Help employees navigate flexible spending accounts (FSAs) and health savings accounts (HSAs) to their advantage. Employees may just need a little reeducation about the cost-savings and value that these types of plans can provide them. Prior to open enrollment, is a great time to remind your workforce of the many reasons why to enroll and use a FSA or HSA.
Helping Employees Understand FSAs
Employers do need to consider this step toward reeducation as it is often reported that utilization by employees of FSAs is around 20%. The recent HTI 2017 Employer Benefit Survey also found X. They need to understand that their potential savings on eligible medical expenses could be higher than that. By participating, employees reduce their taxable income, which experts note on average is about 25%-30% for healthcare spending paid out of a FSA.
Here are some Talking Points to get in front of Employees:
- This year the maximum contribution is $2,600. The employee’s spouse at his or her work has the ability to deduct up to $2,600 as well. Next year’s amount is most likely going to be at least $2,600.
- Most everyone has some medical expenses throughout the year.
- Money can be used to cover out-of-pocket expenses from their health insurance plan like copays and deductibles.
- They can also use the money for a variety of additional expenses such as prescription drugs, eyeglasses/contacts or orthodontia.
- No, $2,600 probably won’t cover their child’s braces, but combined with a spouse’s $2,600 they should be in the ballpark.
- Employees also have the entire amount designated for their account available on January 1, even if contributions are spread throughout the year.
- Yes, they need to do a little planning to estimate their expenses, as they will only have to March 15 of the following year to spend the funds or carry over $500 if allowed by the organization.
Final Thoughts on FSAs
Employers may also want to consider offering a FSA with a debit card. Without it, employees must pay their health expenses out-of-pocket, fill out a form and wait for reimbursement. To encourage enrollment, employers can make it easy by offering a debit card linked to their flexible spending account so they can access funds immediately. It’s important for employers and employees to get the most out of this benefit.
Tomorrow, we will discuss topics and talking points surrounding Health Savings Accounts, and how to effectively communicate their value to employees.