There are more options than ever before when it comes to paying for dental work, from dental insurance to Care Credit, credit cards, and more. One underutilized method is a flexible spending account (FSA) which allows you to use pre-tax income to pay for medical care. In this blog, we walk through the answers to some of the common questions we’ve received about FSAs.
How Can A Flexible Spending Account Help?
As mentioned, an FSA is a pretax benefit offered through various employee benefits packages, so coverage will vary depending on how your employer sets up the program. Generally, though, you have pretax income set aside in a separate account (i.e. you never have to pay taxes on this money) and the funds can then be used to pay for medical expenses for you, your spouse, and your dependents. Most FSA plans include the following as eligible expenses:
- Health, vision, and dental insurance deductibles
- Physician appointment copayments
- Prescription medication costs
- Over-the-counter medication, medical supplies, and equipment
- Contact lenses and prescription glasses
- Cost of dental exams, X-rays, and routine cleanings
How Else Can FSAs Pay For Dental Care?
As mentioned above, funds in FSAs can usually be applied toward preventative dental care. With most plans, you can also use the funds for restorative dental services. Services eligible for reimbursement usually include the following:
- Dental Fillings
- Some Dentures
- Traditional Braces & Invisalign (if medically necessary)
What Are The Financial Benefits Of An FSA?
The reason that FSAs are so appealing, especially for taxpayers in higher marginal tax brackets, is they reduce the amount of remaining wages after the FSA funds are withdrawn. Note that strict rules as set forth by the IRS dictate the timing of when you have to use the funds (for example, appointment date vs. payment date). Most employers cap the annual amount you can fund the FSA at $2000-$2700 (so about $100 per bi-weekly pay period) and in most cases you have to use most of the funds by the end of the year. In most cases, up to $500 of unused funds can be rolled over into the next year. Strict rules set forth by the IRS must be abided by if you’re planning to use an FSA account to cover your dental or medical expenses.
Funding an FSA is just one piece of the puzzle. The cost of your dental care will vary depending on your individual needs and your treatment plan. Our staff is happy to discuss with you the potential cost of care and your available payment options before you begin treatment. At Angstadt Dental Lancaster, we accept Care Credit, Wells Fargo, as well as major credit cards. We also feature both individual loyalty and corporate loyalty plans to help you defray the cost of your dental treatment. Please contact our office regarding currently accepted insurance providers and other financing options.