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Think ahead

Several options available for future medical expenses

A stethoscope and a page from a calendar
Employees can save money now for future medical expenses.

Postal Service employees who want to save money for future medical expenses have several options during this year’s open season.

For example, a flexible spending account (FSA) allows you to set aside money before taxes to cover eligible medical, pharmacy, dental and vision expenses offered by a health maintenance organization (HMO) or fee-for-service plan.

Once you’ve established an FSA, you can contribute as much as $2,550 annually.

If you’re enrolled in a high-deductible health plan (HDHP), you also may be eligible to contribute to a health savings account (HSA).

An HDHP allows you to pay for current health expenses and save for future medical expenses on a tax deductible or pre-tax basis. An HDHP is yours to keep — even when you change plans or retire.

Additionally, some plans offer health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs), which are used to pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses.

The Office of Personnel Management has more information about these options on its online HSA FAQ page.

Open season, which begins Nov. 9, is the annual period when employees can make changes to their health coverage. The open season site on LiteBlue has more information.

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