A flexible spending account allows you to fund an account that you can use to pay for your dental expenses using pre-taxed dollars. These accounts are funded at the beginning of the year. However, the catch is that you lose anything that is not used by the end of the year. As such, it is important to ensure you don't over-fund the account. But, at the same time, you don't want to under-fund the account and miss out on a great tax benefit. Here are tips to consider as you prepare to fund your 2016 flexible spending account for dental expenses.
How Often You Visit the Dentist
One of the most important factors to consider when funding your flexible spending account for dental expenses is how often each person in your family visits the dentist. If you have a busy high school student, he may mean to make it to the dentist twice a year. But in reality, he's only gone once the past few years. On the other hand, you may have diabetes and need to see your dentist four times a year instead of two. Carefully consider how often each person in your family visits the dentist and what those appointments amount to.
What Dental Expenses You May be Looking at This Year
Another key factor to consider when funding your flexible spending account is what dental expenses you may be looking at this year. Your dentist will typically tell you when a crown is showing signs of needing replacing or when it looks like a new bridge may need to be placed. You may not know when an unexpected cavity will need to be filled, but you can plan for the expenses that you know are coming up.
What Expenses Can Be Paid Using a Flexible Spending Account
The last thing you want to consider when funding your account is what dental expenses you can and can't pay for using your flexible spending account. Some dental expenses, such as pain relieving tooth gels, can be paid for using this account. Other necessary dental tools, such as toothbrushes and floss, cannot be paid for using this account. Preventative dental care can be paid using a flexible spending account, while you can't pay for cosmetic dental procedures. Take the time to look over the list of eligible expenses to ensure you know what all can and can't pay for using the account.
Trying to determine how much to place in a flexible spending account is difficult. You don't want to place too much, nor do you want to place too little. Finding out what expenses can be paid using this account, determining how often people in your household realistically go to the dentist, and finding out what large dental expenses your family may be facing can help you determine a fair and reasonable amount to place in your flexible spending account to cover your dental expenses. Consider contacting a dentist through a site like http://www.nwidentist.com/ for more help figuring our your dental budget.