Open enrollment season is here and for many working professionals, this means big decisions on healthcare, dental/vision and voluntary benefits for 2021.
Our new Digital Open Enrollment survey takes as little as five minutes to complete and consists of a series of multiple choice questions to find out which account may be right for your financial situation, your favorite activities, and lifestyle.
The quiz ends with an executive summary that will show you how much you can save on eligible products that matter to you, a side-by-side comparison of how an FSA and HSA can benefit your financial bottom line, information about how you can enroll in an account, and more.
Best of all, those who provide their email during the quiz enter a chance to win free eligible prizes! With open enrollment here and big decisions on the horizon, now is the perfect time to find out how much you can save with an FSA or HSA.
Note: This content is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide, nor should it be relied on, for legal, financial or tax advice. Please consult with your legal, financial or tax advisor(s) before engaging in any transaction.
In mid-May 2020, the IRS made a revolutionary change in light of the public health crisis to open up the option for mid-year changes to FSAs and other insurance plans. In the past, the only times these mid-year changes were allowed were due to qualifying life events like marriage or the birth of a child, but with the COVID-19 pandemic resulting in a sea of changes with how consumers use their flexible spending accounts (FSAs), the option to pursue mid-year FSA changes is welcome and necessary.
Now a month removed from that big announcement, many FSA users are probably wondering: so when can I make changes to my contribution and coverage? Well here's the kicker: FSA mid-year changes are only available for account holders whose employers open them up for their employees.
With that information in mind, let's explore what employees should do next when inquiring about FSA mid-year changes
1. Talk with HR!
Your human resources department should be your first stop to inquire about any substantive changes in your company's benefits and whether there are any future plans to pursue mid-year changes for 2020. Ultimately, it's in your employer's hands to make this decision, but reminding them to weigh the pros and cons of allowing the change if they haven't done so already is the first step.
2. Talk with your FSA account administrator!
If you feel more comfortable, your FSA account administrator, whose information can typically be found on the back of your FSA card if one is available, is a great resource to talk with about your FSA related questions. They'll be able to tell you about your current plan options and any they're aware of, although they may ultimately refer you back to your HR department if your employer hasn't made a decision as of yet.
If mid-year changes are allowed…
If your employer did open up FSA mid-year changes to you and your fellow employees, you essentially have a mini open enrollment to prepare for. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
1. Should I contribute more or withdraw?
One of the unique aspects of these mid-year changes is that the IRS is allowing FSA users to either contribute more to their accounts to meet the 2020 contribution limit ($2,750) or withdraw these funds for personal use (post income taxes). We always err on the side of taking advantage of an FSA's tax benefits, but every person's financial situation is unique, so do what is best for your bottom line.
2. Should I elect a new FSA or drop my current one?
The IRS is also permitting those who had previously chosen to forego an FSA election for this year to elect one mid-year with these changes. If you have the option to add an FSA, now is a good time to explore the thousands of eligible products which will qualify and ways you may be able to save money and reduce your taxable income. And if you currently have an FSA and are considering dropping it under the changes, remember that if you can swing it, FSAs do reduce your taxable income, and there are still plenty of ways to responsibly use your FSA funds this year.
3. How can I estimate my future spending?
If you're stuck pondering your qualified healthcare spending for the rest of 2020, our FSA Calculator can help. This can help give you a full picture of your finances to plan out your future medical expenditures so you can accurately predict the right contribution for you and your dependents' needs.
It's an exciting time to be an FSA user, and you may have more flexibility with your account than you could have ever imagined! Now is the right time to start asking questions and finding out the benefits plans of your organization for the rest of 2020.
Thanks for visiting the FSA Learning Center! We'll keep you posted on all the FSA changes that may be coming in the foreseeable future, so be sure to to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for the latest updates.
Happy December, everyone! It's a busy time here at FSAstore.com. The year is ending, which means many of you have FSA deadlines rapidly approaching!
Of course, year-end deadlines mean year-end headlines. The three articles we selected this week highlight just how different our understanding of health savings and flexible spending accounts is across the country.
More importantly, even though FSAstore.com and HSAstore.com have the best Learning Centers on the web, these links illustrate how many more people we need to help understand their accounts.
In these links - all of which were published this week, by the way - we see how studies can turn up very different results. One claims HDHP members are smarter shoppers. Another claims these people aren't using their options the right way. Which is right? That depends on your situation.
Luckily, our Learning Center and calculators, along with 24/7 customer service, and a 100% eligibility-guarantee can help clear up this confusion, and help everyone benefit more from their benefits.
HDHPs decline as sole benefit plan option - Employee Benefit News
Just 28% of U.S. employers are considering offering HDHPs as their sole benefit option to their employees in the next three years. This is a reduction from a high of 44% in 2014, according to PwC's Health Research Institute study.
Even when consumers have health plans that require them to pay a high amount out-of-pocket for care, they often don't talk to doctors about the price of treatments or shop around to get the best deal, a U.S. study suggests.
Most Americans with high-deductible health plans don't shop or save - Insurance Journal
A new study suggests that despite the rise in these high-deductible health plans (HDHPs), most Americans who have them aren't saving, shopping around for better prices, talking to their doctors about costs, or making other consumer-type moves.
At open enrollment, one of the most daunting tasks can be deciding on the best health insurance plan option that meets your needs and the needs of your covered dependents. There are often many choices, and the language used although intended to be very clear, can actually be quite confusing. (We're here to eliminate that confusion...)
Before choosing a health insurance plan, be sure to ask questions, predetermine your health expenses and health care needs for the year ahead and research all of the variables of the plan options available to you.
A good place to start is the Summary of Benefits and Coverage, which should be provided to you prior to your open enrollment election and can provide the basic information you need to make the most informed choice possible.
While the variables of each plan offered can differ greatly, the basis of the plan designs are consistent. To help you prepare for the difficulties in choosing a health plan that makes the most sense for you, here are some of the basics for the various types of employer sponsored health plans that are offered.
[Note: This list does not include individually purchased health plan options or options available through the exchange.]
Commonly offered employer-sponsored health plan choices:
- Preferred provider organization plans (PPOs): PPOs allow individuals to use any of the plan's preferred providers within their extended network, including specialists, without the need for a referral. PPOs can vary in terms of out-of-pocket expenses, but they typically will require a copay for certain types of expenses and many may even require you to meet a deductible up front.
- Health maintenance organization plans (HMOs): HMOs allow covered individuals to use any provider within an extended network but require that individuals first choose a primary care physician (PCP) who will coordinate all of their extended care.
Once a PCP is chosen, covered individuals must see their them for referrals to certain specialists. Deductibles and copays may apply and will vary by plan design.
- Exclusive provider organization plans (EPOs): EPOs allow covered individuals to see any of the physicians within the assigned EPO network, typically without the need to assign a preferred provider or to obtain referrals. Often times EPOs will not provide any coverage for services rendered outside of the EPO network, so individuals must be certain to check the network of approved EPO providers before choosing this type of plan. Deductibles and co-pays may apply and will vary by plan design.
- Point-of-service (POS) plans : POS plans are a combination of the traditional HMO and PPO plan. You are typically free to see any provider within a large covered network and may be required to assign a primary care physician for regular office exams and wellness visits.
With POS plans, you are usually free to also use providers which may be out of the plan's network, and will often pay higher amounts for these services. Deductibles and copays may apply and will vary by plan design.
- High-deductible health plans (HDHPs): HDHPs can come in many forms, including PPOs, EPOs and HMOs. HDHPs are designed to incentivize covered individuals to make better choices in regard to their care.
By requiring individuals to meet a set dollar amount up front before their health insurance plans will cover certain expenses or all expenses, similar to the way in which you would meet a deductible with car insurance, HDHPs are intended to force the consumer to think about their medical needs and choices before receiving treatment, perhaps even shopping around for a better price. By having more “skin in the game," HDHPs are intended to create a more-informed consumer.
Qualified HDHPs can also be offered with health savings accounts (HSAs). In order for an HDHP to be HSA-qualified, the deductible requirement may be no less than $1,400 in 2020 for self-only coverage ($2,800 for family coverage). To be HSA-qualified in 2020, the maximum annual out-of-pocket costs cannot exceed $6,900 for self-only coverage ($13,800 for family coverage). Limits are increased for inflation each year.
- Employer-sponsored plans: When making your choices for the best health insurance plan to meet your needs, consider all options available to you. Many of the aforementioned plans will be offered with various types of employers sponsored plans, including flexible spending accounts (FSAs), health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) and health savings accounts (HSAs). When making the choice that most closely meets your needs, don't forget to consider all options available to you.
More open enrollment articles
- Mercer's projected 2020 FSA contribution limits are here
- Speaking to millennials at open enrollment
- It's never too early to map out your open enrollment
- How I've handled career transitions and insurance options
- I'm young and healthy … why would I want an FSA?
- Can I make mid-year changes to my FSA?
Find out why open enrollment is one of the most important dates on any working professional's calendar. Whether yours is weeks or months away, it's never too early to start planning your future health coverage options. To help streamline learning about your options, check out this helpful video from our friends at The SEBO Group:
We hope you find the answers you're looking for, and feel free to check out the rest of our resources on our Open Enrollment page.
Still have Open Enrollment Questions?
As the time of year when you can elect benefits, make changes to existing plans and take advantage of new offerings, Open Enrollment is a crucial task for any employee. Depending on your plan year structure, your Open Enrollment period may be weeks or months away, but it's never too early to start thinking about your health coverage for the coming year.
When your Open Enrollment period approaches, these 5 tips can help you get a head start on your benefits election!
- Calculate Your Yearly Medical Expenses
While medical expenses can be unpredictable, in many cases you may already know how much you and your family members are going to spend over the course of a year. As you calculate your expenses, think about:
- How often you visit doctors/specialists (and your dependents as well)
- How much you pay yearly for prescription drugs
- Will you be taking on any new dependents in the coming year? (birth of a child, caretaking adult dependent)
- How much a health plan will cost over a year
- Evaluate Your Plan Provider Network
Even over the course of a year, your company's provider network could have changed drastically. Doctors groups could join together and hospitals and health systems could re-contract with insurers which could change your benefit options. Your employer and health administrator have a number of tools and resource that can help you assess the cost impact of your health plan choices and the overall quality of these plans when making your health plan choices.
- Vision/Dental Insurance
In addition to health coverage, vision and dental plans are an important facet of the open enrollment process. Some health plans may already include this, others may act as standalone benefits. Most companies will offer vision benefits plans or vision discount plans. A vision benefits plan operates like traditional insurance where a premium is paid in exchange for eye care coverage and some coverage for qualifying vision correction aids like frames and lenses. Additionally, a vision discount plan, typically offers lower premiums, but will only provide a percentage off qualifying vision expenses and products.
In regards to dental coverage, this is usually much simpler and should be based on your overall health needs. If you only anticipate regular cleanings and checkups, a low-priced dental plan would be best. However, if you anticipate major dental expenses such as root canals, oral surgery or orthodontic expenses in the coming year, a more comprehensive dental plan could be better for your bottom line.
- Is a CDHP right for you?
Consumer-directed healthcare plans like flexible spending accounts (FSAs), health savings accounts (HSAs) and more are funded through the employee's own pre-tax funds and can be used on qualifying health expenses. This offers the benefit of paying less in taxes each year through monthly payroll deductions, and they can even be funded by employers as well. Individuals or families can open these accounts, and they can provide a major boost for those who maximize their benefits. Learn more in our outline of the most common CDHPs. (will hyperlink)
- Take Advantage of Health & Wellness Programs
Health and wellness programs have become increasingly popular amongst employers who encourage their employees to get and stay healthy - which can save both the company and the employee plenty in the long run! Some common programs include health assessments, weight loss programs and health coaching, which could help you better understand your health status and make more informed health plan choices in the future. Some companies also provide financial incentives to those who participate in programs and meet specific goals, so this is a benefit that you definitely don't want to miss out on!
Still have Open Enrollment Questions?
Enrolling in an FSA will require research to figure out if it is the best option for your financial bottom line, but like all things on the internet, even long-debunked ideas can persist. Luckily, we've identified the most common FSA myths that you should disregard in your search for the ideal health plan:
- "I will lose any money I don't spend by the end of the year."
While it is true that all flexible spending accounts adhere to the "use-it-or-lost-it" rule that requires all unspent funds to be forfeited to your employer at the end of each plan year, a number of regulations have made this requirement much easier to work around. Employers now have the option to choose one (or neither) of either a $500 rollover or 2.5 month grace period.
The $500 rollover allows FSA users to move up to $500 into the next plan year's allocation, which won't count against the plan year contribution limit. The 2.5 month grace period gives FSA users two and a half months to spend down the remainder of their FSA funds and submit claims. In fact, we started our company to help people avoid forfeiting funds by creating a one-stop-shop for over 4,000 eligible products you can purchase with your FSA funds. So, with a little advanced planning and careful spending, there's a good chance you won't have to waste a cent of your FSA funds each year.
- "The FSA claims process is a hassle"
With the introduction of FSA debit cards, account holders have the ability to pay for qualifying products and services at the point of sale. In the past, FSA users were forced to pay with a different payment method and file a paper claim with their benefits administrator to be reimbursed for their eligible purchase. While it's still important for FSA users to save receipts and invoices for tax purposes in the event documentation is required by the benefits administrator, FSA cards make it easier for account holders to get what they need without tying up their cash waiting for reimbursement. We make sure to accept FSA cards as a method of payment on our site, and most items on our site auto-substantiate, so you can skip the receipt submission process too!
- "I have to pay in before getting my full FSA allocation"
Before each plan year during Open Enrollment, FSA users choose how much money they would like to set aside for the year, and this is taken out, pre-tax, from your paycheck through regular payroll deductions. While that may sound like your FSA funds will accrue over the course of the year, the reality is the full FSA allocation is available from the first day of the plan year. So, you can be confident that the money you set aside will be ready for any medical emergency or qualifying purchase right away.
For everything you need to keep your family healthy year-round, rely on FSAstore.com! We have the web's largest selection of FSA-eligible items to help you maximize the potential of your healthcare benefits.
FSAstore.com and HSAstore.com Launch No-Cost, Customizable Program for Employers to Help Employees Manage Their Flexible Spending Accounts and Health Savings Accounts
Customer Survey Results Show the Sites Improve FSA/HSA Understanding & Usage While Increasing Allocation and Overall Satisfaction
NEW YORK, NY, OCTOBER 05, 2016 -FSAstore.com and HSAstore.com, the only two e-commerce sites exclusively stocked with Flexible Spending Account (FSA) and Health Savings Account (HSA) eligible products, announced today a free program for employers to help employees better use and understand Flexible Spending Accounts and Health Savings Accounts (HSAs).
Employers can simply go to https://FSAstore.com/HR and https://HSAstore.com/HR and input basic contact details. Within minutes, employers will receive a customized web page to share with employees. The page includes educational information, promotional discounts, and is supported by additional customized FSA or HSA materials provided by FSAstore.com or HSAstore.com, at no cost to the employer.
“Choosing and using employee benefits should be easy,” said Jeremy Miller, president and CEO of FSAstore.com and HSAstore.com. “The relatively low overall adoption rates of these tax-advantaged accounts means we have to continue to better educate our consumers on the advantages of FSAs and HSAs.”
Having easy access to tools and information is key to success with these tax-advantaged accounts.
In fact, findings from a recent Company customer survey showed that consumers benefit from these resources and from direct access to eligible products and services:
94 percent of survey respondents said they found products on FSAstore.com they did not previously know were eligible.
97 percent of respondents agreed that the website gave them a better understanding of product eligibility.
60 percent of respondents said they would have been more likely to forfeit funds, were it not for the resources on the site.
In addition, a high percentage of respondents said they are more likely to increase their FSA contribution because of the online FSA shopping experience.
“Our employees are often confused about how to use FSAs and HSAs,” said Cheryl Wyatt, director of human resources at Stronghold Ltd. “FSAstore.com has been a valuable resource to help them better understand these plans through tools such as the FSA Eligibility List, FSA Calculator and the FSA Learning Center and easily shop for eligible products.”
And, if you don't pay attention, you might automatically be enrolled in similar benefits, whichwon't work if you have different healthcare needs. So, if you ask questions before open enrollment starts, you'll better understand the available options for you and your family.
Of course, a Flexible Spending Account could be part of the package - so, if you have questions or want to learn more, now's a good time to investigate how FSAs work!
Here are 5 tips ahead of open enrollment 2016:
1 Familiarize yourself more with an FSA. Are youconsidering re-enrolling in an FSA? Thinking of signing up? Now is a good moment to review what exactly is covered. FSAs can cover lots of expenses - whether it's office visits to medical providers, or thousands of over-the-counter products. If you'd like to learn what's covered by the plan, consult your HR department or FSA administrator. You can also review the Summary Plan Description. The Summary Plan Description tells you about FSA eligible expenses.You can also browse the FSA Eligibility List to discover FSA eligible expenses!
2. Update contributions. If you're signing up for an FSA again, you want to estimate how much you think you'll spend for the year. The maximum contribution for FSAs is $2,550. Contribution limits vary per plan, though. Need help calculating expenses? Use our FSA Calculator to calculate the savings with an FSA and get an estimate per expense type.
3. Make changes to your FSA. As with many benefits during open enrollment, you'll have a chance to make changes to how much you contribute to your FSA. For example, if you experienced what's known as a "qualifying life event," meaning a major life change such as getting married, having a baby or more, you may be able to qualify to make changes to your FSA. Ask your FSA administrator about this, or at your HR department.
4. Consider other types of FSAs. If you have a family, you may be able to also get aDependent Care FSA. Open enrollment will let youopt in, if that plan is available to you.
5. Stay on top of deadlines, your balance, and plan-year extensions. Flexible Spending Accounts have different deadlines or plan-year extensions, depending on how the plan is structured. Some FSAs have a carryover up to $500 to the next plan year, or a grace period, which allows you to spend your FSA money for an additional two and a half months after the plan deadline.It's important to monitor your FSA balance to make sure you maximize your FSA!
Shop for products you'll need with your FSA at FSAstore.com
Or ask us one of our experts a question in the FSA Learning Center
Wondering whether you should consider getting a Flexible Spending Account? Read about 6 reasons to consider an FSA this open enrollment season.
Dale Conner is a personal finance writer who discusses topics related to investing, retirement, health, and insurance.This guest post is courtesy of Money Crashers.
According to theNational Compensation Survey, courtesy of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 48% of workers had access to a flexible spending account, or FSA, in 2013. What is a flexible spending account? It is a financial account established through your employer in which you set money aside to pay for a range ofout-of-pocket medical costs. It can be used for prescriptions, doctor visits, and health-related supplies, such as crutches.
You can contribute as much as $2,550 to an FSA for the year 2015 - contributions that are taken out of your paycheck pre-tax. In order to avoid taxation on those funds, they must be used for qualified expenses. One catch though:If you don't use FSA funds by year's end, you may lose them. Some FSAs allow a rollover of up to $500 to the next year, but many do not.
- Avoid Financial Emergencies When's the last time you got advance notice of a major illness? Setting money aside for medical expenses means reducing your chances of being hamstrung by a medical emergency you can't pay for out-of-pocket. For many folks, those emergencies mean assuming a frightening amount of credit card debt. If you're not setting aside funds, you could end up doing serious damage to your overall financial picture.
- Automate Healthcare Savings As with many things in life, it's easy to tell yourself that you should be saving for healthcare expenses, but quite another to actually do it. Since your FSA contributions are automatically deducted from your paycheck, however, you won't be tempted to skip a month of contributions in favor of that new iPhone or fancy dinner out.
- Tax Break Since FSA contributions are made from your pre-tax income, you keep more of your hard-earned money in your pocket. Just be sure to use all your contributions for qualified medical expenses that year. If you lose them, the financial benefits of the plan are moot.
- Variety of Covered Expenses Expenses covered under flexible spending accounts are comprehensive. You can use funds for physicals, prenatal vitamins, X-rays, deductibles, co-insurance, copayments, blood pressure monitors, and birth control - and that's just the tip of the iceberg. Over-the-counter medications such as Tylenol, however, are only eligible with a prescription from your doctor.
- Convenience Many flexible spending accounts come with debit cards, which makes paying for your medical expenses that much more convenient. It also eliminates the need to keep track of your available balance, as this is done automatically for you.
- Your Account Is Pre-Funded One lesser-known aspect of flexible spending accounts is that they are pre-funded by employers. What does that mean? Let's say you sign up to have $2,000 contributed to your account annually, or roughly $83 from every bi-weekly paycheck. That doesn't mean you only have access to $83 if you get sick in the first two weeks of January - your entire $2,000 is available from the beginning of the year.
Since you may lose any funds you don't use during the year (unless you have a Carryover or Grace Period option), be sure not to contribute more to your account than you expect to spend. If you're in danger of losing cash, for example, schedule a physical in December, or anyother covered procedure before the new year. An FSA can strengthen your financial and physical health, so if one is offered through your employer check out what's covered and determine how much you expect to spend in each category. Then, set one up as soon as possible.
Have an upcoming plan-year deadline? Shop at FSAstore.com,the onlye-commerceexclusively dedicated to FSA eligible products.
Have you been enrolled in an FSA for some time? Are you new to FSAs and want to learn more? Take our quiz to test your knowledge about FSA plans.
Are you a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) expert? Open enrollment periods are quickly approaching (depending on when your company has this specific period to select benefits), and now is the time to familiarize yourself a bit more with anFSA. Maybe you've been using FSAs for years, or maybe you're considering enrolling this year. Are you an FSA expert or just getting to know these accounts? Either way, you'll be happy to know that these pre-tax accounts can not only help you save money, but can be applied to lots of qualified healthcare expenses during the year. So, whether you want to use an FSA for medical services like dental cleanings, vision exams, visits to the doctor's office or more, your FSA can be a great help. Did you also know you can use an FSA for products like hot/cold therapy packs, first aid kits, breastpumps, smartphone-compatible blood pressure monitors, prescription eyeglasses and even contact lenses?
FSAstore.com is here to help you navigate FSAs. Our mission has always been to make it easy for anyone with an FSA to manage and use these accounts. In addition to selling thousandsof exclusivelyFSA-eligible products, we also offer resources to make it simple to understand your FSA to maximize how you can use the plan throughout the year. Browse our comprehensive FSA Eligibility List for information about FSA eligible expenses ranging from products to medical services. Use our FSA Calculator to estimate your potential savings by having an FSA. Check out our Rx Process to learn about how we can help you process any prescriptions for those FSA eligible items that require an Rx. And, last but not least, we'll keep you updated on important changes or information regarding FSAs and the industry right here on the blog.
Take our quiz below put yourFSA knowledge to the test, or simply use this linkto directly access it. Proud of your results? Share themwith friends and family on social media!
It's almost time for open enrollment 2015. Will you be signing up for an FSA again or changing your employee benefits? Learn more about FSAs with our 8 tips
It's almost time for open enrollment 2015 season! During this special time-frame at work, you'll be able to make changes to your employee benefits options, or keep the same benefits you already have.
Eight things to keep in mind ahead of open enrollment 2015:
1. Learn about qualifying events. If you've had a qualifying life-changing event during the year, you could change contribution amounts to your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) for the upcoming plan year. These "events" are lifestyle changes including having a baby or adopting a child (a change in tax dependents), getting married (a change in legal marital status), or starting a new job (change in employment status affecting your health benefits). There are other types of lifestyle changes that could qualify, so it's good to ask your FSA administrator about this. If you're not sure who to contact, you can always ask the HR department for more information.
2. Update how much you are contributing. Maybe you opted into an FSA, and realized that you hadn't contributed enough tax-free money to it. Open enrollment is the time to recalculate your expenses for the year, and an FSA Calculator can help you figure out estimated savings on FSA eligible services or products.
3. Maximize your FSA money. If you and your spouse can separately sign up for FSAs at work, you could both set aside up to $2,550 per account. That's $5,100 in potential tax-free savings to use for medical expenses like dental and eye care, and healthcare products, as well!
4. Consider other types of FSAs. If you have a family, you may have questions about other types of expenses including those of a Dependent Care FSA. Open enrollment will allow you to opt in (if that plan is available to you) and to ask your HR department questions about these plans.
5. Stay on top of plan-year extensions. An FSA could have different plan-year extensions or deadlines by which you must use your FSA dollars. Some plans have a Carryover option (up to $500 that rolls over to the next year) or a Grace Period - an additional two and a half months to use your account.
6. Keep track of your balance.Take a monthly inventory of how much you've spent by checking your account balance.
7. Research eligible expenses. If you want to know what's covered, it's good to read your plan guidelines to discover available services or products. You can also browse the FSA Eligibility List to discover FSA eligible expenses!
8. Ask questions before your open enrollment begins. Open enrollment can be stressful, especially if you're scrambling for information on health benefits. And, if you don't pay attention, you might automatically be enrolled in similar benefits, and that won't work if you have different healthcare needs. So, if you ask questions before open enrollment starts and do research, you'll better understand the available options and what makes sense for you and your family.
Other ways to use your FSA this fall (and to enjoy the last of summer) with products:
1. Prep for warm weather. Labor Day weekend is still ahead! If you're going to the beach or taking a tropical vacation, you'll want to bring along sunscreen, which is covered by an FSA!
2. Take care of pain easily after exercising with hot/cold therapy packs, which are available with your FSA dollars.
3. Update your first-aid kits for travel, at home, or even in the office.
4. Prep your kids for back to school. Did you know that physicals are covered with an FSA? When was the last time your child had a dental or vision exam? Expenses for both are also covered with an FSA. FSA Store even has a special Back to School section with products to keep your kids healthy.
Shop for products you'll need with your FSA at FSAstore.com
Is open enrollment approaching for you soon? Learn more about our three FSA open enrollment tips to help maximize your benefits selection at work this year.
Open enrollment can be stressful as you're presented with many options for your employee benefits. When you get your benefits package, you might be overwhelmed by the choices you're given, or maybe you're not sure about the benefits you should consider enrolling in.
As open enrollment approaches, we're giving you three tips to make sure you get the most of out of your Flexible Spending Account, should you be considering enrolling in one, or re-enrolling for another year!
Three FSA open enrollment tips to consider:
1. Calculate how much to set aside. It's important to figure out yearly healthcare expenses with your FSA, and then use the plan for covered expenses. The plan is pre-tax, so you're already saving more by using it. You can also use an FSA toward co-pays or deductibles (though not premiums).
2. Research what's covered. Ask your FSA administrator or the HR department if you're not sure about which medical services and products your plan covers. They'll be able to explain better to you what you can expect, and which healthcare costs are covered by the specific guidelines of your plan.
3. Keep track of deadlines. Throughout the FSA year, you'll want to be using your plan to maximize the money you've contributed and to avoid losing your FSA dollars. You may also have a plan-year extension such as a Carryover up to $500 or a Grace period, but it's best to ask your FSA administrator about those details.
If you have any more questions about your FSA, don't hesitate to ask your FSA administrator or the HR department, if you're considering signing up for an FSA! If you already have an FSA and want to set aside more money for the next year, then open enrollment is the time to do that.
You can browse our Eligibility List or Learning Center to discover what expenses are covered, and to see if the questions you have about coverage, dependents or enrollment are answered there, as well.
Open enrollment is coming. Soon it will be time to sign up for benefits through work, and now is the time to research them. Learn about 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 ourEligibility 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?