Dental Treatment and FSAs
By Eugene D. Stanislaus on June 10, 2014
If your employer offers an FSA, or Flexible Spending Account, you may want to sign up for enrollment so you can pay for medical-related expenses with non-taxable income. However, before you decide to enroll, it is important that you understand the limitations of FSAs, and find out what expenses are covered by these accounts. In this blog post, cosmetic dentist Eugene Stanislaus, of Brooklyn Height Dental, explains which dental treatments are covered by FSAs.
Covered Dental Treatments
In general, those dental treatments that considered medically necessary to eradicate disease, as well as those that are preventative in nature, are covered by FSAs.
- Preventative dentistry care includes:
- Professional teeth cleaning
- The use of sealants to prevent the formation of cavities
- Fluoride treatments to prevent tooth decay
Treatment that is performed to eliminate dental disease includes:
- Dental X-rays
- Dental fillings to fill in tooth material lost to tooth decay
- Orthodontic treatment such as braces
- Tooth extractions
- Dentures to replace missing teeth
- Dental crowns that are used to support a weakened tooth
- Bridges to replace missing teeth
This is not a comprehensive list of treatments that are covered. Generally, an FSA will cover preventative and restorative dentistry work, similar to what dental insurance will cover. However, even with dental insurance, many procedures are not fully covered. An FSA allows patients to pay for the remaining portion of treatment with non-taxable income.
FSAs do not cover dental work that is purely cosmetic in nature. If a dental procedure is performed just to improve the appearance of the teeth, it is unlikely that it will be an eligible expense under an FSA. Treatments such as teeth whitening and porcelain veneers are unlikely to be covered by FSAs.
The Limitations of FSAs
While FSAs are a benefit that is offered to employees, there are some drawbacks associated with these accounts.
- When signing up, employees allocate a certain percentage of their income to the FSA. Once this income is diverted to the FSA, it cannot be used for any other purpose than approved medical expenses.
- The money that is put in the FSA must be used in that 12-month period. If there are funds remaining in the FSA, the employee loses that money. There are two possible exceptions: if the employer offers a grace period or rollover. The grace period allows funds in an FSA to be used two-and-a-half months after the end of the year. The rollover allows $500 of the money to be carried over to the following year. However, not all employers offer these options. Be sure to check with your employer on the rules of the FSA.
- Only $2,500 can be put in an FSA in one year.
Before you decide to enroll in an FSA, be sure to do your homework. Find out if your medical expenses are covered by the FSA; check with your employer to see if they offer a grace period or carry over; and determine how much money you will be spending on eligible medical expenses in a 12-month period. If an FSA makes sense for you, enrollment will help you save money on medical and dental expenses.
To schedule a consultation at Brooklyn Heights Dental, contact us today.
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"I've been very happy with my experiences at Dr. Stanislaus's office, and highly recommend him to anyone in the New York City area. He and his staff go above and beyond to do the best job possible."-R.B. (Patient)