How to Resolve Common FSA Pain Points
July 12, 2019 | Curry Bradley, Chief Marketing Officer, Principal
There are always questions surrounding new benefits and accounts. Luckily, thanks to our partnership with ConnectYourCare, we don’t just have answers — we have solutions. Winston and ConnectYourCare are committed to easing the pain of setting up and using new voluntary benefits.
Flexible spending accounts (FSAs) can be especially confusing. Here are some common questions we hear from employees about FSAs, and tips for helping employees understand and maximize the way they use their FSA..
Q: What is an FSA?
To put it simply, an FSA is an account that employees contribute to for medical spending.
Any income that an employee contributes will be pretax, making it a great investment for them. The IRS allows a certain amount to be contributed per year ($2,700 in 2019), and the money must be used within that time frame. However, employees can use the money in their FSA on medical expenses for any qualifying dependents, making it a versatile tool.
Q: How can I use FSA funds?
FSA funds can’t be used to purchase a TV or video game console, but they can absolutely cover a trip to a chiropractor or other qualified medical expenses.
Heading off misunderstandings prevents any accidental misuse of funds — and the subsequent difficulties. At Winston, we answer these questions about how to spend FSA funds during the open enrollment process.
Q: How do I make sure my FSA is compliant with the IRS?
The process of using FSAs can be complicated and tedious. Unsurprisingly, being IRS compliant requires very specific courses of action from all involved in the FSA process. For example, in order to use FSAs in compliance with the IRS, qualifying receipts must be turned in. But who actually keeps receipts?
Not turning in receipts can have severe consequences, including the possibility of cutting off access to the account and leaving the employee’s hard-earned dollars unavailable when they’re needed.
ConnectYourCare has developed tools to enhance FSA usage. For example, ConnectYourCare offers “push notifications” to prompt employees to take and save pictures of their receipts at the time of exchange — there’s no need to stockpile annoying scraps of paper. Saving receipts as image files was inspired by real customers who, in today’s digitally driven culture, didn’t always have receipts to show. This is just one example of how ConnectYourCare has thoughtfully improved the process of establishing and using an FSA, based on employees’ requests and feedback.
To learn more about offering FSAs through Winston Benefits’ partnership with ConnectYourCare, contact the Winston Benefits team.