Flexible Spending Account

What is a Flexible Spending Account?

A Flexible Spending Account, also known as flexible spending arrangement is a pre-tax savings account used to pay for medical and health expenses.
It is money you ask to be deducted at the beginning of every Plan Year (you decide how much) from your paycheck and deposited into your FSA for the next 12 months to cover medical costs.
That money you decide to put in a FSA is taken from your pay before your social security, state or federal taxes are deducted.

Why a Flexible Spending Account will help you:
    • Decrease your taxable income and

    • Increase your take home money after every payday.
    It is a great option when paying for healthcare and other medical expenses
What are the two types of FSA plans?
  • Healthcare FSA

This will help you pay for the following expenses:

- Prescribed medications

- Doctors’ office visits

- Dental and ocular care

- Laboratory tests and more

Read and check your FSA provider benefits and rules to know what expenses will be covered.

  • Dependent-Care FSA

Will help you pay the costs of others while you work:

- Day school or after school care for children under 13 and

- Home care for seniors

What can you pay with your FSA money?
    • You can pay for medical supplies and medications

    • Doctor’s visits

    • Children’s orthodontics (braces)

    • Chiropractic care

And others specified by your FSA provider

How does a Flexible Spending Account work?

On the first month of every year, you decide how much money you want to have deducted from your paycheck and deposited in your FSA for the next 12 months.
Check your prior years' medical costs in order to have an idea of how much you will need to pay during the course of the year.
The amount you choose to put in your medical FSA account is taken from your monthly paycheck in equal parts and put into your FSA.

For example:

You choose to have a year’s deduction total of: $2,400
Divide $2400 by 12, this will give you your monthly payments. So, $2,400 / 12 months = $200 per month

That total amount per year you choose to pay will be available on the first day your benefits become ACTIVE (on the first month you started paying for the plan).

For Health Care FSA:

You can immediately begin using the entire $2,400 (in this example) for medical costs.

For Dependent Care FSA:

You can only use the amount of money you have been deducted up until that point.

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How do you know how much you have in your FSA?
  • You will be able to access a website assigned for you from your plan provider and check everything regarding your FSA details.

What happens if you do not spend all your FSA money during the year?

Before December 31st, you need to ask your FSA provider for a grace period so that you can be given until March 15 to spend that FSA money.
That is why you need to be extra careful with your estimates before you start any FSA plan.
Remember that if you do not notify your provider about your leftover FSA money when the 12 months are over, you will not get that money back. Either you use it or you lose it if so make sure to ask for the extension.

How can you use your FSA money to pay for expenses?
  • You can pay online, or with a Debit or Credit Card. That will depend on each provider’s rules and benefits.
    You will only be able to pay for FSA eligible expenses.
If your FSA provider doesn't offer you a card or online payments options
If your FSA provider doesn't offer you a card or online payments options
  • You will pay out of your pocket

  • Then send a copy of your receipt to your FSA provider

  • And your provider will issue a check to pay you back.

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