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Use It – Don’t Lose It:
Use Your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) on Dental Care by December 31st

If you are one of the almost 30 million Americans1 who have a flexible spending account (FSA) through your employer in 2018, now is the time to use the money you have left in the account, as you may forfeit any money that remains in your account after December 31st. The FSAStore.com, an e-commerce site for FSA eligible products, reported that Americans actually lose an average of $400 million each year by not using all their FSA contributions.2

Spending your FSA dollars on dental care is a good option, as there are many dental treatments that are reimbursable expenses through FSA accounts.

Generally, if the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) allows taxpayers to deduct the procedure or product as a dental expense on their income tax return, it will be eligible to be reimbursed by an FSA plan. The IRS rules on dental treatments state that “you can include in medical expenses the amounts you pay for the prevention and alleviation of dental disease. Preventive treatment includes the services of a dental hygienist or dentist for such procedures as teeth cleaning, the application of sealants, and fluoride treatments to prevent tooth decay. Treatment to alleviate dental disease includes services of a dentist for procedures such as X-rays, fillings, braces, extractions, dentures, and other dental ailments.”3 Items that are not reimbursable through FSAs include toothbrushes, toothpastes and dental floss, as well as dental treatments such as whitening and other cosmetic procedures.4

If you need a filling, a crown, dental X-rays, implants, fluoride treatments or tooth extractions, you can use the available funds in your FSA account. You can also use your FSA account dollars towards dental products including dental night guards, and dentures, denture adhesives/cleaning supplies/sealants. FSA accounts basically cover the vast majority of treatments conducted in dental offices.5 Review your FSA plan documents or check with your benefits administrator to be sure that the product or procedure you want to have reimbursed is covered under your plan.

Before you panic about losing your funds at midnight on New Year’s Eve, check to make sure if your FSA plan allows for a grace period or carry-over. While most FSA plans require that you use any money put into your FSA account within the calendar year or you lose the money you put into the FSA plan, some employers offer either of two options.

These options include allowing a grace period of up to 2-1/2 months after December 31st to use the money in the account, OR, allowing you to carry over up to $500 per year to use in the following year.6 Employers can offer either one or the other of these options, but not both options.

There is still time before the end of the year to book an appointment to get dental work done. According to the government rules, you can only use your FSA account to be reimbursed for services performed, and products purchased, during 2018. So, if you need dental treatment, call today.

Sedki Dentistry Commerce Twp wants you to have a healthy mouth with a beautiful smile year-round. It’s important to have good oral health habits and see your dentist regularly. Sedki Dentistry is a complete family dental clinic that offers services for all dental health concerns. We accommodate each individual’s special needs and budget. We have a long history of helping individuals who are highly anxious about receiving dental care, or those who suffer from dental fear and anxiety. Call today for a Free Dental Consultation!

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1,2 30 Ways to Spend the Remaining Money in Your Flexible-Spending Account (Before It’s Too Late), www.Marketwatch.com, by Alessandra Malito, 11/21/18
Link: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/30-ways-to-spend-your-remaining-flexible-spending-account-before-its-too-late-2018-11-21?mod=hp_minor_pos19

3 Internal Revenue Service, Publication 502, Cat. No. 15002Q, Medical and Dental Expenses
Link: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p502.pdf

4, 5 What Dental Care is Covered by my Benefits?, www.fsastore.com
Link: https://fsastore.com/FSA-Eligibility-List/D/Dental-Care-E205.aspx

6 Using a Flexible Spending Account
Link: https://www.healthcare.gov/have-job-based-coverage/flexible-spending-accounts/