FSA/ Flex Account/ Flexible Spending Arrangement
What is an FSA?
A Flexible Spending Account (also known as a flexible spending arrangement) is a special account you put money into that you use to pay for certain out-of-pocket health care costs.
You don’t pay taxes on your money allocating to your flex spending account flex payment. Employers may make contributions to your FSA, but aren’t required to. You can use a Flexible Spending Account to help pay for many of the out-of-pocket expenses that you or your family may incur in dental, or other health care, over the course of the year. These out of pocket expenses include copayments, deductibles, some drugs, and some other health care costs.
Sunnyvale Dental Care is always happy to assist FSA patients with accurate information. At this time (2018), FSAs are limited to $2,650 per year per employer. If you’re married, your spouse can put up to $2,650 in an FSA with their employer too. Your FSA is not insurance, but it is a support system that can help you pay for dental care costs. To learn more about FSAs, talk to your HR contact within your company or call us Sunnyvale Dental Care office numbers 408-720-0900
Flexible Spending Accounts Plans Vary
The IRS provides general rules for FSA plans; however, each individual FSA provider interprets those rules differently. Talk to your employer and your plan provider before you start any course of treatment. Your Sunnyvale Dentist, Dr. Gupta is always willing to coordinate with your insurance provider to make sure the services you are receiving are covered under your FSA plan. A Flexible Spending Account (FSA) lets you set aside money from your paycheck on a pretax basis to use for eligible out-of-pocket expenses. There are three types of FSAs.
- Health Care FSA – You can use this account to pay for eligible medical, dental, vision, hearing and prescription drug expenses for you, your spouse and your eligible tax dependents.
- Dependent Care FSA – You can use this account to pay for eligible child and adult care expenses like day care, before and after school care, nursery school, preschool, and summer day camp.
- Limited Purpose FSA – You can generally use this account to pay for eligible dental and vision expenses. Eligible expenses may also include prescriptions, over-the-counter items and other health expenses based on your plan. You can enroll in this account, if you have a Health Savings Account (HSA).
FSA limits, grace periods, and carry-overs
You generally must use the money in a Flex payment option within the plan year. But your employer may offer one of 2 options:
- It can provide a “grace period” of up to 2 ½ extra months to use the money in your FSA.
- It can allow you to carry over up to $500 per year to use in the following year.
Your employer can offer either one of these options but not both. It’s not required to offer either one. At the end of the year or grace period, you lose any money left over in your FSA. So it’s important to plan carefully and not put more money in your FSA than you think you’ll spend within a year on things like copayments, coinsurance, drugs, and other allowed health care costs.
Dental Services and Procedures: FSA Eligibility
Dental services and procedures are eligible expenses with a flexible spending account (FSA), health savings account (HSA), health reimbursement arrangement (HRA) and a limited care flexible spending account (LCFSA). Dental services and procedures reimbursement is not eligible with a dependent care flexible spending account (DCFSA). The basic rule is that anything that treats or prevents a dental disease is eligible for FSA coverage.
What are the most common eligible dental services and procedures?
Eligible expenses include regular cleanings and checkups, as well as a huge slate of potential dental procedures. While some dental services and procedures will be reimbursed differently, many require co-insurance or a co-payment. Your Sunnyvale Dentist Dr. Gupta offers following services that are included in most FSA plans:
- Emergency dental treatment
- Preventive treatment including dental checkups & examination and dental cleanings
- Fillings & Dental Bonding
- Root Canals
- Gum Surgery
- Orthodontic Treatment (Clear Invisalign/ Barces)
- Nightguard, or Occlusal Guard TMD treatment syndrome
- Sedation Dentistry
- Oral Healthcare Products
Excluded Expenses in a Flex Payment
FSA plans do not cover any form of cosmetic dentistry. The plans do not cover teeth whitening, veneers or cosmetic orthodontia. There is an obvious discrepancy with orthodontic treatment. While the IRS says that some procedures treat disease and some procedures are cosmetic, there is no specific set of rules that defines the specifics regarding which procedures qualify for coverage under an FSA. Our Sunnyvale Dental Care insurance coordinator should be able to help you determine what your plan covers.
In conclusion, there are a number of ways using your flexible spending account can positively impact your dental health. Sunnyvale Dentist Dr. Gupta and her staff is always ready to help and guide patients with their flex payment account and any related information they might need to get the best dental care.