Hurry Up and Spend! FSAs, Cancer and How to Help

Updated: Dec 1, 2020


It's that time of year when FSA account holders start to scramble to spend the funds in their accounts before year-end.



This is me pre-COVID with my long a*s receipt for an item that cost me $10. I did submit the receipt for reimbursement to my HSA but only the important part.


According to a 2014 study conducted by Aflac, the Columbus, Ga.-based insurance company, 22% of employees are not very or not at all knowledgeable about FSAs.


That could explain why an employee with cancer doesn't take advantage of an FSA or an HSA account. They simply don't understand how they work?


And did you know that it is estimated that medical issues or medical bills cause 66.5% of personal bankruptcies?


If your employee has cancer, a great way to support them is to have your benefits person explain to them, carefully, how FSAs, or HSAs (if applicable), can help them.


Even if your employee is on your HMO plan, there are bound to be some out-of-pocket expenses.


Enrolling in an FSA can feel risky. Here are a few questions your employee with cancer can use to decide if an FSA or HSA is the right choice for them. It can also help them figure out how much to put into their plan.


NOTE #1: These questions are asked in a way that you, the HR professional, can simply copy and paste them into a document of your choosing!


NOTE #2: Please remember ADA rules and regulations. You cannot use any of this information to discriminate against your employee with cancer. I know you know that but I just felt like a little reminder might be helpful!


  1. What is your prognosis? How much more treatment do you need?

  2. What has been covered by insurance so far?

  3. What out-of-pocket expenses have occurred? Were they one-offs or ongoing?

  4. How many miles are you driving to and from treatment? Miles are a deductible FSA/HSA expense.

  5. Will you need to meet a deductible at the beginning of next year?

  6. What are the treatment plans are in your survivorship care plan? (A survivorship plan is developed towards the end of treatment. It outlines re-occurrence monitoring and should include a list of post-cancer side effects and support on managing them.

  7. Are you over 55? If so, you can add an additional $1000 to your HSA.


And don't forget to add links to basic FSA and HSA information.


FSA

https://www.healthcare.gov/have-job-based-coverage/flexible-spending-accounts/


HSA

https://www.healthcare.gov/glossary/health-savings-account-hsa/


Other variables will also factor in, such as the employee's current salary and their everyday expenses.


I hope this list will help you support your employee with cancer in making a well-educated decision about their FSA/HSA!


No matter how your employee uses the questions above, one thing is for sure; they will feel like you care. And that is a positive way for an employee to feel about you and your company!


Did I miss something? Leave a comment below and let me know!

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