The cost of dental care can be overwhelming. A simple teeth cleaning can run you about 100 dollars. When we’re talking about more complex dental procedures, your bill can run to the tune of thousands of dollars. No wonder studies show that individuals with health insurance are spending a significant chunk of their income on dental work.
A flexible spending account (FSA) can help you to offset the high cost of dental care. The way it works is pretty simple: It allows you to set aside a certain amount of your pre-tax income into a “savings” account that you can withdraw from to pay for your medical expenses. As a result, you may get a discount as high as 30% when paying for your medical procedures.
However, FSAs do come with some restrictions that can be confusing to understand. We created this brief guide to give you a complete breakdown of how FSAs can help you cover dental work. Read on for everything you need to know about using your FSA for dental.
A flexible spending account (FSA) is a type of savings account that can be used to cover health care costs. Your employer usually establishes it at the company that you work for.
Because an FSA uses pre-tax income, it provides you—as the account holder—with some serious tax advantages. As most employees tend to do, you may contribute a regular portion of your income to the account. However, your employer can also add a certain amount to your FSA.
Unlike a regular savings account, you may not use funds from your FSA to pay for anything you want. The funds may only be withdrawn to pay for medical and dental expenses. In addition to that, these expenses must be necessary, leading to some confusion as to what exactly it can be used for.
In the following sections, we’ll cover how FSAs work and which medical and dental expenses they can cover.
In most cases, you will automatically deposit a portion of your pre-tax income to your flexible saving account (FSA). This not only makes it easy to save for medical and dental expenses, but it can also lower your taxable income. As a result—depending on how much you contribute to your FSA—your annual tax rate may decrease substantially.
Of course, you can’t contribute unlimited amounts of money to your FSA. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) limits the total annual amount to $2,850 (in 2022). If you are married, then your spouse can contribute to your account through their employer.
You can use the funds from your FSA to reimburse payments made for medical care. By definition, this includes anything that can be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent medical conditions that can affect any part of the body.
Aside from medical procedures, you can also use your FSA funds to pay for items such as diagnostic devices, medical equipment, prescription medication, and even over-the-counter drugs. FSA funds can also be used to reimburse insurance plan deductibles and copayments for medical services.
That said, expenses that are not “medically necessary”—such as certain cosmetic procedures—are typically not covered by FSAs. In addition, you cannot use your FSA funds to get reimbursement for items or services that enhance general wellness, such as gym memberships.
You can use your FSA funds to cover medical expenses for your spouse or your dependents—as long as they meet the above criteria for coverage.
With all the stipulations laid out for FSA use, you may be wondering if it can be used to cover dental expenses. Unfortunately, FSAs do not cover all dental procedures.
While deductibles and copayments are covered in all cases, FSAs cover products and services depending on several factors.
The following dental services and products can be reimbursed with funds from your FSA:
Although your FSA covers various dental services and products, it cannot be used for reimbursement of cosmetic procedures. This includes teeth whitening, veneers, and cosmetic orthodontics. If you want to get a cosmetic procedure done, you will need to pay out-of-pocket for it.
Of course, the dividing line between a medically necessary and cosmetic procedure is quite thin. While some procedures—such as teeth whitening—are cosmetic, the case with others is not quite as clear.
In some cases, cosmetic procedures may be covered by your FSA. This is usually the case with dental procedures that enhance the appearance of your teeth while simultaneously improving their function.
For instance, if you chip your teeth, veneers might be necessary for you to resume normal functioning. As such, they may be covered by your FSA.
Discussing your options with your dentist can help you determine whether your FSA will cover your desired procedure.
Fortunately, many dental procedures can be reimbursed with funds from your FSA. However, what do you do if you want a cosmetic procedure that isn’t medically necessary? Considering the high cost of teeth whitening, cosmetic veneers, and teeth shaping, it might seem like a beautiful smile is out of your reach.
However, there is a way to get inexpensive dental cosmetic procedures done at a fraction of the cost of most dentists. If you live near Phoenix or Glendale in Arizona, then you can use Flossy’s services to find cosmetic dental work at a discount.
Flossy.com is a website and a smartphone app that allows you to find quality cosmetic dental work near you—at up to a 50% discount. Unlike FSAs, there are no restrictions on which procedures you can get done.
Not only will you save some serious money by booking through Flossy.com, but you’ll receive only the highest-quality dental work. Our network of dental professionals has been rigorously vetted using client reviews. As such, you’ll get only the best dental care.
To book your first appointment, follow the following steps:
With the high cost of dental work, using your flexible saving account (FSA) can seriously help you with paying for common dental procedures.
However, if you want a cosmetic procedure to enhance the appearance of your smile, then you may run into some trouble using your FSA funds.
As an alternative, Flossy can connect you to the highest-quality dentists—at up to a 50% discount—to give you a smile you want and deserve.