As we plunge into the last quarter of the year, we encourage you to check and see what’s left in your flexible spending account. If there are still funds, it might be worth an extra trip to visit our experts at Wildwood Dental for preventative care or treatment.
First, what is a Flexible Spending Account?
More than 14 million American families have a flexible spending account (FSA) – an account where you can place tax-free dollars to pay for medical expenses, including co-payments and deductibles. This means you’ll save an amount equal to the taxes you would have paid on the money you set aside. FSAs are typically available with job-based health plans, where employers fund it, and they are limited to $2,550 per year.
How to spend your FSA money at the dentist
Your flexible spending will cover any medical expenses you pay for the prevention and alleviation of dental disease. Covered treatment includes teeth cleanings, the application of sealants and fluoride treatments to prevent tooth decay. (See a list of our preventative care procedures).
Additionally, treatments to alleviate dental disease are covered as well. These include procedures such as X-rays, fillings, braces, extractions, dentures, and other dental ailments.
Other medical items you can use your flex money on include sunscreen, glasses/contacts, certain medicines, first aid items and more. See a list of generally permitted medical and dental expenses.
Flexible Spending Deadlines for 2015-2016
While we’re approaching the final part of the year, technically you will have extra cushion time to use up the remaining unspent funds. A few years ago, the U.S. Treasury mandated that any costs incurred in the two and a half months following the end of the year could also retroactively be applied to the former year’s FSA balance. Additionally, many plans have also mandated that $500 of the balance could roll into the following year. For this, you will have until March 15, 2016 to finalize any purchases. However, not every plan has adopted this policy, so now is still a good time to consider upcoming expenses and spend your funds so you don’t end up with funds left over that you will lose.
If you’re in need of an extra cleaning or any preventative services covered with your FSA, schedule an appointment with us by calling 425.481.1889.