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Average FSA contributions remain well below annual limit, report finds

Basics

That’s the average yearly contribution Americans made to a Flexible Spending Account, as found by a 2012 Mercer National Survey of Employer-Sponsored Health Plans. The $1,427 amount accounts for survey results from large employers offering a Flexible Spending Account (FSA).

Out of the 2,809 employers who participated in the annual Mercer survey, 86% of large employers offer a health care FSA. These large employers reported a 20% average FSA employee participation rate. Another important statistic shows that on average only 3% of contribution dollars were forfeited.

Calculating your Contribution

While the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) limits FSA contributions to $2,500 a year, you can rest easy. Most Americans don’t seem to get anywhere near that limit (as that Mercer survey revealed). And, the good news is that if your spouse has an FSA, you could both contribute to FSAs for up to $5,000 in your household. Check in with your employer to see how much you can put into your FSA. Contribution limits vary per employer.

Tip: If open enrollment is happening soon for you, just use our FSA Calculator to estimate your expenses!

If you want to maximize your FSA, be sure to regularly check your FSA account balance and use it for expenses throughout the year. Think of your FSA when you visit a health care provider and cover a co-pay, or when you need to update your medicine cabinet, or even when you’re having a baby and looking for a breast pump!

Maximizing Savings

FSA funds expire at end of plan year, so use your funds to avoid losing them! Some employers provide an additional 2 ½ month grace period to use your funds, but it’s best to check in about your plan. Don’t know if you have an upcoming deadline? Contact your FSA Administrator or HR department to find out!

FSAstore.com carries a wide selection of FSA eligible products. Browse Goodies for surprising items you may not know are eligible. We’ll keep you posted with FSA and health reform developments right here on the blog!

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