Disclosure: Thanks so much to FSAstore.com for sponsoring this informative post!
How much do you know about the workings of your FSA (Flexible Spending Account)?
As the end of the year approaches, consumers with a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) are looking to maximize their remaining pre-tax money. If you’re a novice to Flexible Spending Accounts like I am, here are 8 common questions about FSA’s, the answers to which will help you use your FSA to its fullest…
- When is the FSA deadline? While deadlines can vary, the most common deadline is December 31st (that’s tomorrow folks!). If you’re not sure about your plan’s deadline you can read your Summary Plan Description or contact your HR department.
- Who is my FSA Administrator? This is an important one to know because it is your FSA Administrator that can discuss your available balance, share claims information, or answer coverage questions regarding eligible expenses with you. If you don’t know who your FSA administrator is contact your HR department.
- What is a Carryover, Grace Period or Run-Out Period? A flexible spending account can include different deadline extension options depending on the particular plan. a) If it has a Carryover, up to $500 in unused FSA money could be rolled over to the next. b) If the plan has a Grace Period, there is an extension of up to 2 and half months following the end of the plan year to use remaining FSA funds. c) If the FSA has a Run-Out Period, there is additional time after the year-end to submit for reimbursement of prior-year expenses, often up to 3 months. Employers can offer a Carryover or a Grace Period – but not both.
- Does FSA money roll over to the next year? No, not unless your plan offers the Carryover.
- What happens to unused FSA money? Unless you are fortunate enough to have a Carryover you’ll forfeit your FSA funds if they’re not spent by the deadline.
- Which expenses are FSA eligible expenses? If you haven’t looked into your FSA much you might be surprised by the number of things your Flexible Spending Account will cover. Expenses ranging from visits at the doctor’s office, annual physicals, dental and eye care, visits with medical specialists (i.e. chiropractors and acupuncturists), and thousands of over-the-counter products are all covered.
- Which over-the-counter products are covered? Over-the-counter items are covered by an FSA, but as of Jan. 1, 2011, any products containing medicines require a prescription for FSA reimbursement.
If you are down to the wire and still have money in your Flexible Spending Account, FSAstore.com can help you get your FSA shopping done with the least stress possible–you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your home!
FSA Store recommends that you avoid stocking up on too much of one item. Doing so may not be considered an eligible expense. Instead, check out the, prepackaged bundles FSAstore.com offers for things like baby care, pain relief and sun care.
All products at FSAstore.com are Flexible Spending Account eligible! Yay! No guesswork! And, did you know, FSAstore.com is the only online retailer that sells exclusively FSA- eligible products, and FSAstore.com accepts all FSA debit cards to make shopping seamless.
For those of you parents out there, here is a list of useful items that you can pick up at the FSA store –FSAstore.com to keep on hand at home:
- Sunscreen (for kids and grown-ups)
- Breast milk storage products
- Thermal-aid stuffed animals
- First-aid kits
- Band-aids (FSAstore.com even has cute character ones!)
- Wound Ointment
- Heat wraps
- Blister treatment
- Sunscreen lip balm
- Warm steam vaporizers
- Contact lens solution
- Insect repellent
Nobody likes to lose money so if you’ve still got money sitting in your account, take a medicine cabinet inventory, and then click on over to FSAstore.com and restock!