The subject of finances is often a bit stressful for people who are considering getting a new type of medical treatment, including orthodontic treatment. However, it can be exciting to discover the options available to you that can make treatment more affordable. One great financial option to look into is a flexible savings account (FSA). This option has always been an attractive way to set aside money for medical expenses, but new revisions to FSA rules make it a better option than ever.
What Is an FSA?
The IRS allows you to set aside pre-taxed money into a savings account specifically for qualified medical costs, including prescription drugs, eye exams, and yes, orthodontic treatment. The advantage with using this system is the money you set aside isn’t taxed, allowing you to keep more for you to spend on actual medical needs. FSAs differ from health savings accounts (HSAs) in that they are owned by your employer and have different contribution limits.
You can invest up to $2,700 into an FSA, which you can spend on a variety of medical needs. However, you have until the end of the calendar year to use this money or you may lose the majority of it.
Revisions to FSA Rules Allow for Rollovers
While the use it-or-lose-it rule used to be set in stone, 2019 revisions to FSA rules now allow companies to provide a grace period of up to 2.5 months. This means you won’t lose any leftover money and can theoretically spend the whole amount during this grace period if you didn’t use any during the year. However, it is up to your employer to decide if they will allow a grace period and how long it will be.
Another change to the rules gives employers the ability to let employees roll over $500 of unspent FSA funds into the upcoming year, but again, this is at the employer’s discretion. Rather than trying to figure out what your employer will or won’t allow when it comes to your hard-earned money, make the decision now to invest it in yourself.
Don’t Let Your FSA Money Go to Waste
If you have an FSA and are worried your investment over the past year was in vain, put those worries aside. Use your funds to get a straighter, healthier smile. There are plenty of good reasons to invest in orthodontic treatment as an adult. Getting a straighter and brighter smile can boost your confidence both in your personal life and as you try to advance your career.
If you’re worried about appearances while you are going through orthodontic treatment, there are plenty of less visible options that can give you a clean-looking smile during the course of your treatment, including Invisalign and ceramic braces.