Flexible Spending Accounts: Use It Or Lose It

For some people, Autumn means football, fall leaves, and flex spending accounts. Wait, what does flexible spending accounts have to do with the Fall?

Flexible spending accounts (FSA) are programs offered by employers that allow their employees to pay for eligible out-of-pocket health care expenses with pre-tax dollars. An FSA allows people to receive an immediate discount by reducing the taxes normally paid on out-of-pocket health care expenses. The savings can be substantial, up to 20 percent.

Most FSA accounts require enrollment at the beginning of the year to determine how much money you anticipate spending in health care expenses. However, that money can be forfeited if not used by the end of the year. So, the Fall is the perfect time to evaluate your FSA and determine how to spend the remaining funds. Many people use this opportunity to schedule an appointment with their family dentist.

The IRS guidelines state that FSA eligible dental expenses include the prevention and alleviation of dental disease. Eligible treatments include procedures such as teeth cleaning, application of sealants, fluoride treatments, x-rays, fillings, extractions, dentures, and braces.

Some Knoxville residents have even more incentive this Fall to schedule an appointment with their family dentist. When Mercy Health Partners in Knoxville was acquired by Health Management Associates this year, employees experienced many changes. One of those changes was a change in their dental insurance plan carrier. Employees not only have their remaining benefits with their previous dental insurance provider, but they also have additional benefits from their new dental provider for the remaining months of 2011. This means that employees have additional dental insurance dollars that they can utilize for the rest of 2011. Employees are taking advantage of this opportunity by scheduling routine dental appointments. They are also looking into additional dental restorative procedures that they need, but may have been postponing.

If you have FSA money to spend or if you are a Mercy Health employee with additional dental insurance benefits, contact Knoxville dentist Dr. Wes Mullins  of My Family Dentistry to determine what dental procedures will ensure that you have the happiest and healthiest smile possible.

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