While most dental insurance policies aren’t very expensive, the coverage they offer may not be enough. For this reason, many of our patients opt for a flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA) to offset their out-of-pocket expenses for dental care. As the end of the year quickly approaches, we want to review these alternative insurance options and remind you of your spending deadline for 2020.
Flexible spending accounts and health savings accounts are just what you’d expect from the name: an account where you can contribute pre-tax money to use on dental procedures. Most FSAs allow you to save up to 30-40% of what you would pay for these procedures out-of-pocket, with HSAs having similar benefits. When you compare an FSA or HSA to standard dental insurance, an FSA or HSA is especially beneficial for those who anticipate needing more than just 2 preventative cleanings a year. With dental insurance there can be a few cons when it comes to procedures:
- You may be stuck paying toward a deductible in addition to whatever portion of the payment for which you will be responsible after your benefits kick in.
- Not all procedures are covered under insurance
- Some procedures that are covered under insurance have a waiting period, and if you are not past the waiting period you may be responsible for the full amount of the procedure.
- Many emergency procedures are not covered due to waiting period limitations
While FSAs or HSAs are typically a more beneficial option when it comes to dental procedures, it is important to note that elective procedures are not covered by these types of funds. For the most part, FSA or HSA funds are predominantly for procedures that are medically necessary. These often include professional preventative care, fillings, major oral surgery, periodontics or treatment for gum disease, TMJ treatment, implants, bridges, crowns, sealants, caps, bonding, dentures, and occlusal guards. However, you should always check your individual policy before making an appointment to ensure that you wont need to pay out-of-pocket.
Just like many dental insurance policies, many FSA or HSAs have the “use it or lose it” rule when it comes to your benefits each year. While some allow a percentage of “roll over” if you don’t use all of your money by the end of the year, others will require you to use it before December 31st. We encourage our patients to check with their HR managers or representatives to understand their individual policies.
If your FSA or HSA money will expire at the end of the year, don’t worry! We still have 2020 appointments available. Call (646) 866-7773 today to secure your 2020 appointment and use your FSA or HSA benefits before they expire!