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FSA Savings: Out-of-pocket expenses


Are you worried about your health care spending? You’re likely not the only one.

Though health care spending growth actually slowed in 2012, a report by the Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI) shows that out-of-pocket spending increased to 4.8% - or about $768 per person. Out-of-pocket spending refers to co-pays, coinsurance, deductibles, and any other expense not covered by a person’s health plan.

Health care spending added up to approximately $4,701 per person in 2012 for those with employer-sponsored coverage, which was a $181 increase from 2011.

How Can I Save?

Your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) can play a big role in your health care savings. Not only do these pre-tax accounts save on taxes (income taxes and payroll taxes for Medicare and Social Security), but they also let you for pay for out-of-pocket expenses.

You can save up to 40% by using your FSA. Because they’re tax-free, you are increasing your spendable income.

2012 Quick Facts (from the HCCI report)

  • Women spent more out-of-pocket ($883) than men ($647).
  • Older adults (55-64 years old) spent the most out-of-pocket ($1,265).
  • Demographics play a role. People in the Northeast contributed to higher spending ($4,868 per capita spending). Here’s a helpful article explaining how your location affects insurance costs.
  • Out-of-pocket expenses predominantly went toward doctor visits and lab tests (43.4% of overall expenses did), and 25.9% went to outpatient care. Inpatient services increased 5.4% ($16,421 on average).
  • Young adult (19-25) health care spending grew faster than any other age group, but young adults continue to have the lowest expenditures ($2,548 per person) as compared to older adults ($8,920).

What Services can my FSA cover?

Your FSA will let you visit various health care providers. Need an annual dental checkup or eye exam? Need a back adjustment with a chiropractor? Want to see a podiatrist, speech therapist or gynecologist? Your FSA will cover deductibles, co-pays and coinsurance at the next visit with your doctor or other specialists.

Find a health care provider near you through’s FSA eligible services. Any service you receive must be medically necessary to qualify for FSA reimbursement.

FSA Eligible Products & Prescriptions

In addition to services, you can shop for medical products and supplies with your FSA. Everything from band-aids to shoe inserts to blood pressure monitors to contact lens care to breast pumps and thousands of items in between. Shop for these and many more FSA eligible products!

Have any questions about your FSA? Let us know in the comments! Or, if you want to research your FSA, check out our Learning Center. We’ll keep you updated with the latest FSA and health reform developments right here on the blog!You can also get prescriptions refilled and use your FSA funds to cover them. Any over-the-counter medicines require a prescription to be FSA eligible.

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