Should I consider enrolling in an FSA?

Open enrollment is coming. Soon it will be time to sign up for (new) benefits through work, and now is the time to research your employee benefits. Why now? You might be wondering why enrolling in a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) matters and how it's important to your overall health - and personal finances, too.

If you haven't yet asked about it at work, a Flexible Spending Account or FSA can be a great option to help you save on yearly medical expenses. These accounts are not only pre-tax plans, but the money can be used for lots of different expenses including co-pays at the doctor's office, eye exams, dental care, and healthcare products like band-aids, breast pumps, sunscreen, thermometers, contact lenses and contact lens care, prescription eyeglasses, and hot and cold therapy packs (among thousands of other items).

Questions to ask before enrolling in an FSA

Before you sign up for an FSA, learn what's covered, estimate your out-of-pocket healthcare expenses for the year,and ask lots of questions. Your HR department can help explain how these plans work, what's required of you, how much you can set aside, who is covered by your plan, and much more. Once you sign up for an FSA, you'll likely be directed to an FSA administrator, who will manage your plan and will be able to disclose your balance information, claims details and coverage questions, so you can make the most of your FSA during the year.

FSA Store can also help, if you still have questions about these plans, and how you might benefit from signing up for one. Browse our FSA Learning Center to get answers to popular questions. Check out our Eligibility List to learn about covered expenses such as healthcare products or qualified medical services. Use our FSA Calculator to estimate your potential savings by plugging in numbers for healthcare services or products you'll need.

Most importantly, read about these plans and ask your HR department to explain them to you. What questions do you have? Do you know how to maximize your healthcare dollars? Should you stick to your current health plan or add an FSA? Should you consider a Dependent Care FSA? You still have time to prepare for open enrollment, so why not be prepared and decide what's best for your health ahead of that time?

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