Insurance 101: FSA and HSA - a look into the alphabet soup of insurance

As a part of our feature this month, we're exploring different elements of health care, and how it might relate to speech and hearing services. For many patients, Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) and Health Savings Accounts (HSA) are great options for paying for medical expenses. But what exactly are these plans, and how can I set one up? 

Both FSA and HSA accounts let you set aside pre-taxed money to pay for medical expenses like copays, medical equipment (hearing aids and custom earplugs), evaluations, treatments, and a variety of over-the-counter eligible expenses, but there are a few key differences that are important to know when making insurance decisions.

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FSA: an account set-up by an employer where employees can set money aside tax free for certain healthcare expenses. While FSA contributions come from an employee’s pre-tax income, it is ultimately the employer who owns the account. In 2017, the FSA contribution limit is $2,600, and these funds (over $500) do not roll over at the end of the year.

HSA: an employee-owned account to set aside tax free funds for healthcare expenses. This account is only eligible to those with a high deductible health plan (e.g. more than $1300 for an individual, or $2600 for a family). In 2017, the HSA limit was $3,400 for an individual or $6,750 for a family.

To learn more about payment at Sound, or to inquire about using your HSA/FSA account for invoices, please contact our office.

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Jody Vaynshtok

Jody is a California-licensed speech language pathologist with eight years of industry and clinical experience. She has worked with both adult and pediatric populations during her time at private practice, birth-to-three, and hospital facilities. She is experienced in the assessment and treatment of a variety of communication and cognitive disorders. In addition, Jody has a passion for working with adults looking to achieve clearer communication. Jody received her BS in Speech and Hearing Sciences and MS in Medical Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Washington. She was a part of the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford’s cleft and craniofacial clinic participating in the multidisciplinary assessment and treatment of children born with craniofacial abnormalities. She holds a staff position at UCSF and is the lead speech language pathologist for the department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery’s Hearing Loss Clinic. When she's not busy having fun with her clients Jody enjoys spending time with her husband, Anton, friends and family. And if she's not headed out somewhere fun for dinner, you might find her at Bar Method working out!