This Mother’s Day, whether you’re expecting or you’ve recently welcomed a new member to the family, discover how pre-tax benefits can help with being a new mom.
If you’re trying to have a baby, items like ovulation monitors and pregnancy tests are available using funds from your pre-tax plans, including a Flexible Spending Account or Health Savings Account. Depending on your coverage, they might also be available through an Health Reimbursement Account. Check your plan documents by logging in to BRiWeb.com. You can also ask your HR department if you have additional questions regarding eligibility. In terms of price, both ovulation tests and pregnancy tests can run from under $10 to over $100. They are available at national chain stores like CVS, Walmart and Target or at local pharmacies. They can also be purchased at online retailers like Amazon or the FSA Store or HSA Store.
If you order online, you’re in luck. Shipping and handling fees incurred to obtain an item that constitutes medical care are regarded as a qualifying expense. As such, they can be paid for with pre-tax funds. If you are a participant with Benefit Resource, Inc. you can view additional items and their eligibility on the Health Care Expense Table by logging into your account at BRiWeb.com and going to the Documents section.
Leading up to being a new mom, there are many factors to consider to keep you and baby healthy. One great option is pre-natal vitamins. Pre-natal vitamins supply higher levels of folic acid and iron than typical adult multivitamins. There are many options out on the market, from chewable tablets to vegan ones. For a closer look at what prenatal vitamin might be right for you, check out this MayoClinic article: Prenatal vitamins: Why they matter, how to choose.
Another aspect of pregnancy is wellness visits. Go to the OB/GYN (obstetrical expenses are usually a qualified expenses) or your family doctor throughout your pregnancy. You can also use your pre-tax funds to play for family-planning services like ultrasounds.
Soon after having your baby, you or your spouse (or both of you) may need to enroll in a Dependent Care FSA.
Even if you or your spouse already have a Medical FSA through your respective employers for family health expenses, you may consider setting up a Dependent Care FSA for child care expenses. A Dependent Care FSA covers child care, day care (or adult dependent care expenses, but that doesn’t apply here.) As far as child care expenses paid for with a Dependent Care FSA, you’ll want to be aware of a couple possible hang-ups.
If both you and your spouse have a Dependent Care FSA, you cannot both elect the maximum amount allowed under your respective plans. Both of you can contribute to your respective plans, but only up to a certain amount. That “certain amount” is specified by the IRS as $5,000 if married and filing jointly, or $2,500 if married and filing a separate return. (If you are a single parent, the amount is $5,000.)
To use funds from a Dependent Care FSA, you’ll often need to submit a claim detailing that the expense you used your funds for was eligible per IRS regulations. When you provide a claim (also referred to as “supporting documentation”) it should include the following information:
- Type of service provided
- Date(s) the service was provided (e.g. 2/2/2018 – 2/6/2018)
- Name of dependent for whom service was provided
- Provider of the service
- Your out-of-pocket expense for the service
If you have more questions related to Dependent Care FSAs, you can see our fill list of FAQs here.
The Joy of Motherhood
Regardless of where you are in the process of being a new mom, your pre-tax funds can support you before, during and after pregnancy. Every second counts, and so does every penny. Your pre-tax account is there to help you be the best parent possible. Happy Mother’s Day!