As we have previously mentioned in discussions regarding your flexible spending account, or FSA, the pre-tax money you contribute to the fund does not carry over to the next plan year like an HSA. However, employers are allowed to extend a grace period until March 15th after the end of a plan year in which FSA account users can continue to acquire eligible medical expenses (check with your FSA provider for a complete list) to be paid for using the money contributed to their FSA account. As a note, this differs from the run-out period which typically allows 90 days after the end of the plan year for claims to be filed.
Check with your employer to confirm the grace period and eligible expenses before your remaining funds are forfeited.
Source: Ivy, Jenny. “‘Use it or lose it’ deadline approaches for many FSAs.” Benefitspro. Benefitspro, 28 February 2012. Web. 2 March 2012.
As the year end approaches, we want to offer some suggestions to you about how to effectively utilize the funds still remaining in your flexible spending account, or FSA. Unlike a health savings account, the funds in your FSA cannot be carried over to the next plan year, so it is best to use them before your current plan year expires.
1. There is a substantial list of eligible expenses that can be purchased with your FSA, or that could potentially qualify for reimbursement if you have already purchased these items. Please note, this is a sample of common items and is not a complete list. Please check with your FSA provider first for a complete list of eligible expenses.
- Acne Treatment Proactive, Stidrex, Clean & Clear Eligible
- Bandages Elastic, Gauze Pads, Band Aids
- Birth Control Pills
- Birthing Classes
- Blood Pressure Monitoring Devices
- Carpal Tunnel Wrist Supports
- Co-Insurance Amounts
- Contact Lenses, Materials & Equipment
- Crowns, Dental
- Dental Care Toothache Relief, Temporary Filling, Denture Adhesives
- Diabetic Supplies
- Ear Care, Ear Drops, Ear Wax Removal
- Egg Donor Fees
- Eye Examinations
- Fertility Treatments
- Adhesive Pads, Band-Aids
- First Aid Kits
- Flu Shots
- Gambling Problem Treatment
- Genetic Testing
- Guide Dog: Other Aid Animals
- Hearing Aids & Its Batteries
- Infertility Treatments
- Laser Eye Surgery LASIK
- Medical Alert Bracelet or Necklace
- Medical Records Charges
- Mileage for Medical Appointment Expenses for Transportation Primarily for & Essential to Medical Care
- Nasal Strips or Sprays
- Nicotine Gum or Patches Nicoderm, Nicorrett Eligible
- Occlusal Guards to Prevent Teeth Grinding
- Sleep Aids Tylenol PM, Sominex, Unisom
- Smoking Cessation Medications Patches, Gums
- Stomach/Digestive Relief Pepto-Bismol, Imodium, Colace, Lactaid
- Tooth & Mouth Pain Relief Oragel, Anbesol
- X-ray Fees
2. If you have any receipts for health care related expenses or dependent care related expenses, be sure to submit them as soon as possible in order to be reimbursed. This will help you verify how much you have left in you FSA account.
3. If you regularly purchase medical supplies that are eligible to purchase with your FSA, you can stock up on them before your plan year expires with your leftover funds.
4. Make sure you and your family members are caught up on all doctor appointments. Your FSA funds can often be used toward your co-pay and coinsurance at your physician, dentist and optometrist, as well as some specialty doctors as long as they are listed on your eligible expenses list.
5. Make sure you and your family members are up to date on your vaccinations, including the flu shot.
6. As always, keeping up with your wellness is an essential step to keeping your medical expenses to a minimum. Weight loss counseling and methods to help you quit smoking are eligible expenses for your FSA, as long as you have a doctor’s note of medical necessity.
If you have questions about any of these items, please feel free to contact your health care experts at MedCon Benefit Systems Group, Inc. (214)739-5215.