If you have money taken out of your paycheck and placed in a flexible spending account (FSA), listen up. Any money that is left in your FSA after the deadline is lost for good. The deadline is December 31st but some employers give a two month and 15 day period for using up the money in your account. Fortunately, there are many ways to use the money in your FSA, and quite a few of them will help you maintain a beautiful smile! Covered dental expenses include procedures, such as teeth cleaning, fillings, and a whole lot more.
What is a Flexible Savings Account?
An FSA is a job-based plan that allows you to put in up to $2500 each year to be used for out-of-pocket health expenses. You do not have to pay taxes on the money in your FSA, which means you save some of your income. However, since you need to “use it or lose it,” it is very important that you estimate how much to put in the account. You should base your estimate on the money you spend on out-of-pocket expenses for co-payments, co-insurance, medications, and other allowed health care costs.
Which Dental Services Can Be Applied?
There are many options for using up your FSA account at the dentist’s office.
Preventative dental care. Your FSA can be used to pay for preventative care, such as teeth cleanings, fluoride treatments, and X-rays. You already know that you should see your dentist at least once every 6 months for a cleaning and exam. So if you need to empty your FSA account, consider scheduling your six month visit now.
If you aren’t due for your exam, schedule an extra visit anyway. It is a great way to get a head start on prevention. Besides, having your teeth cleaned will ensure that you have a beautiful smile for the holidays. It’s important to note that even though teeth cleanings are a covered expense, teeth whitening treatments are not. The IRS considers teeth whitening to be a cosmetic procedure.
Restorations. Use your FSA to restore your smile to where you have wanted it to be. Fill in unattractive spaces with dentures, partial dentures, or fixed bridges. Repair chipped or broken teeth with composite fillings. Relieve discomfort with an amalgam filling or root canal therapy. You will benefit by restoring chewing functionality and feeling better overall.
Oral Maxillofacial Surgery. There are several dental surgeries covered by your FSA. If you have been bothered by impacted wisdom teeth, finance their removal with your FSA. Other tooth extractions are also covered. If you need dental implant surgery, using your FSA is a great way to cut costs.
Orthodontia. Pay for orthodontia for yourself or your child with your FSA. The reimbursement procedure for orthodontia is slightly different than other reimbursements because the IRS recognizes it is an ongoing expense. Check with your dental office to find out about your options. Invisalign, an alternative to metal braces featuring clear aligners, is a covered expense. You can even pay for a dental guard used to prevent teeth grinding.
If you are going to use your FSA to pay for dental work, be sure to make an appointment right away. Many other patients have the same idea, and those appointments get booked up quickly.
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Original Source: https://www.craigarmstrongdds.com/cosmetic-dentistry/dont-lose-flexible-savings-account-visit-dentist