Use It Or Lose It
It’s that time of the year again that no one can escape - tax season! Ugh! I thought this would also be a good time to remind those of you who have an FSA account with grace period that March 15 is only a couple of weeks away. As a dentist in Omaha for over 30 years, I have seen patients either forgot that they have a FSA with grace period or they didn’t know they could use it on dental services. That’s your tax free money to be used on the out-of-pocket medical expenses and if you don’t use it, you will lose it and that will be really sad.
A Flexible Spending Account (FSA) is a special account that allows you to set aside a sum of tax-free money to pay for your out-of-pocket health care expenses. You can use FSA to pay for copayments, deductibles, some drugs, dental and other health care costs. If you're not sure you have an FSA with grace period, you will need to check with your employer.
Generally, for a standard FSA you must use up all the money within the plan year. If your employer offers a grace period, you will have 21/2 extra months or until March 15, 2018 to use up all your fund. And if you don't your money will be forfeited. However, do not confuse grace period with run-out period. Run-out period gives you an extra 90 days to submit the medical expenses that you have incurred in 2017.
At the end of the year or grace period, you lose any money left over in your FSA.
Consider this a good time to schedule a teeth cleaning or dental checkup if you haven’t done any of those yet. Dental services and procedures are eligible expenses. These include regular cleaning, checkups and most dental procedures. However, FSA can’t be used on cosmetic dental such as teeth whitening. Here is a short list of dental procedures that we do and are considered FSA eligible expenses:
Fillings: Dental fillings are used to help restore the integrity or function of missing tooth structure often caused by cavities. We offer mainly composite resin filling type. The composite resin fillings are natural tooth-colored, and made up of resin and glass materials.
Scaling & Root Planing: Scaling and root planing, also known as deep cleaning, is a non-surgical procedure done to treat periodontal disease or gum disease. It involves cleaning between the gums and the teeth down along the roots. Local anesthetic maybe needed.
Dental Prophylaxis (Teeth Cleaning): Dental prophylaxis is commonly known as the routine teeth cleaning and polishing. A prophylaxis is a preventive dental cleaning that helps keep your teeth, gums and mouth healthy.
Extractions (oral surgery): Extraction is the removal of the decayed, unrestorable or impacted tooth from the mouth. Depending on the placement of the impacted tooth, some cases may require surgical referral.
TMJ-TMD Treatment: Temporomandibular muscles and joint disorder are painful conditions that affect the jaw joint and the muscles that control jaw movements. Due to a variety of conditions that may overlap, appropriate treatment can only be recommended and carried out after a thorough diagnosis.
Bridges: A dental bridge is made up of two or more crowns for the teeth on either side of the gap. It is used to cover the gap created by one or more missing teeth. Bridges can be used to help restore your smile as well as to restore your ability to chew, speak and bite properly.
Crowns: A crown is used to entirely cover or "cap" a damaged tooth. The crowns fully encased the entire existing damaged tooth or implant, and usually permanently cemented into place. There are several different types of crowns. Dr. Knauss will discuss these options with you.
Periodontal Screening: Periodontal screening involves assessing the health of your teeth and gums. Based on the periodontal screening and evaluation of your x-rays, Dr. Knauss will recommend the appropriate treatment if periodontal disease is present.
Full and Partial Dentures: A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissues. There two types of dentures: complete and partial dentures. Complete dentures are used when all the teeth are missing, while partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain. Depending on what you need, Dr. Knauss will determine the right solution for you.
If there is a dental service or procedure that you need but it’s not shown here or you have a question about FSA eligibility please contact our office to find out more. Michael E Knauss Family Dentistry at Omaha has been helping people in Omaha, Nebraska, for over 30 years. We offer many dental services, from regular teeth cleaning to emergency dental services. If you need an appointment just give us a call and we will get you in as soon as we can.