Flexible Spending Accounts, also known as FSAs, are benefit plans that employers can offer to employees. The benefit allows participants to deduct a portion of their pre-taxed income into an account that they can use to pay for qualified medical expenses and childcare costs.
If you’re one of the estimated 14 million families across the U.S. that use an FSA account, then you may need to use the funds before a certain date. Depending on what your employer selected for an FSA limit, you generally must use the money within the plan year.
If your plan year is closing in and you don’t want funds to go to waste, below are 5 dental extras on which you can use your FSA:
1. OTC Items:
You can use your FSA to cover costs for many over-the-counter items you can buy at your local drug store. This includes cold sore remedies, lip balm, Aspirin and other pain relievers (great if you’re suffering from a toothache!). Some of these items will require a written prescription from your doctor, but there are quite a few that don’t.
2. Dental Treatments
While you can’t use FSA money for teeth whitening, you can use it on preventive treatments and services from your dental hygienist or dentist. This includes teeth cleaning, X-rays, fillings and fluoride treatments, just to name a few.
3. Out-of-Pocket Expenses
Established costs and fees, such as coinsurance, copays and deductibles, are qualified expenses on which you may use your FSA funds. These costs do vary depending on the coverage specifics of your plan. If you’re not sure what those costs are, log into your account on your desktop or via our mobile app.
4. Crowns, Caps and Dentures
Nearly 70% of adults between ages 25 to 44 have lost at least 1 permanent tooth to an accident, gum disease, a failed root canal or tooth decay. If you find yourself having to pay for a crown, cap or even dentures, the costs above what your dental insurance covers qualify for your FS.
Whether it’s for a dependent or yourself, you can use your FSA to cover the costs of orthodontia services if they are deemed necessary and not for cosmetic purposes. If you’re unsure about whether or not you or a dependent are in need of braces, we suggest you visit an in-network dentist near you and start the conversation about orthodontics.
Your FSA is not insurance, but it is a support system that can help you pay for out-of-pocket health care costs. If you find yourself unsure of where to “use it before you lose it,” see the dentist for your checkup.
To learn more about FSAs and what dental services and producers are covered, visit healthcare.gov or talk to your HR representative.