Sun protection is a major consideration for parents. Learn more about the safest sunscreen for kids on this blog post and shop with an FSA.
Spring may seem early to begin talking about proper sun care, but if you have small children, protecting their skin from the sun's rays will take on a new importance as they spend more time outdoors as the season progresses. Sun protection is a major consideration for parents, as recent studies have shown that sustaining just five major sunburns during youth can raise a child's risk of developing life-threatening skin cancers like melanoma by 80 percent.
Sunburns are caused by the skin's absorption of harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which are present whether it's sunny or cloudy, reaching their peak levels between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. and are directly tied to the formation of skin cancer. Luckily, if you have a flexible spending account (FSA), your benefit can cover the reimbursement of sunscreen for the whole family. Here are some vital guidelines to consider when choosing a sunscreen for your kids.
Keep babies out of the sun entirely: First things first, if you are a parent of a child younger than 6 months, you should be searching for ways to cover him/her up rather than purchasing a sunscreen! Physicians advise new parents to keep their infants out of sunlight completely if they are under 6 months of age, as sunburn can cause significant pain, fever and even dehydration in newborns, as well as dramatically raising their susceptibility to skin issues later in life. Keep the baby's arms and legs covered in light-colored, lightweight clothing and stick to the shade during his/her first 6 months.
Shop for Baby Sunscreen
Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 15 or higher: A sunscreen's sun protection factor (SPF) is a measure of the item's ability to prevent UV rays from harming the skin, which is a huge consideration for small children who will experience long periods of sun exposure. For instance, if a person's skin can remain unprotected in the sun for 30 minutes without burning, an SPF 15 product will theoretically protect the wearer for 15 times longer, or for 7.5 hours. SPF 15 is the bare minimum for a child's sun care regimen, so feel free to go for a stronger variant for very young children or kids with skin that is more susceptible to sunburn.
Broad spectrum protection: The classification of "broad spectrum" refers to sunscreens that block all forms of ultraviolet rays. UV radiation is broken up into two primary wavelengths: UVA (long-wave) and UVB (short-wave) radiation. UVA and UVB rays contribute to premature skin aging, eye damage and most skin cancers, and UVA rays make up about 95 percent of all UV radiation reaching the Earth's surface, while the other 5 percent is UVB rays. While UVB rays are the chief cause of sunburn and damage the outermost layers of the skin, UVA rays can penetrate down to the dermis level and can spark the development of some skin cancers. Simply put, if it's not "broad spectrum," it won't do the job!
Shop for Broad Spectrum Sunscreen
Water resistance: Sunscreen that can stand up to water during swimming or sweat during heavy activity is a major concern for the product's efficacy, especially with active children. The Federal Drug Administration has ruled that sunscreens that are considered "water-resistant" will continue protect wearers for at least 40 minutes after application. Because no sunscreen is 100 percent waterproof, it's vital that wearers re-apply throughout the day to maintain a full spectrum of protection.
Shop for Water-Resistant Sunscreen
With a long summer of fun in the sun ahead, make sure to support the wellness of your entire family by shopping at FSAstore.com! We have the web's largest selection of FSA-eligible products to help you maximize the potential of your benefits!
Diaper rash is common among newborns, but it might seem an alarming development for new parents. Learn more about it in this post.
If you're a new parent, you know that every day is a learning experience with your bundle of joy. But, in the event that your little one is sick or is uncomfortable from an ailment, you'll do anything possible to fix the problem.
Diaper rash is common among newborns, but it might seem an alarming development for new parents who may begin to second guess their care regimens. This simple form of skin irritation (dermatitis) will happen at some point during infancy, but there are ways that you can provide relief and prevent diaper rash flare-ups in the future.
Let's explore how you can do just that:
Understanding diaper rash
Diaper rash appears on the skin in the diaper area, and while it can affect infants and children up to 2 years of age, it typically occurs between the periods of 9-12 months when babies are sitting often and just beginning to eat solid foods. The underlying skin irritation of diaper rash has numerous potential causes, such as friction between the skin and the diaper, as well as irritation caused by moisture and buildup of acid from urine and bowel movements.
In some cases, diaper rash can be a result of a fungal or yeast infection, which can be treated with over-the-counter (OTC) prescription medicines (in order to buy these with your FSA, you'll need to submit a prescription for reimbursement).
Last but not least, diaper rash can also be a result of an allergic reaction to cleaning agents, diaper wipes/materials, laundry detergents, soaps or lotion that are applied to the diaper areas.
How is diaper rash treated?
Ideally, the best way to reduce the chances of diaper rash is to keep your baby's diaper areas as dry as possible with frequent diaper changes and close monitoring of the products used to clean these areas to ensure they are not adversely affecting them. In most cases, diaper rash will clear up with the use of mild hydrocortisone cream and a more frequent diaper change regimen.
However, some diaper rashes are caused by outside sources, such as a bacterial or fungal infections, which typically last longer than 4-7 days and are not responsive to treatment. In these cases, it's best to consult with a pediatrician to diagnose the source of the issue, and if advanced treatment methods are needed, the physician will most likely prescribe an antifungal or antibiotic treatment to eliminate the underlying cause of the problem.
While diaper rash may re-emerge in the future, generally these conditions can be treated successfully at home and are simply another milestone of infancy for parents to overcome.
Shop for Baby Care at FSAstore.com
No matter what you need as new parents, you'll find it at FSAstore.com! We have the largest selection of FSA-eligible products on the web to support the health and wellness of you and your growing family!
Learn which baby care needs are covered by an FSA, and what's important to consider during the winter to keep your baby healthy.
You always want what's best for your baby, and taking care of your baby's health is a year-round priority. During the winter, there are some specific viruses and colds spreading that can easily target baby's fragile immune system. While you may not be able to protect your baby from every winter illness, there ways to minimize exposure and keep your baby healthy during the season.
According to an article by Baby Center, "Boost your baby's immunity by breastfeeding her. Your baby is likely to develop fewer infections, and recover more quickly from illnesses, in the first year of her life, if you breastfeed exclusively for the first six months. As well as the antibodies that are already in your breast milk, your body will make new antibodies as soon as you are exposed to an infection."
Breastfeeding with your FSA
A Flexible Spending Account can cover the cost of breast pumps and other breastfeeding accessories including nursing bra pads, breast pump accessory wipes, micro-steam bags, nipple shields, and milk storage solution. Check out the variety of Medela products at FSAstore.com.
Treating a cold or a fever
Among other ways can be using your FSA to get baby health care products - specifically items like baby thermometers or nasal aspirators to monitor a fever or treat a cold or congestion. It's also important to ensure that babies have received the latest vaccinations,and your pediatrician will be able to advise about these the best.
Shop for Cold and Allergy Products at FSA Store
Shop for Baby Thermometers with your FSA
Do you have older little ones at home? Another great way to keep your kids when they're not feeling well is through Thermal-Aid Zoo Animals. These are hot or cold therapy stuffed animals designed to treat headaches, fevers, earaches, flu symptoms and much more.
If you need to administer medications to baby,you can use pain-free medicators.
For a full list of covered expenses, view our FSA Eligibility List (this list includes medical services and healthcare products).
Were you aware that prenatal vitamins are covered by a Flexible Spending Account (FSA)? Do you know what to look for when shopping for prenatal vitamins?
Were you aware that prenatal vitamins are covered by a Flexible Spending Account (FSA)? This month marks two important health initiatives that have amajor impact for women who are planning to become mothers in the coming year. National Birth Defects Prevention Month and National Folic Acid Month shed light on one of the most important supplements a new mom can take for the health of her child: prenatal vitamins!
While expecting moms are encouraged to eat a healthy diet to support the health of their growing child, their diets may be missing key nutrients that can play a major role in preventing birth defects and supporting the optimal development of their children.
What are the most important ingredients to look for in prenatal vitamins? Let's find out!
Folic Acid: This nutrient has been proven to prevent neural tube defects, which are serious abnormalities in the brain and spinal cord. Folic acid is the natural form of the vitamin, while folic acid is the synthetic derivative that is added to foods as required by federal law. Folate is found naturally in many foods, including asparagus, okra, leafy vegetables, beans, yeast and mushrooms. It's recommended that any woman who could get pregnant should take 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid daily, starting before conception and continuing through the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
Iron: This mineral is pivotal in the baby's growth and development, as well as preventing the development of anemia, which results in a lack of healthy red blood cells in the body. Iron is a staple in many prenatal vitamin brands, and can be found in a number of natural sources including leafy green vegetables (spinach, kale, etc), dried fruit like raisins and apricots, seafood, beans and more. Aim for at least 27 mg of iron each day during pregnancy.
Iodine: This nutrient assists in the mother's thyroid function and metabolism during pregnancy, and can be found in cranberries and organic foods like yogurt, raw cheese and organic potatoes. Iodine also contributes to the baby's brain and nervous system development, and a lack of iodine during pregnancy has been linked to an increased risk of miscarriage, stillbirth and preterm delivery. Pregnant women should aim for 220 mcg of iodine per day, while breastfeeding woman should up that to 290 mcg.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: These acids have been known to support healthy brain and vision development in infants, and they are most often found in fatty fish, eggs and peanut butter. These substances have been found to prevent pre-term labor and delivery and may increase birth weights. The two most beneficial omega-3s are EHA and DHA, and DHA is especially important for the brain, eyes and central nervous system. As such, pregnant/lactating women are advised to take at least 300 mg of DHA each day.
Calcium: This nutrient plays a pivotal role in the development of healthy bones and teeth, the heart, nerves and muscles. It is recommended that women should receive 1,000 mg of calcium per day before, during and after pregnancy, and they should supplement their diet with calcium-rich foods like dairy products, sardines, soybeans and fortified juices/cereals/grains.
The preceding ingredients are a must for any prenatal vitamin regimen, but expecting mothers should also read labels and compare products to ensure they are receiving the proper levels of vital nutrients. Other important prenatal vitamins/minerals to look for are vitamin A/B12/C/DE, niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, zinc and copper.
If you have a bundle of joy on the way, make sure you give your child the best start possible with prenatal vitamins purchased at FSAstore.com! We have the web's largest selection of FSA eligible products to support the health and wellness of you and your loved ones.
Fall is officially here. Learn about fall health for your baby on our blog.
Prepare for Colder Weather
Babies can be prone to different health problems depending on cooler temperatures. Make sure to adequately prepare your house and your family while leaving home, especially on those chillier autumn days.
Prevent the flu
Use your Flexible Spending Account to get a flu shot. They're covered! You can also buy Cold & Allergy products with your FSA, whether you're dealing with fall allergies, a cold, or flu-like symptoms.
Check out the TheraPearl Hot/Cold Eye Pack for sinus pressure relief
Shop for Cold and Allergy Products at FSA Store
Does your baby or older child have a fever?
Thermometers are covered by your Flexible Spending Account (FSA). It's easy to monitor their fevers with a wide variety of thermometers.
Keep kids comfy while they're sick
Another fun item to keep kids comfy while they're feeling sick is a Thermal-Aid Zoo Animal. These 100% natural cotton items can be used for both hot and cold therapy and treat fevers, earaches, flu symptoms, sprains, headaches and more.
Keep kids healthy during school
Have a little one in school? Make sure you treat minor injuries or cold/flu-like symptoms as quickly as possible to ensure they stay healthy during the year.
Shop for Back to School items with your FSA
Additional items covered by your FSA for Baby and Young Children:
- Nasal aspirators &saline solution. Nasal aspirators or saline solution can be a great way to treat a cold and provide some relief. However, if you think your baby has closer to flu-like symptoms, be sure to contact your doctor.
- If you need administer medications to baby,you can use specialmedicatorsthat provide medications ina pain-free way.
- Breast Pumps & Accessories (storage bags, nipple shields, etc.).
- Baby sunscreen (SPF 15+). Use baby sunscreen year-round to keep your baby's sensitive skin protected from the elements.
- Items containing active medical ingredients including baby aspirin, chest rubs or diaper rash cream are covered but require a prescription for FSA reimbursement.
Summer may slowly be winding down, but warm weather will be around for a while. Learn about three ways to keep your baby cool for the remainder of summer.
Even though the end of summer will be here before you know it, warm weather will be around a bit longer. And, you might be curious about ways to stay cool, or ways to make sure your baby stays cool, as well.
BabyCenter recently shared some great tips on how to keep your baby cool and comfy during summer, and here's how your FSA can help!
1. Keep your baby protected from the sun. Baby skin is very sensitive, and requires extra protection from the sun's harmful UV rays. Be sure to bring baby sunscreen for any outdoor outing, and to dress your baby in easy-breathing, cotton clothes and proper sun protection (wide-brimmed hats). Avoid the hottest moments of the day and go outside during off-peak hours (avoiding going out between 10am and 5 pm).
Shop for baby sunscreen with your FSA.
2. Ensure that your baby stays properly hydrated. According to BabyCenter's experts, "If your baby is younger than six months, and if you are exclusively breastfeeding, you do not need to give him water, even in hot weather. Babies who breastfeed whenever they wish do not get dehydrated." They added, "In hot weather, your baby may want to have more frequent, shorter feeds. He will get enough liquid from your breastmilk. These short feeds will give him more foremilk. This is thinner and more refreshing than the fat rich hindmilk. So let him have as many extra feeds as he wishes. If your baby is formula-fed, you could offer him some boiled, cooled water in hot weather.
Shop for baby care products with your FSA.
Shop for Medela with your Flexible Spending Account
3. Create a little oasis to retreat from the heat. Why not give your baby some time in his/her bathtub, a splash in the pool, or an inflatable, specially-designed baby pool? This will be a great way to help your baby cool off.
Averyimportant note from the BabyCenter experts, "Avoid taking your baby to an air conditioned room right after a bath
Switch on the air conditioner only after your baby is fully clothed and his hair is dry. Dress your baby in thicker cotton clothes and an inner vest if you plan to keep him in an air conditioned room all day. Babies can quickly catch a chill or cold if they are not well protected."
For more information and additional tips, turn to the extendedarticle with great tips from BabyCenter
Can you buy baby sunscreen with an FSA? Learn 5 tips for baby sun protection, and discover if sunscreen is covered by an FSA (and which brands are covered).
An article posted on Baby Center offers great tips to keep your baby sun safe.
5 tips to keep your baby sun safe:
1. Avoid direct sun exposure before your baby is at least six months old. You'll be going outside, but take all the protective measures to avoid a sun burn or too much exposure, as best you can.
2. Keep track of the sun's intensity. The sun rays are strongest between 10 am and 4 pm, so enjoy the outdoors in the early morning or go out after 4 pm. Sun UV rays can also bounce off of sand, snow, water, cement, and can even affect the skin on cloudy days, so proper protection is importanton any given day.
3. Dress your baby accordingly. Be sure to cover your baby in lightweight clothing that easily breathes and is also light in color (anything dark absorbs heat, while lighter colors reflect it). Protect your baby's head with a wide-brimmed hat (to also protect the ears and neck) and sunglasses.
4. Create shade andadditional layers of protection.You can use your baby's stroller and its sunshade for added sun safety, or even get a pop-up stroller shade.Baby Center adds that there are specific sun tents with built-in UV protection that you could consider, as well, if you know you're headed to the beach or the park.Baby Center also suggests, "Try to keep your baby in the shade – under a tree or umbrella, for example. You may be surprised to learn that shade provides only partial protection against UV rays. Without sunscreen or other protection, even a baby in the shade can get sunburned."
5. Apply broad spectrum, baby sunscreen. If you're not sure about your sunscreen's shelf life, buy new sunscreens to ensure their effectiveness. Baby's skin is very delicate, and needs adequate protection and a baby sunscreen can help with that. You'll want to apply it about 30 minutes before heading out the door, and also reapply it to cover any exposed areas every few hours. If you'll be in the water, you'll want to reapply sunscreen immediately after toweling off.
Can I buy baby sunscreen with an FSA? What brands?
A lot of brands have designed baby sunscreens that are gentler on the skin and often mineral based to ensure that babies are only protected and not harmed by sunscreen. FSAstore.com offers many different options for baby sunscreen, eligible with your Flexible Spending Account.
Here is a top 5 of eligible sunscreens at FSAstore.com:
Aveeno Baby Sunscreen Lotion with SPF 55 combines patented Active Photobarrier Complex™, which maintains broad spectrum protection over time, with natural skin soothing oatmeal. It's waterproof, fragrance free, and prevents moisture loss.
Shop for Aveeno
Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby Sunscreen Lotion with SPF 60 also provides superior broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection with Purescreen, a blend of naturally-sourced sunscreen ingredients. It also comes in stick form, and one specifically for the face with SPF 50.
BabyGanics emphasizes moisturizing in addition to sun protection with its mineral based SPF 50 lotion, for use on both face and body. Also waterproof and fragrance free and comes in spray or stick form. If you're constantly on the go, BabyGanics provides small single use sunscreen packs.
Shop for BabyGanics
Blue Lizard is a chemical free and fragrance free formula with SPF 30. This sunscreen can also be used by adults with sensitive skin. It comes in a special bottle that turns pink when exposed to UV rays. FSAstore.com carries them in 4 different sizes: 1.25 fl oz, 3 fl oz, 5 fl oz, 8.75 fl oz.
Shop for Blue Lizard
Baby Blanket Kids Sport Sunscreen Lotion with SPF 70 is waterproof for up to 80 minutes. It is specially formulated with Titanium Dioxide, a natural UV blocker, for babies and adults with skin sensitive to sunburn. There are three variations of the product specifically for babies: sunscreen stick with SPF 45, continuous spray sunscreen lotion with SPF 50, and sunscreen lotion with SPF 50.
Coppertone Water Babies Quick Spray with SPF 50 is the #1 pediatrician recommended brand with a mild formula that won't irritate or sting a baby's delicate skin.
Planning for a family can be an exciting time. Did you know you can start family planning with your FSA and learn about the available services and products?
Planning for a family can be an exciting time. Through the stages of conception to the birth of your baby, there will be lots ahead of you, and health will play an important part of that.
Did you know that your Flexible Spending Account can help with it all? Many family planning expenses are covered with your Flexible Spending Account (FSA). The need for these family planning expenses will depend on conversations on long term plans you have with your spouse and other family members.
Here are 5 categories of Family Planning with an FSA to keep in mind:
If you think you might be pregnant, then FSA Store has an array of pregnancy or fertility test to ascertain your suspicions. For actively trying to become pregnant, try doing ovulation tests so you can determine when your fertile window is. Find out your peak fertility days by beginning testing immediately the day after your period ends.
During pregnancy be sure to pick up some vitamins to provide a multi-vitamin formula with an excellent source of folic acid and DHA. Healthful diets with folate may reduce a woman's risk of having a child with a brain or spinal cord birth defect. Depending on the brand, vitamins may also contain nourishing minerals and super foods that promote general healthy development of the baby and support mom's nutrition and energy.
If you plan on feeding your baby breast milk, it will help to purchase breast pumps, storage solutions, and other accessories to make the process painless and efficient. You can opt for a manual pump or electric pump. Medela offers storage solutions in the form of bags or bottles. Try out one of their breastfeeding bustiers for hands free pumping, allowing you to go about your activities while you pump.
Infants get sick more often because natural killer cells, like many other immune cells, do not completely mature until adulthood. It's important to have an accurate and fast thermometer to check on your baby when you think he or she might be coming down with an illness.
Protect your baby from the sun's UV rays using baby sunscreen which is specifically made for more sensitive skin.
Learn about additional family planning services and products via our Eligibility List. It will also be a good idea to ask your FSA administrator about the specific guidelines in place for your plan.
Did you know you can use your Flexible Spending Account for baby care items? Yes, you can! And, you can save up to 40% by using your FSA, as opposed to buying these items on an out-of-pocket basis.
You can use your FSA for breastfeeding supplies, for baby health related to colds and monitoring fevers, for baby sunscreen, and more.
4 Baby Care Products with your Flex Spending Account
Shop for breastfeeding supplies and accessories with your Flexible Spending Account (FSA). FSA Store sells popular Medela products - from breast pumps to milk storage solution to cleaning wipes.
1. The Medela Freestyle Solution Set is a hands-free, double-electric pump. You can use this hands-free pump while on the go - as there's no need to be near an outlet.
2. Baby thermometers - easily monitor your baby's fever in a non-intrusive way with forehead thermometers
3. Nasal aspirators - use these to provide your baby relief for colds.
4. Baby sunscreen - gentle, non-irritating protection for your baby.
When it comes to baby health, your Flexible Spending Account can definitely be handy. You can use your FSA for a lot of different purposes - whether it's for breastfeeding, or treating baby's colds and fevers, for proper sun care for your child, and so much more.
If you're expecting, congratulations! If you already have a little one, congratulations! No matter what the timeline, an exciting time awaits you! As you're getting ready for baby's arrival, you've prepared as best you can. Maybe you read many baby (health) books, asked for advice from friends and family, and consulted with doctors to make sure your baby's arrival goes smoothly.
Shopping for Baby Care with Your FSA
Did you know who you can shop for breastfeeding supplies and accessories with your Flexible Spending Account (FSA)? As you get ready to take care of your baby, keep in mind your FSA - it will save you on your out-of-pocket healthcare expenses.
We sell Medela products at FSA Store - everything ranging from breast pumps (depending on your needs) to milk storage solution to cleaning wipes.Check out this great list from Medela about what you'll need for your baby's arrival:
Freestyle Solution Set:
The Freestyle Solution Set is Medela's first hands-free, double-electric pump. You can use this hands-free pump while on the go - as there's no need to be near an outlet.
- FreeStyle Breastpump
- Disposable Bra Pads (30)
- TenderCare Lanolin (2 oz. tube)
- Quick Clean Bags - (5)
- Quick Clean Wipes - (24)
- Pump and Save™ Breastmilk Bags (20)
- Medela Breastfeeding Resource Guide &Medela Breastmilk Storage Guidelines Magnet
Medela's Pump & Save bags easily collect and store breast milk. These are no-leak zipper bags, which also have a self-stick mechanism that attaches to any Medela breast pump.
- No-spill stand-up bottom.
- Double-walled for long and safe breast milk storage.
- Compatible with all Medela breast pumps
- Includes 2 easy-connect adaptersBPA-free
The Pump In Style Advanced is a daily-use electric breast pump for moms who pump throughout the day. The Advanced breast pumps helps to make pumping discreet and convenient (anywhere, anytime).
- - Pump In Style Advanced Backpack Breast pump
- Disposable Bra Pads (30), TenderCare Lanolin (2 oz tube), 5 Quick Clean Bags, 24 Quick Clean Wipes, Pump & Save Breastmilk bags.
- Also includes a Medela Breastfeeding Resource Guide, and a Medela Breastmilk Storage guidelines magnet.
Medela Breastmilk Storage Solution
Easily and safely store breastmilk (BPA-free set) with the Medela Breastmilk Storage Solution set. This set is compatible with any Medela breast pump.
Six (5 oz / 150 mL) Breastmilk bottles,
Six bottles and lids &breastmilk labeling lids,
Pump & Save breastmilk bags,
A storage tray
A breastmilk storage guidelines magnet.
While healthcare is important year-round, there are some ailments that particularly occur in the winter. Baby immune systems are easily targeted by colds.
According to an article from Parents.com, parents should pay particular attention when taking babies outside in the winter to ensure they stay warm.The article warns, "If you do venture out, dress your munchkin in layers. Tots 12 months and older require the same amount of clothing as you do, and younger babies need one extra layer, says Robert Bonner, M.D., a pediatrician at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children in Philadelphia. A hat is a must, and be sure to protect your snow bunny's fingers and toes. He'll need waterproof boots once he'swalking."
Products covered by your FSA:
- Baby Thermometers. Parents.com cautions that if an infant has a fever over 100.4F, parents call a doctor right away. You can also buy baby aspirin with an FSA, and this product requires a prescription for reimbursement with your FSA.
- Nasal aspirators and saline solution. If you think your baby might have a cold, you can help fight a stuff nose with nasal aspirators or saline solution.If you suspect your baby has flu-like symptoms, connect with a doctor immediately.
- Medicator bottles. If you need administer some type of medication, there are special medicatorsthat deliver medications in a pain-free way and keep your baby comfortable.
- Breast Pumps & Accessories (cleaning wipes, storage bags, nipple shields, etc.).According to Parents.com, "Another way to ward off bugs: "Continuebreastfeedingas long as possible," Dr. Hersey says.Breast milksupplies your child with antibodies that can help her fight illnesses."
- Baby sunscreen (SPF 15+). While some may think that sun care is only relevant in sunny weather or in the midst of summer, baby skin is fragile and requires protection from the elements.
Products requiring a prescription for FSA reimbursement:
- Baby aspirin
- Chest rubs
- Diaper rash cream
Discover services and products for baby care covered by your FSA via the Eligibility List.
When you're expecting, there's a lot of planning involved. From thinking about possible names to picking out colors for the baby room to baby clothes shopping, awaiting your new "bundle of joy" is an exciting time. While you're getting ready for baby, your health plays a huge role - not just for you, but for your baby, too. Feel free to share our tips with (new) moms, if they're curious as to what's covered by an FSA!
Here are 3 ways to prepare for your baby with a Flexible Spending Account:
1. While you eagerly await your baby's arrival, you'll likely be visiting different medical specialists and might be wondering what's covered by a Flexible Spending Account. A lot of services are, but it's good to contact your FSA administrator to find out more details - and what's allowed under your specific FSA plan. FSAstore.com has an FSA Eligibility List that mentions services & products covered by FSAs, as well.
Use an FSA for the following services:
- Breastfeeding classes
- Gynecologist visits
- Baby sitting- could be covered under a Dependent Care FSA, but not a Healthcare FSA.
- Birthing classes- could be partially covered with an FSA, as long as these relate to childbirth itself including breathing techniques, stages of labor, labor and delivery procedures and more.
- A birthing coach could be covered by a Flexible Spending Account, if that coach is necessary for treatment or assistance with a medical condition (Letter of Medical Necessity is needed).
2. A variety of Baby Care products are also covered by Flexible Spending Accounts.
SHOP FOR MEDELA with your Flexible Spending Account
- Prenatal vitamins
- Breastfeeding accessories include breast milk storage bottles or bags, and breast pump bustier.
- Baby sunscreenis covered, as long as it's SPF 15+.
- Baby thermometers are covered by an FSA.
- Baby saline spray and baby nasal aspirators are covered.
3. Baby care products covered with a prescription
Not all baby care products are easily available with a Flexible Spending Account, and some require a prescription for FSA reimbursement since these contain medical ingredients.
- Baby formula (for the treatment of a medical condition) - could be available with a Letter of Medical Necessity.
- Baby rash ointment - available with a prescription.
- Items NOT covered by a Flexible Spending Account include: baby oil and baby powder.
With your baby's health and wellness in mind, this is a great time to take a closer look at your Flexible Spending Account (FSA). Your tax-free funds are meant to cover products and equipment with a legitimate medical purpose and that includes many baby items! FSAstore.com is the perfect place to check out thousands of FSA eligible products for your baby and every member of your family and explore just how far your FSA can go to cover everyday medical expenses!
Here are a few FSA eligible items to consider for Baby Safety Month!
- Our Product spotlight this week is on Medela. If you're looking for breastfeeding supplies and accessories, check out Medela.
In the case of a cold or fever, a thermometer is a must-have for new parents to monitor the state of your baby's health and bring down the child's temperature. Thermometers are available in many styles, including in-ear, forehead, rectal and traditional designs, and can be reimbursed through an FSA.
Check out: Vicks Forehead Thermometer
Babies should be kept out of the sun completely before six months of age, as their skin is far too sensitive to handle excessive sun exposure. In fact, just one sunburn during childhood can dramatically increase your son or daughter's chances for melanoma later in life, so proper sun care should be a major safety concern from the get-go. Sunscreen is FSA eligible, so be sure to find a product with broad spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays, water resistance and a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or above.
A stuffy nose when your baby has a cold or a continual congestion can obstruct breathing and cause general discomfort. When your baby is born, you will most likely receive a traditional rubber bulb nasal aspirator from the hospital, but there are many less invasive designs available that are easier to use and can ease your baby's nasal congestion quickly and easily.
Which pre-tax option is right for you?
Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) are not always cut from the same cloth. When you begin work with an employer who offers this benefit, you will have to make some difficult choices regarding your plan, especially if you and your spouse have children or family members at home to take care of.
The most common FSA is the HealthCare FSA (HCFSA) that covers common medical procedures, co-payments, prescription drugs and over-the-counter products. However, parents and caretakers may also consider the Dependent Care FSA (DCFSA), which covers childcare and and maybe even care for family members who are incapable of self-care.
Here’s how to figure out which option is ideal for your budget and any future expenses:
HealthCare FSAs (HCFSA)
Popular among single individuals and families alike, there’s a lot to love about medical FSAs and their ability to cover a huge range of medical products and services. An FSA holder can allocate up to $2,500 each year with regular payroll deductions that can be spent on everything from bandages to contact lenses to medical co-payments. Many workers have until December 31 of each year (a popular FSA deadline) to use these funds before they disappear, but some employers will adhere to the IRS’s grace period regulations that extend the deadline until March 31. Recent legislation also allows account holders to roll over up to $500 into the following year’s FSA if it is not spent by the deadline.
Aside from being able to purchase a wide variety of FSA eligible products, a HealthCare FSA is essentially a tax deduction that reduces your adjusted gross income (AGI) and the amount of money you pay in taxes each month. While the account does not cover insurance premiums, long-term care coverage or expenses from another health plan, it’s extremely versatile and has nearly unlimited uses for the modern family.
Dependent Care FSAs (DCFSA)
Families with small children or those who care for an elderly family member will find DCFSAs rather intriguing, as these accounts will cover eligible dependent expenses that can be very significant over the course of a year. A DCFSA will cover child care for children up to age 13, as well as day care for anyone you list on your federal tax return as a dependent who is physically or mentally incapable of providing for his or her own care. This money is intended to assist you with these expenses while you and your spouse are gainfully employed.
Additionally, parents who are looking into DCFSAs to cover childcare may also want to investigate the childcare tax credit. According to Baby Center, the IRS will refund up to 20 to 35 percent of up to $3,000 for one child, and $6,000 if you have two or more kids. These numbers are dictated by your AGI: individuals with an AGI of $15,000 or below will receive the full credit, while higher AGIs will have smaller tax credits as household incomes rise.
Which is ideal for my situation?
After going through the fine print of what each kind of FSA entails, you have to be honest about your financial situation and find out which plan offers the most value with your yearly take-home pay. For most people, choosing one or the other makes the most sense depending on their needs at home and yearly medical expenses. Ultimately, the more money you put into an FSA, the more you’ll be able to get out of it, which directly influences higher income individuals.
However, those who are at lower income levels may find that their best option is to avoid the FSA route altogether and instead opt for the IRS’s childcare tax credit for better overall value over the course of a year. After all, an FSA is only beneficial to those who have the money to allocate to it and needs over the course of a year to make it worthwhile and realize savings, so tax credits may prove to be more valuable for some working families.
Each of these routes has their own unique benefits and disadvantages, so it may be wise to sit down with a financial professional to effectively calculate which route will give you the biggest bang for your buck. You can also visit FSAstore.com and check out our FSA Calculator to get a better sense of your yearly health spending and how an FSA can factor into your future plans!