What is a flexible
A Flexible Benefit Plan allows you to pay for certain expenses with pre-tax money. Since you currently pay these expenses with after-tax money, setting up Flexible Spending Accounts under the plan will save you taxes and allow you to keep more of the money you earn.
What Kind of Expenses Qualify?
Insurance premiums that are deducted from your pay:
- Employer sponsored group term life insurance
- Disability insurance
- Health insurance
- Dental insurance
- Accidental death and dismemberment
- Cancer insurance
- Hospital indemnity insurance
- Supplemental health insurance
Health care expenses for you and your dependents that are not paid by insurance such as:
- Deductibles under insurance policies
- Excluded charges
- Pre-existing conditions uncovered
- Dental and orthodontic expenses
- Vision exams, glasses, or contacts
- Routine physicals
- Prescription drugs and medicine
- Transportation to doctor or hospital
- Physical and mental therapy
Dependent care expenses paid so that you or your spouse can work, such as:
- Childcare/babysitting service
- Pre-school tuition
- After-school care
- Other dependent care expenses
Are there any special Rules?
There are obvious advantages associated with the Flexible Spending Account. Consequently, the government has placed certain restrictions on plans of this type in exchange for the favorable tax treatment.
One such restriction is the "use it or lose it" rule. At the beginning of each plan year, you will designate a certain portion of your before-tax salary to the Flexible Spending Account for dependent care and medical expenses. Any funds left over in either category at the end of the year will be forfeited. During the year you may change the amount of your contribution designation only if there is a change in the health premium or your family status, which includes:
- Change of employment by spouse
- Birth or adoption of a child
- Death of a spouse or a child
- Change in employment status (i.e. from full time to part time)
You must complete Enrollment and Election Forms at the start of each plan year. It is very important to carefully estimate your dependent and medical care expenses on the conservative side.
Then, on a pre-determined day of each month you must file a "Claim for Reimbursement" form and attach your receipts for the medical or day care expenses which you incurred during that time period
The Plan Administration
The administrator of your plan will provide you with a statement showing your account balance. This allows you to know, at all times, the status of your contributions and reimbursement requests.
We encourage you to take advantage of this unique opportunity for increasing your spendable income.
Flexible Spending Account Worksheet
Estimate the annual amount you and your family will spend out of pocket for the following:
How much do you have deducted from your paycheck for all
group insurance premiums such as Medical, Dental, Disability,
and Employer sponsored Group Life Insurance?
How much do you expect to spend over the next 12 months for medical, vision and dental care not covered by your insurance?
What will be your Child Dependent Care expenses for the next 12 months? A dependent is anyone you claim on your tax return who is under the age of 13 or incapable of caring for him or herself. Specific limitations may apply.
How Does a Flexible Spending Account Work?Before a Flexible Spending Account (married with 2 dependents)
|Original Monthly Salary||
|Federal and State Taxes||
|Social Security Taxes||
|Total Payroll Taxes||
|Gross Take Home Pay||
|Employee Health Ins.||
|Net Take-Home Pay||
After Tax Expenses
|Health Care Expenses||
You earn $1,500 per month but after taxes, deductions, and other expenses you have only 814.55 to spend.
|Original Monthly Salary||1500.00|
|Employee Health Ins||65.00|
|Health Care Expenses||40.00|
|Federal and State Taxes||183.91|
|Social Security Taxes||89.74|
|Total Payroll Taxes||273.65|
|Net Take Home Pay and Spendable Income||921.35|
By paying for allowable expenses with pre-tax dollars, the monthly income increased from $814.55 to $921.35, an effective increase of $106.80 per month.
That's an annual savings of $1,281.60!!
Note: You will still pay for your child/dependent care and health care expenses out of pocket. However, those expenses will be reimbursed with tax-free payments from the plan administrator.