How many have a flexible savings account that still has money in it? With only a few short weeks left this year, it is time to spend the remainder on health-related services or items needed quickly!
Some FSA programs require a doctor’s authorization while others simply require a receipt or forms that prove it was health-related and not spent on inappropriate items like new tires or holiday gifts.
Here is a list of five ways you can use up that money — because it is yours, after all.
1) Consider seeing a chiropractor, acupuncturist, naturopathic physician, or massage therapist if your regular insurance does not cover these services.
Often considered alternative medicine, these practitioners are well-trained and can do a lot of good by evaluating the whole body as a unit, instead of viewing each symptom individually.
2) Focus on dental care. Many FSA plans will cover braces, root canals, teeth extractions, crowns and even teeth whitening. Talk with your dental office about options.
3) Buy health-related items such as new C-pap machine accessories if you have sleep apnea, or buy diabetes supplies, a blood pressure machine, hearing aids, pregnancy tests, condoms, walkers and wheelchairs.
4) Visit your eye doctor. New contacts and glasses are generally considered appropriate under an FSA.
5) Refill those expensive medications. If you are in need of a medication, or if you have a medication that is not well covered by insurance — for instance, a tier 3 or tier 4 — you can use your FSA plan to cover the remainder of the balance. Talk with your pharmacist next time you are in to help you understand your options.
Remember that an FSA is a tax-free plan that allows a person to put up to $2,550 into it. It may be used on a spouse or dependent in most situations — read your plan carefully or talk with your HR department.
In certain cases, some of the money may be able to roll over into the following year. Unfortunately, if an FSA is not used up by the appropriately designated time, that money is lost and not refunded. Therefore it is to your great benefit to understand the fine print and deadlines!
1) Healthcare.gov (2015). Using a Flexible Spending Account (FSA).
2) IRS. (2015). Publication 502 - Main Content (Generally permitted medical and dental expenses).
Reviewed December 7, 2015
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith