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Flexible Spending Accounts
The Advantage Benefits Plus Flexible Spending Account (FSA) allows plan participants to set aside a portion of their earnings to pay for qualified medical expenses and dependent care expenses on a pre-tax basis. Money deducted from the participant’s pay into an FSA is not subject to payroll taxes, resulting in substantial savings to the participant. Employers also save Social Security and Medicare taxes on every dollar deducted pre-tax through a cafeteria plan. It’s a Win-Win with an FSA!
Advantage Benefits Plus Flexible Spending Account (FSA) PDF
MEDICAL FLEXIBLE SPENDING ACCOUNTS
A Medical Flexible Spending Account (MEDFSA) is an employer‐established, tax advantaged account funded by the plan participant and/or the employer to pay for qualified medical expenses with pre‐tax dollars. The MEDFSA covers what your health insurance doesn’t – like deductibles, co-pays and other eligible expenses. It can be used on expenses such as dental, vision, prescriptions and more. The Benny Card can be added to the plan making the MEDFSA more accessible for your participants. In addition, electing a grace period or carryover can give your plan participants more time to use their funds. (See Additional Options for more information).
The MEDFSA is a fully funded plan allowing participants’ access to their full election day one of the plan year. This gives them peace of mind that funds will be available when out-of-pocket medical expenses arise. However, the plan does have a “use or lose” policy, so participants should choose their election wisely.
A MEDFSA can be paired with many other plans such as Health Savings Accounts and Health Reimbursement Arrangements (subject to limitations, see Limited-Purpose Flexible Spending Accounts).
DEPENDENT CARE ACCOUNTS
A Dependent Care Account (DCA) is an employer‐established, tax advantaged account funded by the participant to pay for qualified dependent care expenses with pre‐tax dollars. The DCA allows working parents and those who are actively looking for work to use tax free money to pay for their children or dependents care. This includes before and after school care, preschool, day care, and home care (from someone other than a spouse or relative).
Unlike the MEDFSA, funds in a participant’s DCA are only available once the participant has had payroll deductions to fund the plan. This means the amount that is available for reimbursement for qualifying DCA expenses will be equal to the amount of payroll contributions, less the amount of any prior reimbursements paid during the plan year.
Health Savings Account
The Advantage Benefits Plus Health Savings Account (HAS) is a tax‐advantaged savings account that is used in combination with a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP). Participants use the HSA funds to cover qualified medical expenses. The HSA account is funded with pre‐tax contributions by the participant and is owned by the participant. Employers and other third parties can also contribute to the account.
Advantage Benefits Plus Health Savings Account (HSA) PDF
Benefits of an HSA include:
Tax-advantaged – Contributions are tax-free, gains on invested funds accumulate tax-free, and distributions are tax-free when used to pay for qualified medical expenses.
Flexible – Funds can be used for non-medical expenses but they are subject to a 20% penalty, except when an individual is 65 or older or is disabled. At age 65, any remaining HSA funds can be withdrawn for non-medical reasons without penalty; ordinary income tax will be charged on the money withdrawn for non-medical reasons. It also has no “use or lose” restrictions like the FSA accounts.
Portable – Accounts move with participants even if they change employment or retire.
Savings Solutions – Unused contributions accumulate and can be used for future medical expenses. For example, unused funds can be used to pay Medicare premiums in retirement.
A Limited-Purpose Flexible Spending Account
A Limited-Purpose Flexible Spending Account is designed to work like the Medical Flexible Spending Account with certain limitations. The LTDFSA works with qualified HDHP and HSA plans and only allows reimbursement for preventive care, vision and dental expenses. This account allows you and your plan participants to earn extra tax savings and extend the life of the participants’ HSA benefits.
An added value to our plan is that the LTDFSA and HSA “stack” on the Advantage Benefits Plus Benny Card making it easy and convenient to use both accounts. Eligible expenses will be withdrawn from the LTDFSA first. If the expense is ineligible or the participant has exhausted their LTDFSA funds it will then pull from the HSA monies.
Health Reimbursement Arrangment
The Advantage Benefits Plus Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) is an employer funded program and is designed to help participants pay for allowable out-of-pocket medical expenses as determined by the plan design. Money contributed to an HRA does not count as income so there are no tax implications to the participant. The advantages of offering a HRA is the employer designs the plan to fit the needs of the company and their plan participants. In addition, reimbursements paid through the HRA are tax-deductible business expenses. Depending on the plan design, any leftover dollars may roll over from year-to-year (as long as the participant continues to be a member of the plan) or they may be forfeited. HRAs can be paired with FSAs to maximize tax-free reimbursements for qualified medical expenses.
Premium Only Plans
The Advantage Benefits Plus Premium only Plan (PoP) is the cornerstone of the Section 125 Plan. It allows for pre-tax treatment of plan participant paid group insurance premiums. These premiums include:
- And more… (contact us for more details)
The PoP plans allow both employers and plan participants to save on taxes including Social Security and Medicare. The Advantage Benefits Plus PoPs are another valuable tool that is simple and affordable.
Qualified Transportation Benefits
The Advantage Benefits Plus Qualified Transportation Benefits (QTB is governed by IRS Section 132. This plan allows participants to set aside pre-tax funds for eligible transit and parking expenses related to commuters. There are two types of QTB accounts; Transit/Vanpooling Accounts and Parking Accounts. Each plan operates on its own, so participants can choose the plan(s) they need. QTBs have a monthly limit instead of an annual election and the participant can change their election amount at any time. Transit and/or parking benefits are limited to participant expenses only; reimbursement is not allowed for spouse or dependent transit or parking expenses. Any unused balance in either account will roll over each month as well as into the next year (as long as the participant is still an eligible employee). QTB’s can be paired with all other plans to maximize your participants’ tax-free benefits.
Benny Debit Card
The Advantage Benefits Plus Benny Card provides participants with a quick and convenient method to access their FSA monies. For some plans, the Benny card is front-loaded with the entire amount of the annual election so the participant can begin using it on the first day of the plan year. Simply pay for medical expenses at the point-of-sale with the card. No more paying out of pocket, so there is no longer a need to fill out claim forms and wait for reimbursement! However, some receipts may still require substantiation for the transaction. For vendors who may not accept credit cards or if the participant forgets to use their card, manual claims can be submitted and will simply be deducted off the Benny card and paid to the participant.
With the addition of a grace period to your MEDFSA, participants can access their entire unused account balance into the following year. This will allow participants to pay for medical expenses incurred during the first 2 ½ months of the next plan year before the money is forfeited. This gives your plan participants a little extra time to spend any money remaining in their account at the end of their plan year. The advantage of the grace period is the participants have 14 ½ months to spend their full election instead of only 12 months. The grace period cannot be used in conjunction with the carryover.
With the addition of a carryover feature to your MEDFSA, employers, by plan design, can set the carryover limit up to a maximum of $500. This allows the participant to carryover monies to the next plan year (subject to the maximum as determined by the plan). This amount does not accumulate and the participant’s carryover balance will be “carried forward” at the end of the plan year. Once the participant reaches the carryover limit, it will continue to carryover year to year as long as participant is eligible for the plan or uses those funds. The carryover cannot be used in conjunction with the grace period.
The Advantage Benefits Plus Web Portal is an easy to use website for both employers and plan participants alike.
The Web Portal makes it easy for employers to manage their Flexible Benefit plans. With access to reports, invoicing, secure file transferring, and plan participant management, the Advantage Benefits Plus Web Portal is the perfect tool for employers.
Plan participants have quick and convenient access to all information concerning the Flexible Benefit plans. They can check their balance, submit claims or requested substantiation, download reports and much more. Participants also have access to The FSA Store and The HSA Store (hyperlink to FSA Store) through our website. The Web Portal can even be accessed from mobile devices. Already a participant? Click Here to login.
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