Gift of the Flexible Spending Account

We all know that the holidays can be a stressful time of the year. This can be due to the financial strain of gifts, travel, holiday parties and food!  While we all love to decorate for the holidays with trees, lights and wreaths…this can all add up and cause a lot of end-of-year worry!

While the BASE® Flexible Spending Account can’t be used for holiday spending, it can allow someone to be healthier and happier.  The FSA can truly be seen as a gift during the holiday season.

Below are just a few suggestions to make for a merry December when using an FSA for out-of-pocket medical expenses.

Flu Shot - The holidays often find us surrounded by family and friends, which means an increased chance of becoming sick! Individuals should enjoy the holidays and reduce chances of becoming ill by getting a flu shot!

Annual Doctor Check-Up – Winter is the perfect time of year to get an annual checkup! Visiting a doctor and setting goals for 2019 help to prepare for the upcoming year and start it off on the right track.

Glasses – There are so many things to see during the holiday season such as Christmas trees, lights and much more. New glasses would only help enhance the experience and joy of the season!

Crutches – Winter brings slippery sidewalks or tripping over toys, which might lead to a need for an unwanted gift of crutches!

Dental Treatment – Too many sweets can lead to an emergency trip to the dentist!

The FSA covers many other medical expenses to help prevent and prepare for the months to come!  With an FSA, employees save tax dollars throughout the year by setting aside money from their paycheck on a pre-tax basis. They can then use this money on qualifying out-of-pocket expenses, like the ones listed above.

Leah L., a BASE® 125 FSA Client, shares the biggest benefits the FSA provides her and her employees. “Not only do our employees save when funds are transferred from their wages on a pre-tax basis, but our company also sees valuable tax savings. Not everyone is great at saving for a rainy day, but this has helped many of our employees be able to save for medical expenses, both expected and unexpected.”

The BASE® FSA is definitely a gift that will keep on giving all year round. Contact BASE® to learn more about the savings employers and employees receive with a BASE® 125 FSA in place.

 

Proposed Regulations Expand Use of HRAs to Promote Individual and Portable Health Coverage

On October 29, 2018, proposed regulations were issued that will benefit hundreds of thousands of businesses and millions of workers and their families in the coming years.  Below are just some of the provisions being proposed:

  • Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA) would be allowed to be integrated with, and to reimburse premiums for, individual health insurance coverage if certain conditions are met.
  • Employers could offer non-integrated HRAs that qualify as excepted benefits if they meet certain requirements.
  • Employers with HRAs that are integrated with individual health insurance could allow employees to use pre-tax cafeteria plan salary reductions to pay any portion of their individual insurance premiums not covered by the HRA.
  • Premium tax credit consequences for individuals who are offered or covered by an HRA that is integrated with individual health insurance.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) also has an individual addition to the proposed rule. This would allow for a special enrollment period for employees and their dependents who gain access to an HRA that is integrated with individual health insurance coverage or are provided with a QSE HRA.

 “Today’s announcement is another example of President Trump delivering on his promise to provide for more affordable health care options for the American people.  More access to association health plans, short-term insurance, and flexible HRAs…,” said U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, Alex Azar. 

We can expect these proposed rules to be finalized in 2019 to allow for implementation on or after January 1, 2020. BASE® is keeping a close eye on how these new rules could further business owners opportunity for health care tax savings, efficiencies, and administrative ease.