- The pre-tax money you contribute to your FSA must be used on eligible healthcare products and services, which can be as mundane as Advil and as unexpected as Felix Gray or Warby Parker glasses or an at-home Zeel massage.
- FSA dollars work on a use-it-or-lose-it provision. If you don’t use your FSA money by December 31 of each year (or March 15 of the new year for many), you lose it.
- FSAstore.com makes it easy to spend that money before it’s gone. They have over 4,000 items that are guaranteed to be covered by your FSA.
Fall is in full swing and it’s almost time to use or lose your FSA dollars. Read on to learn more about what that means, and how you can avoid letting your money go to waste.
Many employers offer access to Flexible Spending Accounts, which let you put away pre-tax dollars for eligible healthcare products and services (think everything from surgery and medical bills to thermometers and first-aid kits). Storing money in an FSA account is a great deal, provided that you spend it.
FSA operates on a use-it-or-lose-it provision; you must spend the money in your FSA account by the end of the year or risk losing it for good. Many employers offer either more flexibility with a two-and-a-half-month grace period (until March 15, 2021, rather than December 31, 2020) or let you roll $500 into the next year. They can’t offer both.
FSA Store estimates that more than $400 million is forfeited every year in FSA funds because employees either miss or forget their spending deadlines (based on estimates using data from the 2017 FSA and HSA Consumer Research conducted by VISA). It’s your money and it’s pre-tax — it doesn’t make sense not to use it.
You can use FSA dollars to pay for medical expenses that aren’t covered by a health plan, like co-pays, deductibles, dental and vision care, or dependent daycare, though eligible expenses can vary based on the plan. But if it’s nearing the end of the year and you haven’t used your money to help meet your deductible or pay medical expenses, you have the option of spending it on supplies like over-the-counter medication.
The nitty-gritty details depend on the plan your employer has in place, but you can skip the burden of research by shopping the selection at the FSA store. They do the homework for you and curate more than 4,000 products that are guaranteed to be covered. If they’re somehow not, you get your money back.
Here are a few items on FSAstore.com that you can buy with your pre-tax money before you lose it: thermometers, feminine care, sunscreen, vitamins, condoms, high-tech healthcare (at-home defibrillator, nausea relief bands, vibrating shoe insoles, ovulation predictors), and travel pillows with orthopedic neck support. View all categories here.
And since the new Affordable Care Act required over-the-counter medications (like Advil and Benadryl) to come with a prescription from a doctor for FSA reimbursement, FSAstore created a Prescription Process that will contact your doctor for you, so you can get the information you need to complete the purchase.
You can also buy things like Warby Parker or Felix Gray glasses with your FSA and HSA dollars as long as your FSA or HSA card is affiliated with a major credit card, or even book an at-home Zeel massage with it.
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