Year-End Benefits Snafus and How to Avoid Them

As the end of the year nears, employees may have Flexible Spending Account (FSA) dollars that need to be spent.

They may need to schedule last-minute appointments to fit in before the new year or begin planning their new year appointments. With the end of the benefits year, below are three common benefits snafus and ways you can help employees avoid them:

Spending down an FSA

When employees elect to have an FSA, they contribute an amount for the year based on estimated usage. Because money left at the end of the year does not roll over, unless employers allows FSA rollover or a grace period, the end of the benefits year often signals employees to spend any remaining dollars.

One of the most popular ways consumers use up those dollars? Eye glasses! Consequently, this is generally the time of year when the wait time at the eye doctor increases as people try to leverage their spending accounts. What employees may not know is that they can use their dollars on everything from band aids and contact solution to arch supports and cold packs. Glasses don’t have to be the only choice!

Whether employees have an FSA (or a Health Savings Account), we’ve compiled a list of eligible items that can be reimbursed through medical spending accounts. For on-the-go access, employees can find their account balance with the Further mobile app, which also features a UPC scanning tool to check if items are eligible expenses.

Manage your medical claims with your calendar

Knowing your claim window

It might be inevitable that a doctor’s appointment lands at the end of the benefits year and the billing won’t take place until the new year. With year-end bills, it’s important that employees know what the runout for their plan is. Generally, plans allow up to three months to submit a claim for FSA reimbursement.

Employees should always login to their Further account to confirm the claims timing for their plans.

Debit card usage in the new year

For employees who have a debit card tied to their FSA, the same card can be used into the new year without lag time. Your employees’ Further debit card will automatically begin drawing from 2020 contributions beginning on January 1.

However, if employees receive a bill after the benefits year has ended and have contributions available to use from the previous year, they should not use their debit card for payment. Once the new benefits year has begun, employees will need to go online to submit a claim and ensure that the bill hits the appropriate year.

Now is a great time to encourage your employees to login in and confirm what their balance is before the year draws to a close.

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