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Being a new mom – how pre-tax benefits can help

being a new mom with pre-tax benefits

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.

Pre-pregnancy

If you’re trying to have a baby, items like ovulation monitors and pregnancy tests are available using funds from your pre-tax health accounts*.

Tests can run from under $10 to over $100 and are available at national stores like CVS, Walmart and Target or at local pharmacies. They can also be purchased online via Amazon, the FSA Store or the HSA Store.

Did you know? Shipping and handling fees paid to obtain medical care items (such as pregnancy items), are a qualifying expenses. If you are a participant with Benefit Resource, you can check the eligibility of items on the Health Care Expense Table.

During pregnancy

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.

Post-baby

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!

 

*Pre-tax health accounts include Flexible Spending Accounts, Health Savings Accounts, and Health Reimbursement Accounts.

To verify what’s eligible under your plan, consult your HR department.

My pre-tax benefits are administered by Benefit Resource. Great! Log in to BRiWeb to check your plan documents or visit the Documents section to view the Health Care Expense Table.