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Ways to Use Your FSA Money So You Don’t Lose It

November 28, 2012

in Employee Benefits

As we get closer to approaching the end of the year, it may be time for you to start thinking about spending any money that still remains in your Flexible Spending Account (FSA). While you won’t lose any money in your Health Savings Account (HSA), you will miss out on funds in your FSA if you don’t use it prior to the end of 2012. So, if you’ve still got money lingering around in your FSA, now is the time to use it!

There is actually a long list of items you can use the funds in your FSA to purchase. The following is a list of common medical, dental and vision related items you can purchase using your FSA:

  • Acupuncture: Most health coverage does not cover acupuncture care, so if you have pain, you might consider this.
  • Breast Pump: If you’re expecting a child, you can use your FSA dollars to purchase a breast pump.
  • Chiropractic services: Perhaps you have reached your maximum visit limit at your Chiropractor’s office this year under your health insurance plan or perhaps your health insurance doesn’t cover Chiropractic care? You can use FSA dollars for this!
  • Dental work: Visit a dentist to get orthodontia treatment or other dental work.
  • Eye exam: Don’t have vision coverage? Not to worry. You can use your FSA dollars for eye examination fees, as well as prescribed eyeglasses and contact lens solution.
  • Flu shot: If you haven’t gotten your flu shot yet, you may want to use your FSA dollars to get one now.
  • Over-the-counter items: While you’re no longer allowed to use FSA dollars for over-the-counter medication, there are still plenty of over-the-counter items that are acceptable to use FSA dollars to purchase such as sunscreen with SPF of 30 or higher and hot and cold first-aid wraps.
  • Physical exam: If you haven’t had your annual exam this year, get one scheduled!
  • Prescriptions: Many insurer mail-order pharmacy plans and pharmacies will fill 90-day prescriptions, so load up now.
  • Weight loss: If your doctor agrees your weight is an issue, consider asking for a recommendation to a Nutritionist. Provided you receive a letter from your doctor listing weight loss as a treatment for a specific diagnosed disease, you could use FSA dollars for weight loss over-the-counter drugs and/or weight loss programs and fees.

While the items above are qualified expenses you can purchase using your FSA dollars, be careful on using those dollars on items that are not covered. FSA dollars cannot be used to pay for:

  • Baby sitting or childcare
  • Cosmetic surgery
  • Future medical care
  • Health club dues
  • Nonprescription drugs and medicines
  • Insurance premiums

Remember to submit your claim within your current claim period. You will also need to make sure the expense is incurred during the plan year to be eligible for reimbursement.

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