Can you believe that it is almost the end of the year? It has flown by fast, so if you have a flexible spending account, it is time to find out what you have left in your account. Did you know you will lose the money in your flexible spending account (FSA) if you don’t use it before December 31st? (For those who don’t know what a FSA is, it allows an employee to set aside a portion of their earnings to pay for qualified expenses. The money is then deducted from an employee’s pay and put into a flexible spending account that is not subject to payroll taxes). Here are a few ways for you to get the most for your money and spend it before you lose it:
- Get a second or third pair of prescription glasses. Who wants to wear the same pair of glasses every day? Plus, this is super helpful if you can’t find a lost pair! If you have kids, they definitely need to have more than one pair of glasses, and this is a great way to pay for it!
- Stock up on your contact lenses or try new ones out. The amounts you pay for contact lens solution, supplies, exams (including fittings), and associated warranties are also qualified expenses under most plans.
- Make that yearly physical that you have been putting off all year!
- Protect your eyes with prescription sunglasses. It is important to protect your eyes in every season – not just summer.
- Upgrade your lens to premium lens options like no-glare (anti-reflective) coatings and Transitions lenses that change from clear to dark.
- Fill any prescriptions you need before the end of the year!
- Refill your medicine cabinet. If you aren’t sure what OTC (over the counter) items are covered in your flexible spending account plan, Drugstore.com(the online version of your local pharmacy) has a special “FSA store” featuring OTC products most commonly reimbursed. Even if you end up not buying from them, it’s a good place to browse for ideas.
- Review your expenses incurred earlier in the year that may be eligible for reimbursement. You may have copays or prescriptions that you have not turned in for reimbursement yet.
- Work on your first aid kit. First aid creams, bandages, etc can all be reimbursed. (Some of these products you may need a prescription for if you want to be reimbursed.)
- Join the gym. When recommended by a health care professional for a medical condition, dues paid to a health club, YMCA or YWCA are qualified medical expenses. You will have to submit evidence of medical necessity (e.g., prescription, doctor’s note) with the request for reimbursement.
Every flexible spending account runs different, so you do have to check your own flexible spending account plan to see what exactly is covered. However, these ten ways should give you some idea on how to spend any remaining amount in your flexible spending account.
Do you have any money left if your flexible spending account? How are you spending your flexible spending account money before you lose it?