If you are an employee with a Flexible Spending Account, you might want to double check your balance. Now may be a smart time to take care of your hearing healthcare needs, especially if you are one of the 48 million Americans1 with hearing loss. You can use your FSA for hearing aids, and if you hurry, you can still purchase with this year’s funds.
Why are FSAs important?
Many employers offer a Flexible Spending Account2 (FSA) as part of their benefits package. Sometimes referred to as a Health Flexible Spending Arrangement, an FSA is an account in which you place pre-tax dollars to cover medical expenses. FSAs save you money by allowing you to withhold pre-tax money from your pay, up to $2,600 per year.
Who can you buy for, and what does it cover?
These funds can be used for yourself, your spouse and your dependents throughout the calendar year. They can be used for:
- Medical and dental costs
- Some medicines
- Other health-related spending, including hearing aids
Why the urgency? Because FSA is “use it or lose it!”
Although you can spend the money on a wide array of medical services, medicines and medical expenses, unfortunately, it is “use it or lose it” money. You must spend the money within the calendar year. Although some programs have a grace period, others require you to spend all dollars by December 31st.
Can I use my FSA spending on my parents’ hearing aids?
Maybe, but only if you claim them as dependents on your tax return. Even if your parents live with you, they may not be your dependents, and therefore you cannot use FSA monies toward their healthcare. The same applies for your children. If you claim them on your taxes, you can cover certain medical expenses using FSA funds.
Thinking about 2018? If your benefits package offers an FSA program, remember to elect to contribute funds next year. Check your employer’s open enrollment dates. If they are still open and you haven’t taken advantage of this tax savings, it may be the right option for you. Also, if you change jobs, you may be allowed to join outside of the enrollment period.
Don’t have a flexible spending program? We have options, too
Even if you don’t have this option, there are ways to keep hearing aids affordable. CareCredit® is a financing program for health-related costs that may help you pay over time.
Contact us for more information on hearing healthcare
Hearing healthcare is vital to your well-being. Find out if you are a candidate for hearing aids with our free hearing assessment*. Call Gil Poliquin Hearing at (207) 430-3664 to learn more.
1Hearing Loss Association of America 2https://www.irs.gov/publications/p969#en_US_2016_publink1000204174