MCHENRY, Ill., Nov. 11, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- According to a study by Medela, only 52 percent of moms are aware that, since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) became law, pregnant women can receive a breastpump at no cost through their insurance carrier. In addition, moms may not realize that they can use flexible spending and health savings accounts (FSA/HSA) to get pump upgrades and breastfeeding accessories.
With most companies' open enrollment currently, or soon-to-be, underway, getting all of the facts now can help the decision-making process around FSA/HSA allocations.
Below is additional information to include in content you may be producing around ACA, open enrollment or FSA/HSA.
What are FSAs and how can moms use them?
- Flexible spending accounts (FSAs) allow you to designate a portion of your paycheck to cover certain types of expenses, such as prescriptions or doctors' visits. The money is deducted before taxes are taken out, which brings down your total taxable income. (This is helpful at tax time.)
- While the Affordable Care Act requires insurers to cover the cost of a breastpump, some pumps cost more than what the health plan will pay. In these cases, it may be necessary to cover the cost of an upgrade to get the pump you want.
- You can use FSA funds to pay for a pump upgrade or to get a second pump for use at work or while on the go. And, if you need new parts, additional breastmilk storage bags or other breastfeeding supplies, you can use FSA funds for that as well.
- Whether you are using your FSA for doctors' visits or breastfeeding supplies, there are a few tips and tricks for getting the most out of the account:
- You can allocate up to $2,500 to your healthcare FSA each year. Now is the time of year when you can plan ahead for next year. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, consider allocating funds to your FSA so that you can get your breastfeeding supplies with pre-tax money.
- You may be allowed a 2½-month "grace period" to use money from an FSA, after the calendar year ends – check with your employer.
- You may be able to carry over unused funds, up to $500, to use during the next calendar year – check with your employer.
- Check your FSA balance and plan ahead – don't let any of your 2014 funds go to waste.
What are HSAs and how can they support breastfeeding?
- Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) cover qualified medical expenses.
- Breastfeeding supplies, including pumps, storage bags and other accessories can be purchased using funds in HSAs.
- HSAs vary by provider, so check with your employer before applying funds from an HSA.
- A HSA is similar to an FSA except that it is for people with a high-deductible health plan and your money rolls over from year to year.
- An individual can allocate up to $3,350 pre-tax and a family can allocate up to $6,650 (for 2015).
Visit www.medelabreastfeedingus.com/tips-and-solutions for more information.