth whitening, or sealants.

Some research has shown why people don’t use all of their health benefits before losing them – they simply don’t understand their benefits, or they forget. Here’s a few numbers to illustrate my point:

  • A recent study showed that 77% of people make mistakes when signing up for their benefits during open enrollment, and it usually costs them money.  
  • Only 4% of respondents were able to correctly identify all of these four basic insurance terms: deductibles, copay, coinsurance, and out-of-pocket maximums.
  • Americans spend less than 30 minutes per year researching their health and dental benefits, a task less appealing to most people than cleaning or doing taxes.

If you don’t understand how your health benefits work or what they cover, it will be hard to use them properly.

How do Flexible Spending Accounts work?

Flexible spending accounts let you contribute money to an account for use towards health-related services that aren’t covered by your regular health plan. This includes regular out-of-pocket expenses such as deductibles or copays, as well as many dentistry services such as cleaning, sealants, or orthodontics.

Not only is a separate account a good way to make sure the money is there when you need it, it also comes with some serious tax benefits. FSA contributions are tax-free, so both employers and employees love them. Routine expenses and dental care now reduce your tax liability!

Not only is it a good idea to use tax-free money to pay for dental care, doing so may reduce your actual overall costs by as much as 40%.

Individual plans may vary, but most FSA’s can be used for:

  • Deductibles
  • Copays
  • Cleanings
  • Fillings
  • Sealants
  • Crowns
  • Bonding
  • Tooth extraction
  • All diagnostic or preventive treatment

Use your benefits before you lose them

As great as FSA’s can be, they have one major drawback — if you don’t use your benefits before the end of the plan year, you could lose your unspent money!

Poof. Right out of the window. Gone.

Some plans may let you extend the deadline slightly further, but eventually, unused funds are forfeit. I don’t like to see Flower Mound families lose their hard-earned income, so if your family is due for cleanings or dental work, schedule soon!

Time’s getting short, and there is typically a rush at year’s end (for just this reason), so make sure you don’t miss out. And if you’re still unclear about what your FSA covers, stop by our dental practice and our team will be more than happy to help answer any questions you may have!

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