It’s almost open enrollment period (OOP) again and you may be sitting in front of your computer screen wondering what you should elect for your coverage for 2018. HMO, PPO, POS, FSA, HSA… it’s all alphabet soup! Knowing your options, if and you’re your benefits run out and how to take advantage of end of the year opportunities is KEY! If you have dental insurance or a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), now is the time to use those benefits before they disappear!
What is an FSA?
Your FSA is your pre-tax benefit account that is used to pay for eligible medical, dental, and vision care expenses that are not covered by your health care plan or elsewhere. 2017 guidelines allow $2,600 family maximum to be withheld tax-free to pay for these expenses, thus saving you money. In general, if you don’t use your FSA dollars by the end of the calendar year – you lose them! Some employers offer a grace period (sometimes until March) to use this money OR others may offer a small monetary rollover to the next calendar year. If you leave a balance in your FSA, you lose it. The unused dollars go back to your employer to offset the administrative costs of their healthcare plans for the following year. If unused FSA money puts you into a panic every year, it’s time to start thinking about the perfect allocation for next year. Check out this link! With just a few clicks, you can figure out the perfect amount to set aside in 2018. https://fsastore.com/services/FSAcalculator.aspx
What about my dental insurance benefits?
In most cases, once you have met your dental insurance deductible, you are allowed a certain dollar amount of benefits to be paid each calendar year. Lets’ say you have $1,500 annual maximum and you’ve only used $200 of it, that means you have $1,300 remaining to spend before December 31, 2017! If you don’t use these benefits (spend that money) before the year’s end, you lose them!
So what can I do?
The end of the year is coming! To avoid missing out on your dental benefits or losing the money you set aside from your paycheck for your FSA, it is important to schedule your dental appointments today! For now, we encourage you to start thinking about the procedures you have been putting off (fillings, crowns, bridges, etc.) You are not the only one who has just realized that there is money to spend – there is always a rush on last minute appointments this time of year! Whatever your coverage, we encourage you to stop in and see us so you start the new year with a SMILE! See you in the chair!
~ Dr. Patel