Flexible Spending Accounts
For most employees, Health Care Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) provide a way to shelter even more health care spending from taxes. FSAs allow you to shelter the out-of-pocket costs for copayments, coinsurance, deductibles, charges above customary and reasonable, and uncovered health care expenses. For most people, the big expense categories for FSAs are deductibles and other cost sharing for covered services, dental expenses, and vision expenses.
If you check "Yes" that you plan to set up an FSA during Open Season, your plan comparison results reflect this decision. We assume that you set aside $1,000 to cover plan-eligible expenses (including spending on deductibles and copayments), and that you have a marginal tax rate of about 33 percent. Any additional amounts you set aside to cover expenses that plans don't generally cover give you additional savings but are immaterial to our rankings.