The Flexible Spending Account is a tax-free account that allows you to pay for health care and child care expenses that are not covered, or are partially covered, by your medical, dental and vision insurance plans. By contributing a portion of your payroll dollars into your Flexible Spending Account on a pre-tax basis, you can save from 25% to 40% on the cost of eligible expenses you are already incurring.
When you enroll in a Flexible Spending Account, you decide how much to contribute to each account for the entire Plan Year. The money is then deducted from your paycheck, pre-tax (before Federal & State income taxes and FICA taxes are deducted) in equal amounts over the course of the plan year. After you incur expenses that qualify for reimbursement, you submit claims (reimbursement requests) to request tax-free withdrawals from your Flexible Spending Account to reimburse yourself for these expenses.
The key to getting the most out of your Health Care Flexible Spending Account is to maximize your contributions based on the expenses you, or any of your tax dependents, anticipate incurring during the plan year. To plan your annual election amount: