Industry Resource Articles

Components of a Great FSA Plan – What to Look for

Your employees value their benefits just as much as you value your employees.  Giving them the best benefits that you can will show them you care and help them stay motivated and happy.  One great way to add to their benefits package is with an FSA, or flexible spending account.  The number of employers offering FSA options has doubled in the last ten years, and currently almost half of all employees working for mid-level or large companies have access to an FSA plan.  And when you consider that forty six percent of employees value their FSA as 'very important', there's a strong case to be made for offering them one. 

But just what makes up a great FSA plan?  There are a number of different options that go into any employee benefit, and FSAs are no different.  You need to take a look at the specific features of the FSA you're thinking of implementing to ensure that it's a great choice that will actually provide real benefits to your employees instead of just being 'window dressing' that sounds great but does little.  You should also consider a few other factors as well when selecting your new FSA plan, such as affordability and ease of management.

Selecting an FSA will begin with choosing which type of FSA you want to offer.  By far the most common is a health based FSA.  When choosing this type of flexible spending account, start by looking at just what is covered by it.  FSAs provide a tax free account that your employees can place money into to purchase health related items or spend on health related costs.  They're only really effective, obviously, if the actual items and costs are useful.  Be sure that the FSA you purchase covers all types of health items.  First aid kits, Band-Aids, cough syrup, over the counter medications, and more should all be eligible.  So too should dental care or health insurance copays or deductibles, since this can help offset costs of more expensive health insurance.

There are other FSA options as well, and you may want to consider making them available to your employees as well.  Dependent care FSAs allow employees to place money into an account that is applied towards the care of their dependents, like children or parents.  And an adoption FSA will provide assistance to offset the high costs of adopting a child.  Obviously these FSA options will only be taken by a few of your employees when compared to those who utilize a health based FSA, but they're still worth offering in most cases.

Finally, consider the ease of setting up and maintaining your FSAs.  Unicorn HRO offers software solutions that simplify every part of the process.  Giving your employees the chance to access their individual FSA information and modify it as they need allows you to keep your HR department free from dealing with the influx of FSA related inquiries.  Using software solutions like the ones provided by Unicorn HRO lets you give your workers another great benefit and maintain high productivity in your HR department.  Be sure that the FSA you choose can be managed by each employee so that it doesn't become a hassle you didn't plan on.

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