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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

What Is An FSA and Why Is It Beneficial?

As the year draws to a close, we’d like to talk about Flexible Spending Accounts. Do you have an FSA? An FSA lets plan holders cover health care expenses not covered by traditional insurance plans with pre-tax money.

Because the money put into an FSA is pre-tax, you can save up to 40% on qualified medical expense. Not only that, but an FSA also provides access to qualified medical supplies and retail products – both FSA-eligible without a prescription such as First-Aid Kits and Thermometers, and certain items that now require a prescription. In January 2011, Internal Revenue Service  regulations mandated that several over-the-counter products containing medicines (excluding insulin) require a prescription to be reimbursed under a Health Care FSA.

To enroll in an FSA, it must be offered through your company’s benefit provider. If yours doesn’t currently offer FSAs, you may be able to request it through your company’s human resources department. But before you decide to opt into an FSA during an open enrollment period, you should first thoughtfully estimate how much you should contribute to the FSA. Health reform has mandated that starting on January 1, 2013, the annual contribution limit into a Health Care FSA will be $2,500 per person, but if your plan begins before the end of the year, that change won’t apply to you until your next enrollment period.

A great resource for anyone looking for more information about FSA accounts is – a unique site focused exclusively on selling thousands of FSA eligible products and answering FSA-related questions through their online Learning Center. There is also a handy FSA Contribution Calculator to help you estimate how much you should contribute. For more information on FSAs, or help with figuring out how much to contribute and which expenses are FSA eligible, visit

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1 comment:

  1. We have had an FSA for several years now. My biggest problem has been not taking the time to fill in the reimbursement forms. I always end up doing them now. We are going to try getting the "credit card" to use next year and see if that will work better.


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