When Flexible Savings Accounts (FSA) and Health Savings Accounts (HSA) enter the conversation, often the mood in the room tends to just go dead. Truth is, it’s hard to give up our hard-earned money, every single paycheck – money that may or may not be used on eligible health items. Even though the money that workers contribute to both of these employer benefits is extracted before taxes are applied by the government, thereby lowering our taxable income (a benefit in its own right), we can still feel the sting in our pockets – at least when first contributing.
Another deterrent is burn. We all remember that coworker that year who decided to contribute to his FSA, but ended up having $200 left at the end of the year that just… went away. Well, we’re here with great news and ideas for how to get the most out of your HSA or FSA. First, here are the short definitions of how they work:
An HSA can only be used toward your own health expenses – not those of family members. That makes it a good option for single non-parents. And the best part? The funds transferred to a HSA never disappear. Whether you placed them there last week or five years ago, they’re available to you now. Conversely, funds transferred into an FSA can be used to pay for the health expenses for everyone in your family, but here’s the catch: if you don’t use them by the end of the year in which you contributed, you run the risk of losing that moulah forever.
But there are many reasons not to be afraid of an FSA. Often there is an extension grace period beyond the end of the year, giving you time to spend up the rest of that FSA dough. Check with your employer to see if you’re eligible, and if so, head over to Charlotte Jones Opticians to put the funds to great use before the grace period ends. After all, glasses are eligible health items. And we’ve got new styles and hues guaranteed to make you flip. Another piece of cool news:
As of pretty recently, employers are allowed to offer their employees an FSA rollover for up to $500 of funds that were contributed to the plan in the previous year. Doing this involves amending your 125 Cafeteria Plan – which we won’t get into here, but might be worth making an appointment with Sylvia in HR, pronto.
Make 2018 the year you decide to milk your FSA or HSA for all their worth, and get a whole new amazing look to boot.
Find your next FSA/HSA incentive at Charlotte Jones Opticians.