Use It or Lose It – Utilize Your FSA Benefits Before It’s Too Late

Do you have an FSA account? There are two kinds of flexible spending accounts. One type is for medical and health expenses, and the other one is for dependent care expenses. As the end of the year approaches, many people with FSA accounts are under pressure to utilize their FSA benefits before it is too late.

Essentially, they need to use the money in their accounts or lose it. However, your company may choose to carry over up to $550 of the leftover funds in your account or provide a grace period of two-and-a-half months. However, it cannot do both.


 

Careful Planning


You may have an account for health and medical expenses in addition to one for dependent care. If this is the case, you need to understand that you can only utilize the fund in each category. Thus, you should plan carefully to ensure that you do not have any leftover funds in your FSA account. Otherwise, you can only spend the funds on dependent care.


 

How to Spend Leftover FSA Funds Before the Deadline


Make a priority to spend the money in your flexible spending account before it is too late. Otherwise, you will lose your money. The first thing you should do is contact your FSA provider and find out how much money you have in your account.


According to IRS regulations, you can only spend the funds in your account on qualified medical expenses. These are expenses that involve a healthcare professional. Below are a few ideas of how to utilize your FSA funds:


 

Pay for Procedures You Have Been Putting Off


The end of the year is a good time to schedule medical procedures you have been putting off throughout the year. These include procedures such as blood work and other types of tests. This is especially important for those who have already met their annual deductibles.


 

Alternative Therapies


Many people with an FSA account are not aware that they can spend the funds in their accounts to pay for alternative treatments. These include things such as chiropractic therapy and acupuncture.


 

Eye Care


If you are like most people, you probably put off taking care of your teeth or your eyes. However, you need to understand that FSA plans typically cover most vision expenses. Hence, this is the perfect time to schedule an eye exam, especially if you do not have vision insurance. This will save you from having to pay out-of-pocket. You can even use the leftover funds in your account to purchase new prescription eyeglasses and contact lenses.


 

Family Planning and Pregnancy Costs


Generally, you can put your FSA funds to work on products like fertility monitors, pregnancy tests, prenatal vitamins, breastfeeding supplies, and more. Condoms are also FSA-eligible expenses due to the role they play in preventing STDs. Likewise, you can pay for birth control products using your FSA money. But in this case, you need to have a current prescription.


 

Supplies for Your First-Aid Kit and Medicine Cabinet


Is your supply for necessities such as cold medicine, allergy remedies, sunscreen, and others running low? November and December may be the perfect time to check your medicine cabinet and first-aid kit and throw away any expired products and stock up on the necessities. Products such as braces, sunscreen with broad-spectrum protection, cold/hot packs, and more are FSA-eligible.



For more information about FSA benefits, visit Omaha Primary Eye Care at our office in Elkhorn, Nebraska. You can call 402-383-0780 today to schedule an appointment.