There are a few times a year you might dedicate to sitting down and reviewing expenses with one goal in sight: find a way to save money.
The good news? Visa found it for you—and it’s as simple (yes, simple!) as considering next year’s healthcare costs. Since autumn marks the beginning of both pumpkin lattes and an employer’s open enrollment period, now’s the time to either sign up for a new health benefit plan or make changes to your current plan.
This is where saving money comes in: Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) and Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). An FSA—provided by your employer—allows you to save funds for eligible healthcare expenses. An HSA—which you can get on your own or through your employer—is a tax-advantaged savings account that lets you set aside money to cover medical expenses throughout your lifetime.
This is a big deal because both accounts allow you to use your pre-tax dollars toward healthcare; employees who enroll in an FSA can contribute a portion of their pre-tax salary to pay for qualifying medical or dependent care expenses, while an HSA helps people with qualifying high-deductible health plans pay for current and future medical expenses.
With these advantages, you can imagine why HSAs and FSAs are trending. According to Devenir Research, the number of HSA accounts rose 25 percent from 2015 to 2016, now totaling around 18.2 million. Plus, according to Visa’s 2016 FSA and HSA Consumer Research study conducted by C+R Research, 90 percent of FSA users agree that saving money tops their list of reasons for having an FSA, since contributions are pre-tax.
In fact, an HSA offers you a triple-tax advantage: contributions are tax-deductible; money withdrawn to pay for eligible medical expenses is tax-free; and interest earned on funds invested in the HSA is tax-free.
Of course, convenience is key, and one of the best ways to access funds in an HSA or FSA is with a Visa Healthcare card, which allows you to use funds in your HSA or FSA to pay for qualified medical expenses wherever Visa debit cards are accepted.
Even more convenient, many pharmacies, grocery stores and other retailers that sell healthcare products can distinguish between covered items and non-covered items when you pay for them. Trying to figure out whether or not something’s covered? No need; they’ll do the work for you. Save yourself time and money.
Like we said—saving money really is that simple!
As you review your options this open enrollment season, ask your employer if they offer an HSA or FSA plan with a Visa Healthcare card to provide easy access to your funds. To learn more, watch our informative videos on FSA and HSA.