Your Pre-2016 FSA Checklist
While it may soon be the end of the year, now is a good time to create a pre-2016 FSA checklist. No matter what industry you work in, the annual open enrollment period can be a stressful time for employees and benefits providers alike. With countless health plans, consumer spending accounts and benefits options to sift through, these are vital decisions that will affect your spending decisions long into 2016.
Luckily, at FSAstore.com, we live for open enrollment season and beyond to help you fully understand and use your FSA! We make our business in helping individuals and families maximize the potential of their consumer spending accounts, so we want to help you get off on the right foot for the coming year.
Here are some key points to keep in mind as you make some key decisions regarding your benefits during open enrollment:
Update your contributions
If you have a flexible spending account (FSA) or other consumer spending account, are you setting aside the right amount of money each month to cover you and your family's health expenses? The IRS ruled that the 2016 health FSA pre-tax plan year deduction limit for single individuals will remain at $2,550, the same level as 2015. If you'd like to forecast your expenses for the year, estimate your potential pre-tax savings or calculate your yearly allocations, our FSA Calculator can simplify this process for you!
Qualifying life event status
Did you make some major changes over the past year that could affect your consumer spending account allocations for the coming year? You can make changes to your allocations during open enrollment. Outside of open enrollment, the IRS states that a qualifying life event includes having a baby or adopting a child, marriage, divorce or legal separation, a change in residence or work location that affects your benefits eligibility, a dependent's student status changes or a change in job status. Be sure to check with your FSA administrator for clarification on these events and other lifestyle changes, and to see when you can make changes to your plan
Maximize yearly allocations
The FSA pre-tax plan deduction limit for single individuals is $2,550, but if your spouse is eligible for and signs up for an account as well, you can double your yearly allocations to $5,100. Open enrollment is an ideal time to not only alter your current employee benefit status, but also to examine how your spouse and dependents' status can help you boost your allocations and tax savings year-round.
Do you have an FSA plan-year extension?
Does your FSA deadline arrive on December 31 or do you have a grace period stretching this deadline to March 15? Are you able to roll over $500 from 2015 into your 2016 allocations? This is a question for your benefits administrator, as FSA providers can only offer either a grace period or a rollover for their FSA account holders. Be sure to find out which is available to maximize your yearly FSA contributions.
Now that you've covered your bases, let FSAstore.com make open enrollment a breeze for 2016:
- Don't waste a cent of your yearly contributions to the "use-it-or-lose-it" FSA rule! Browse the web's largest selection of FSA eligible products and enjoy our quick and easy prescription process for timely reimbursement for the medical items you and your family need most.
- Join our FSA Perks loyalty program! By opening an FSA Store account, you can earn points toward promotional codes by referring friends, posting on social media, reviewing our site and other simple activities to save money on your next FSAstore.com purchase!
- Have a question about what your account covers? Check out our Eligibility List, a comprehensive listing of medical products and services and how they are reimbursed through FSAs, HSAs, HRAs, DCFSAs and LCFSAs.
- Want to learn more about the ins and outs of consumer spending accounts? Visit our FSA Learning Center for answers to your frequently asked questions regarding healthcare benefits.