Many people have flexible savings accounts provided by their employer’s health plan. While there is a maximum amount that you can save, some people aren’t sure exactly how much to put into the account. Here are a few ideas to help you decide how much you need.
How much do you spend on medications per year? Since a flex plan allows for reimbursement of any prescription medication, including over-the-counter, you should add up how much you spent last year and use that number to determine this year’s flex plan contribution. If you don’t plan on changing medications, you will need approximately the same amount. If you don’t spend much on medications, then allow a small sum for any short term illnesses that require medication.
CoPays and Deductibles
You should try to save at least as much money as you would normally spend on copays. If you only see a few doctors once a year, these numbers will be small. If you have any recurring condition that requires multiple office visits, put aside additional money in your flex plan online. Also, you will have to meet a maximum deductible in the case of a hospital stay. Having this money available will help keep your finances from becoming depleted.
It may be a good idea to add some extra money for the unforeseen expenses. For instance, a car accident may require a hospital stay or an illness may require several rounds of antibiotics to cure. Since these kinds of events can’t be planned, a cushion in the account will help allay some of these expenses.
If you end up with more money in your flex plan account at the end of the year than you used, you can always find ways of using them before the fiscal year ends. In addition, some plans allow for rollover while others can offer a few months grace period to use all of the money.