You are well into 2017, and by now you’ve likely incurred medical, dental, or dependent care expenses that would be eligible for reimbursement under your FSA or HSA accounts.
But how do you know you are doing this correctly? How do you know whether you are maximizing the incredible tax-savings available to you?
To ensure you have started off 2017 on the right foot, let’s leap into spring and grow your savings by following these top tips for maximizing your tax-advantaged FSA or HSA from ConnectYourCare.
Tip 1: Leverage your payment card
The next time you visit the doctor or dentist for medical services, have your FSA or HSA payment card on hand to pay upfront for out-of-pocket medical expenses at the time of check out. This will allow you to pay for the services using the money you already set-aside in your tax-advantage account without having to pay up front and wait for reimbursement.
To ensure adhering to IRS requirements for claims, make sure to get and save a detailed copy of the receipt (not just the total balance) that lists the services rendered in case there are any questions (i.e. name of patient, date of service, name of provider, description of service, and amount).
Tip 2: Monitor your FSA and HSA accounts on the go
If you’re a ConnectYourCare customer, checking on your account balance has never been easier. With the CYC Mobile application in the AppStore and on Google Play, you can simply download the app, register your account, and instantly check your account balance. Because all transactions are processed in real time, you can quickly view your account history, check your balance, or take a picture of the receipt to submit a claim or documentation, all from the convenience of your phone—offering trust and convenience.
Tip 3: Stay up to date on eligible expenses
While much to our chagrin, you can’t expense cosmetic surgery, teeth whitening, toothpaste or toothbrushes. There are lists of additional items approved by the IRS, and with legislation changing, that list of eligible expenses could grow. ConnectYourCare stays on top of IRS changes and maintains a list of approved eligible expenses for you to review anytime. Make sure you are claiming all that you can, check out our Eligible Expenses page.
Tip 4: Understand the important dates and deadlines in place for your plans
For instance, FSA plans must be used in the calendar year, and you have until March 31st of the following year to submit your claims incurred the year prior. That’s in the past now, but something you may wish to note on your calendar for the future. While HSA plans carry over the balance year over year, they are yours to keep until spent as part of your High-Deductible Insurance Plan. Know what plan you have and make sure to manage your funds effectively.
If it is getting towards the end of the year and you have an FSA, you’ll want to squeeze in those last minute doctor visits, schedule an appointment for acupuncture, or stock-pile sunscreen for next summer. If you have an HSA plan, take a deep breath and relax, your funds will carry-over to when you need them the most. You can even store current year claims in the ConnectYourCare portal under the Save-IT option to submit in future years.
Tip 5: Don’t forget dependent care!
The cost of child care has skyrocketed. Luckily child care expenses are often pretty predictable in a given year. Make sure to collect all of your approved care expense receipts and get them submitted on time.
While your dependent care cover does not include school tuition, it does include before and after school expenses for children under the age of 13, day camps, care of an incapacitated adult living with you (at least 8 hours a day), a housekeeper caring for an eligible dependent, au pairs, and late fees from pick-up.
When planning your dependent care annual deductions, be sure to list your expenses, allocate the correct amount to set aside, and submit your claims via the mobile application or participant portal.
Our lives are busy and it is easy to miss simple ways to maximize your hard-earned dollar. FSA and HSA benefits are here for you to make each dollar count. Make sure you are leveraging every opportunity you can to save, and doing it in a convenient fashion while on the go or at your desk to save you time, and money.
> Employee Next Steps: Interested in learning more about HSAs? Download our HSA For Dummies® eBook to learn more about eligible expenses, contribution rules, and much more. Get the eBook
> Employer Next Steps: If you’re an employer interested in improving and expanding upon your company’s consumer-directed benefits, contact us to learn how ConnectYourCare’s offerings and services can help your employees.