Looking for an easy way to pay less money for your medical expenses? Try using a Health Savings Account (HSA), or Flexible Spending Account (FSA). By setting aside money to use for planned medical expenses—things like prescription drugs or contact lenses—you can lower your overall taxable income for the year. That means you pay less upfront for basic purchases, and it's possible to get more money back on your tax return.
Budgeting for your expected medical expenses using an FSA or HSA is the smart way to lower the overall cost of prescriptions, whether it’s for blood pressure medication or reproductive health services.
What is an FSA?
A Flexible Savings Account, (FSA) is a common benefit that US-based employers offer their employees to help offset the cost of health-related expenses, like prescription medication. Employees can determine a specific amount of their pretax earnings to be withheld from every paycheck. These funds are then typically accessed at checkout by using an FSA credit card, though it is also possible to schedule reimbursement.
What is an HSA?
A Health Savings Account (HSA) works very similar to an FSA, but does not require an employer to set up. The HSA plan is more common for those individuals who have health insurance that requires a high, out-of-pocket deductible. Unlike an FSA, you can make a tax-deductible contribution to your HSA any time, which may be applied to approved medical expenses.
What’s the Difference Between FSAs and HSAs?
Before setting up payroll contributions for an FSA or HSA, it’s important to understand several important distinguishing factors:
- Who can sign up for FSA or HSA? FSA is most commonly available to individuals working for a company that offers an FSA program. While contractors and other self-employed workers cannot. However, HSA is available to both employees and contractors who either have high-deductible insurance plans, or do not work for an employer with FSA.
- How much money can be added to HSA or FSA? While the maximum contribution amount can change each year, the current limit for an individual FSA is $2,700, and $3,500 for an HSA ($7,000 for families). HSA contributions can be adjusted throughout the calendar year, but FSA contributions must be set during open enrollment and may not be adjusted unless there is a sudden change in family status, such as marriage, or employment.
- What happens to leftover HSA and FSA funds? HSA funds do not expire and leftover money will rollover to the next calendar year. Further, HSAs typically hold your funds in an investment account where they may accrue tax-free apy. Due to the favorable pre tax benefit of FSA, any leftover funds expire at the end of the year and are not refunded. However, some FSA programs let you rollover a percentage of the money to the next year.
- Can I have both an FSA and HSA? In most cases, it is not possible to have both an FSA and HSA. The only exception is when employers provide a Limited Purpose Flexible Savings Account (LPFSA), which is explicitly used for vision and dental care costs.
How to use FSA or HSA Online with Wisp
Hopefully now you realize what an amazing benefit it is to have access to an FSA or HSA, especially if you have any predictable, yearly medical expenses. Now we’ll go into more detail about how you can use FSA or HSA online or at the drugstore. Using FSA and HSA online for sexual health is easy. The following wisp services are HSA or FSA eligible:
- Prescription medication
- Over the counter remedies
- Doctor checkups
- Lab work
Typically, FSA and HSA funds are used to pay personal medical costs, or for any immediate family members, such as children or a spouse. While HSA and FSA may not be used to pay your plan’s insurance premiums, you can pay any out of pocket copayments, coinsurance or deductibles..
Using FSA and HSA Funds
Whenever you plan to make an FSA or HSA eligible purchase, maintaining a clear record of all purchases is essential. It’s a good idea to ask for a receipt and take a photo so you maintain an electronic record of each purchase.
Due to the pre tax benefit of HSA and FSA funds, the IRS requires you to submit clear documentation for health-related purchases made throughout the year in order to guarantee reimbursement. If you have healthcare, your provider can give you the appropriate paperwork to ensure you take all steps necessary for reimbursement.
Whether you use HSA or FSA, your wisp treatment should be eligible for reimbursement. Be sure to maintain receipt of purchase from your wisp account and submit to your HSA or FSA.
If you use FSA to pay for your wisp treatment, you can add an extra order of meds to your final quarter of subscription so any money you have remaining isn’t lost at the end of the year.