They say, "Beware the Ides of March," but around here, we see things a little differently. That's because it's the March 15 FSA grace period deadline, a golden opportunity to make the most of your leftover 2017 funds.
We've been making a lot of buying suggestions lately -- many of them "bigger-ticket" items. But if you only have a few FSA dollars left, and they're burning a hole in your pocket, here are some low-cost, big-value ways to use every last bit before the clock runs out.
Perfect for sore knees and thighs. Use it at the gym, the office, at home, to let you work or play comfortably. This flexible wrap stays in place, even during a workout. Stick it in the freezer for cooling relief, or pop it in the microwave for penetrating heat. The pack holds its temperature for a full 20 minutes so you get fast, effective pain relief, perfect after exercise, or just for tired knees.
Speaking of soreness, talk to your doc about glucosamine supplements that contain calcium, vitamin D, and soy to help maintain healthy bone and joint function. If you have arthritis, this dietary supplement may support joint flexibility, cartilage maintenance and bone health. The best part? There's no prescription needed.
Don't forget your lips. As one of the most sun-sensitive parts of the body, this all-in-one lip treatment, with delicious peppermint vanilla flavor, moisturizes your skin and covers you with SPF 30 broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection. The vitamin- and antioxidant-enriched formula soothes and nourishes, while fruit butters like raspberry and avocado hydrate your lips.
The TheraBand Foot Roller is designed to provide quick relief from foot aches and soreness. The foot roller is an affordable, simple, and effective tool, with ridges that deliver a therapeutic foot massage. The 1.5" diameter increases flexibility by stretching your feet and toes which helps blood flow. The foot roller can also be chilled to assist in immediate pain relief.
While we're discussing feet, Profoot's Super Sport orthotic design helps eliminate fatigue and foot aches by providing solid support to the heel and arch. The new advanced-gel insert absorbs shock and helps make any shoe feel like a comfy pair of sneakers.
Let's face it, you never think about contact lens cases… until you actually need them. This 3-pack ensures you'll never wonder how you're going to store and clean your lenses, at home or on the road.
Have a rollover instead of a grace period? If you have a good chunk of money left over, and decided to roll it over into your 2018 FSA funds, good for you! The rollover option is a huge advantage for FSA owners who might want to put their tax-free funds toward something else.
Hopefully, you budgeted your 2017 dollars perfectly, and have zeroed out your balance (or rolled over the funds you need for 2018). But, if you have a few bucks remaining, don't let them just sit there and expire. It's your money, don't lose it!!
We don't want to be too dramatic, and scream, "Your FSA grace period ends on March 15!" But, with just two days remaining….
"YOUR FSA GRACE PERIOD ENDS ON MARCH 15!"
Let's take a collective breath because there's still time to use these tax-free dollars before the clock runs out. And to help you along, we've created a quick checklist to help you make sure your bases are covered before midnight on Thursday!
So, if you're a last-minute FSA shopper, read on, and avoid forfeiting your hard-earned flex dollars. Get that pencil ready and start checking!
The grace period deadline checklist
_____ 1) Make sure you have a grace period. Because it's only available to FSA users whose employers have chosen this option for their FSA programs. (If it turns out you don't have a grace period, skip ahead to the next section - there's still some items to consider!)
_____ 2) Know your balance. Visit your online FSA management portal (or call your benefits administrator) to find out exactly how much you have left to spend from your 2017 funds.
_____ 3) Take stock of your home's medical supplies. Running low on first aid items? Want a way to bounce back from workout soreness? Ready for the oncoming allergy season? Use your flex dollars to stay ahead of potential health needs.
_____ 4) Get organized! Have any receipts you need to submit for doctor appointments or specialist visits? Have these itemized and ready to submit before the deadline.
Also, if you don't have a grace period, but want to find some great deals on FSA-eligible items, consider shopping this week, anyway. Because we're running some FANTASTIC sales.
The "run-out" period checklist
While checking off the items above, you may have learned your FSA also has a "run-out" period, which ends on March 31. But, despite the similar concepts, the run-out period is not the same as the grace period.
Instead, the March 31 run-out deadline is your last chance to file claims from 2017. These are only for claims made before the March 15 deadline and you can't incur any new expenses with 2017 FSA funds after your grace period deadline.
In other words, do your FSA shopping and have your eligible medical visits by March 15. Then have the paperwork submitted to your benefits administrator by March 31. To make this easier, let's do another checklist:
_____ 1) See what's eligible. Have you paid for FSA-eligible items with cash or a credit card recently? Use our expansive Eligibility List to find out if you can be reimbursed for these purchases. Then submit your receipts/invoices in a claim to your benefits administrator before the run-out period deadline.
_____ 2) Get those invoices. Need to be reimbursed for a past doctor's appointment co-pay? You may be able to contact your physician for an invoice you can use for submitting a claim.
_____ 3) Plan ahead for 2018. Use these deadlines as an opportunity to better organize receipts and proofs of payment, so this is a breeze next year!
To make this even easier, let our team help you stay ahead of deadlines with our FSA Tracker! We'll send you email updates throughout your plan year to help you stay on top of FSA spending.
This week, instead of diving into consumer healthcare news, we're going to talk shop about our favorite FSA-eligible products. That's because we don't just sell this stuff -- we use it! On a standard day in FSAstore.com headquarters, you'll see someone relaxing with an eye therapy mask, typing with arthritis pain gloves, or blowing their nose with Boogie Wipes.
We've added a bunch of new products in 2018, and in addition to being big sellers. Here are some of our favorites, just in time for the March 15th grace period deadline.
Our FSAstore.com extended family is growing every week, thanks to our most-exciting new arrivals -- babies! FSAs cover a huge range of hi-tech health products, and one of our most exciting new additions is the Owlet Smart Sock 2 Baby Monitor.
This innovative device is worn around the baby's foot during sleep and takes heart rate readings and oxygen levels. It's also compatible with both iPhone and Android devices and notifies parents if these levels fall outside of comfortable ranges.
Heartburn and acid reflux can pop up from time to time. This is an issue for millions of Americans, and sleep position can contribute to the severity and frequency of digestive acid issues.
The MedCline Reflux Relief system has been validated in five independent clinical trials, and the components work together to comfortably create and maintain the ideal inclined and left-side sleep position for 100% natural reflux relief.
Plus, we have to mention the patented arm pocket that keeps you from sliding downward while you sleep, so you can rest on your side, and remove pressure off your arm and shoulder. It's unbelievably comfortable, and works really well.
Our team's skin is flawless. Mostly because it's raining sun care products in our office. But sometimes, more advanced treatments are necessary. Light therapy has become an increasingly popular acne treatment for those looking for a drug-free solution to frequent acne breakouts.
The dpl II Professional Acne Treatment system uses varying light wavelengths to eliminate bacteria at the skin level to clear acne and other skin imperfections naturally! Best of all, this therapy can treat your full face, neck, chest, hands and back in under 10 minutes.
If you use CPAP equipment because of nighttime breathing issues like sleep apnea, you know how difficult it is to keep these various components clean.
The SoClean CPAP Cleaning and Sanitizing Machine has been one of our hottest sellers of 2018. It sanitizes and disinfects your CPAP accessories like your mask, hose, and water reservoir (including the water inside) without needing to take any pieces apart! Phew.
With the FSA grace period ending on March 15, we've seen a boost in social media activity, as FSA users look to spend their remaining funds before the deadline.
We're here to answer the most-popular FSA grace period questions to help you better manage your FSA money. These are just a few of the most-commonly asked questions, but the answers can help equip you with the knowledge to make this a successful March deadline.
"If I purchase an Rx item, where do I send the prescription?"
Over-the-counter products that contain medicated ingredients - such as Tylenol, Advil, Claritin and even some cough drops - require a doctor's prescription for FSA reimbursement. In most stores, you need to hand your prescription to the pharmacist and you will be able to use your FSA card with the prescription number you get.
However, if you shop on FSAstore.com, we have a easy Prescription Process that requests prescriptions from your doctor on your behalf, so you can quickly make your purchase without any hassle.
"If I retire this year, what happens to the leftover balance in my account?"
If you're planning to retire and you're enrolled in an FSA, you should spend the money before leaving your position. If you don't, your unspent money will go back to your employer.
If you've been keeping track of your FSA balance and spending throughout the year, hopefully there won't be much leftover. If you need some inspiration for new ways to use your remaining balance, check out our hi-tech health and surprisingly eligible goodies collections.
"What specific health practitioners can sign a Letter of Medical Necessity?"
Medical products and services that fall outside of FSA eligibility rules like massage therapy and calcium supplements can still be eligible with a Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN) from a doctor. However, your plan administrator can still approve or deny the expense.
"What's the difference between the FSA grace period and run-out period?"
Let's tackle this as simply as possible: the FSA grace period is your last chance to spend, the "run-out" period is your last chance to file claims.
The FSA grace period gives you 2.5 months after the end of your plan year to spend your remaining FSA funds from the previous year. So if your plan usually ends on December 31, you would have until March 15 to spend the last of your 2017 funds.
The run-out period is an option offered by your employer to submit claims from the previous year. This will give you a chance to be reimbursed for any outstanding medical expenses you incurred during 2017 and forgot to submit for reimbursement. Check with your benefits administrator to see if this option is offered to you (since not all plans have it) and to find out how much time you have to submit expenses.
"So, can I use 2018 FSA funds to pay for 2017 expenses?"
Employers have the option to elect either a 2.5 month grace period or a $500 rollover option to help you not lose your funds. This may mean spending 2017 funds in 2018.
For example, if you have a plan year beginning in January 2017 that ends in December runs into 2017, you may be able to use those FSA funds during the FSA grace period that ends on March 15 2018. Check with your plan administrator to see if you have the grace period option.
Those with a traditional 12/31 deadline have to spend down their funds by this date. Those with FSA rollover can move up to $500 of their remaining funds into their 2018 FSA totals.
Now the 12/31 FSA deadline has passed, we have a bit of breathing room here at FSAstore.com before we ramp up for the next big deadline, the FSA Grace Period, coming on March 15! But, before we get to that, let's read about the employee benefit trends that may affect you in 2018.
Whether you're a manager or an entry-level employee, knowing what's out there in terms of employee benefits and health coverage can help you make more informed choices in the future and get the maximum bang for your buck. Here's what to look out for in 2018.
20 Companies with the Best Benefits - Nick Otto, Employee Benefit News
Looking for a new job in 2018? You may want to look at these companies first. Employee Benefit News used data from Glassdoor Economic Research to build a list of American companies that go above and beyond for their employees in terms of health/dental/vision insurance, vacation/paid time off, retirement planning, and maternity/paternity leave.
On-Trend: 9 Voluntary Benefit Trends for 2018 - Nick Park, BenefitsPro
Today, health coverage, PTO and retirement planning are common employee benefits. It's voluntary benefits options that have become key for attracting new talent. BenefitsPro compiled a list of the most popular trends to expect in 2018, including student loan assistance, identity theft protection, personal financial planning, and more.
The 15 Biggest HR Challenges of 2018 - Nick Otto, Employee Benefit News
On the other side of the benefits discussion are the concerns faced by HR professionals, who directly communicate changes and updates to workers. Many of these HR trends reflect today's evolving workplace, including placing an emphasis on diversity and inclusion, curbing workplace harassment, and other relevant issues.
If you are like many people with FSAs, the end of the year deadline can bring with it a mad rush to spend your leftover funds, so you don't lose them. This tax-free money is a great way to cover qualified health-related spending, while enjoying savings on taxable income. But waiting to spend right before the deadline might just lead to losing the funds if you're not careful.
For 2018, use these simple tips to plan ahead with your FSAs. As you'll learn, they don't have to be a year-end burden -- in fact, they're opportunities to save on the products you need, with the tax-free money you've already set aside year-round.
Make a spending plan your New Year's resolution
If you head into a new tax and employment year understanding what your paycheck contributions will be for your FSA account, you already have a key piece of planning in place for knowing how much you have available to spend in any given month.
The FSA contribution limit in 2018 will be $2,650, which comes out to about $221 per month.
If your medical expenses are straightforward, here are two easy rules of thumb for choosing an FSA amount:
- If your out-of-pocket medical bills typically amount to $221 a month or more — or roughly $2,650 a year — consider contributing the maximum to your FSA.
- If you don't contribute the maximum, consider adding $200-300 per month.
- If your medical expenses are lower, calculating the total of your estimated copayments, dental and vision expenses for next year should cover your needs.
And you probably don't want to try and zero-out your FSA funds on a monthly basis so your account does have some money available for unexpected expenses. Like when your entire extended family catches a seasonal flu … at the same time … and requires a huge amount of over-the-counter decongestants.
What you can do is take stock of FSA-eligible items you know you purchase regularly from basic medicine cabinet restocking or maybe just a replacement of reading glasses that get lost like clockwork.
The goal with a spending plan is to prepare regular purchases in advance on a regular basis – maybe monthly, maybe every other month or even just quarterly – which figure into your regular FSA fund contribution levels, while leaving some room for unexpected emergencies.
Avoiding the end-of-year crunch
This way you will be consistently spending that money that has the yearly use-it-or-lose-it deadline on items you know you'll be needing throughout the year anyway. Doing so will avoid a total crunch at the end of next year and will keep your contributions going toward FSA-eligible products.
Anyone making that end-of-year mass purchase right now is probably thinking back on the number of items that were bought out of pocket that could have been purchased using FSA funds with a little more planning.
In fact, if you're scrambling to spend this year's FSA contributions before the deadline hits, once that task is complete take a few more minutes and put together a spending plan for next year.
You've already put thought into what you regularly need and done the research on different products that are FSA-eligible. There are probably a few in the mix you didn't even realize qualified for FSA spending. Check out our eligibility list for a complete listing of FSA-eligible products and services.
It's your money. Use it to ensure continued health and wellness for 2018 and beyond.
If you have an end-of year FSA deadline, what are you still doing here? You only have two days to shop with your available funds before you lose them!
This is a particularly busy time of year for personal finance journalists, as well. This week, we were lucky enough to be mentioned in a series of pieces regarding this all-important FSA deadline. (And we even contributed our own views to a few publications as well.)
So as we close out 2017, let's recap some of our best media hits from the past week -- all of which can help you gear up and spend down, just in time for the 12/31 deadline.
Employee Benefit News - "What to tell workers about FSAs before the end of the year" - Jeremy Miller
Our CEO and founder, Jeremy Miller, was published in Employee Benefit News this week with tips for HR and benefits professionals. FSAs are often plagued by confusion among employers, and Jeremy outlined some simple strategies that can make a real difference around FSA deadlines to help employees get every financial benefit from their accounts.
CBS News - "Don't let your flexible spending account money vanish" - Ray Martin
We think our website's Eligibility List is the best in the business, and we're thrilled that CBS News agrees! After you've read this great rundown of end-of-year flex spending tips, follow the link to our Eligibility List to check out the eligibility status of thousands of medical products and services.
Consumer Reports - "It's time to spend your flexible spending account money" - Donna Rosato
We received another mention in an article by Consumer Reports, which you might know as one of the most popular consumer advocate publications in the U.S. In addition to important information about the deadline, the article also covers the primary differences between FSAs and HSAs, helpful links to IRS documents, and a link to our home page!
Happy New Year from all of us at FSAstore.com and HSAstore.com! For the latest info about your health and financial wellness, be sure to follow our Learning Center, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages.
The holidays are a time for giving, and for many people part of that giving spirit is contributing to a charity (or charities) of choice. And that's awesome.
But one place where you want to avoid being "too giving" is with your FSA account. Not only can't you use FSA funds to gift products or services to others (your FSA can only be used on you or your qualifying dependents), but your unspent FSA money doesn't go to a deserving charity -- it's used for an entirely different purpose.
What happens if you don't spend FSA funds?
Unlike HSAs, FSA funds don't rollover from year-to-year and are instead subject to what is typically called the "use it or lose it" rule.
That money doesn't just disappear. Whatever funds are unused go back to your employer. Now, to be fair, employers don't necessarily want the money back - the IRS requires they get it back. In these situations, it's used to balance losses that happen when employees overspend their accounts and then leave a company. This money helps the company offset the loss.
It's certainly a good use of money for the company, but there are no direct benefits to you. Ask yourself this: Would you donate your paycheck for your company's other financial gaps? Unless the answer is "yes" it's time to start putting your FSA money toward better things.
What to do? Get to spending!
If your plan has a December 31 spending deadline, guess what? That's just weeks away, so take a look at your FSA account. If you have funds remaining, FSAStore.com has ways you can make sure you're not losing out on the opportunity to spend wisely.
If you're not sure where to start to zero out that FSA account before the deadline, here are a few out-of-the-box ideas:
- If you use any medical devices with replaceable parts, make sure you have all your required supplies. For example, blood glucose test strips or breast milk storage pouches.
- Why not get a spare pair of reading glasses?
- Need some help with family planning? Fertility testing kits and condoms are both FSA-eligible.
The key takeaway is to remember that FSA funds are yours -- and there are a ton of uses you might not have even considered. If you are at risk of losing your FSA funds by December 31, browse through our growing list of more than 4,000 eligible items for your health and wellness.
In the end, make sure that zero balance in your account at the end of the year is because you spent every penny you contributed, and not because you missed out on a fantastic opportunity.
As you might know, the end-of-year FSA deadline is fast approaching! While your plan may offer a 2.5 month grace period or a $500 rollover into next year's plan, many account holders will have to spend down their FSA dollars before December 31.
If you have FSA dollars remaining and want to use them before the deadline, our exciting bundles can help you get a broad range of products you need, conveniently packaged and priced.
Here are our customers' favorite bundles:
Not sure what you'll need in terms of FSA eligible products for the coming months? Want a variety of items for the whole family? The Family Essentials Bundle covers everyone in the family. This bundle has first aid kits, various hot and cold pain relief packs, thermometers and more.
Tackle cold and flu symptoms
Cold and flu season is here. Chances are you or a loved one may come down with a cold this winter. The Winter Relief Bundle has everything you need to clear nasal congestion, which includes a Neti pot, saline spray, nasal gel and a steam inhaler. This is also a great bundle for allergy sufferers.
Winter sun care and year-round sun care
Are you planning a getaway to a tropical location in the winter or spring? Your FSA covers a huge range of qualifying sunscreens and sun protection products, so use this opportunity to update your sun care regimen.
If you prefer a mineral sunscreen option instead of regular sunscreen, the MDSolarSciences Bundle is a great option. These sunscreens are great for everyday wear, and keep you protected from harmful UVA/UVB rays.
Likewise, the Neutrogena Sunscreen Bundle includes sunscreens varying from SPF 30-75, sprays, dry touch/wet skin application options, and more.
If you're traveling this winter or gearing up for warmer weather travel soon, the compact travel sunscreen bundle is great for the road. The bundle has a variety of sunscreens in convenient travel sizes.
Keep your eyes healthy
If you wear contact lenses or glasses, there is a steady stream of accessories and products needed to maintain your vision correction methods, so why not prepare for the year ahead all at once?
The Eye Care Bundle contains everything you need to support you and your family's eye health, including eyeglass wipes/cleaning cloths, contact lens solution, re-wetting drops, lens cases, and even a hot/cold eye therapy mask!
Take care of baby
Got a little one on the way? There are plenty of preparations to make before you become new parents, but safeguarding your baby's health should be your top priority. Our Baby Care Bundle can help new moms and dads tackle the most common health issues of newborns and toddlers, which includes a nasal aspirator/filters, digital pacifier thermometer, baby sunblock and other essentials.
For those looking for something more advanced, The Hi-Tech Baby Bundle comes with a CliniCloud Connected Medical Kit (thermometer and stethoscope in one), a baby movement monitor, and all the items you need to stay on top of your baby's well-being.
Get pain relief for your entire body
The Pain Relief Bundle alleviates aches and pains, whether it's headaches, migraines, neck pain or more. This bundle contains a variety of heat wraps/cold packs, a hot/cold therapy eye mask, kinesiology tape, and cooling soft gel sheets.
And of course, you can track your ongoing health needs using our Hi-Tech Health Bundle syncs up to your smartphone with a smartphone-compatible thermometer, blood pressure monitor and TENS unit.
Got the 12/31 FSA deadline? For many FSA users, it is their last chance to spend FSA funds before remaining funds are forfeited.
Do you have a 12/31 FSA deadline? December 31 will be here before you know it, which for many FSA users is their last chance to spend FSA funds before remaining funds are forfeited. While employers do have the option of offering a 2.5 month grace period or allow employees to roll over up to $500 after this date, the end of 2016 is crunch time for FSA holders!
Don't lose a cent of your hard-earned cash! If you're looking for ways to spend down your allocations, break out your FSA card and shop for thousands ofFSA eligible products at FSAstore.com!
Here are a few of our favorites for the upcoming 12/31 FSA deadline:
Saline Nose Wipes
Cold & flu season is here. Instead of going through boxes upon boxes of tissues that can irritate the skin around your nose, opt for soothing saline nasal wipes to relieve your worst congestion symptoms.
You can never have enough bandages around the house when mishaps large and small take place. As long as they are in a cool, dry place, bandages have a nearly unlimited shelf life, so now is the perfect time to re-up!
First Aid Kits
Is your home's first aid kit up to par? Or, do you have one in your car, boat or RV for emergency situations? Your FSA can cover a huge range of qualifying first aid kits to give you confidence in any dicey situation.
Blood pressure monitor
FSAs cover a wide range of diagnostic products, but those who have been diagnosed with hypertension or have a history of heart disease should consider a blood pressure monitor. Many of these products are smartphone-compatible, and they can provide a long-term picture of one's blood pressure numbers to improve the patient's overall treatment.
Whether you're still using traditional glass thermometers or another device is at the end of its lifespan, your FSA can cover a worthy replacement! Pick the perfect thermometer to suit you or a loved one's needs that measures temperature through the ear, mouth, forehead and other areas quickly and accurately.
Check Out: Mabis Instant Ear Thermometer
While the December 31 deadline may not have you thinking about fun in the sun, the sun's rays are still potent during outdoor activities in winter. Also, if you have a vacation on the horizon, this is the perfect time to pick up what you'll need to provide optimal sun care for you and your loved ones.
Check Out: La Roche Posay Sun Care
Stay on top of your eye care regimen with an FSA. Ifyou wear reading or prescription eyeglasses, shop awide range of FSA eligible eyeglass accessories. Keep your lenses clear and enhance your eyewear lifespan with lens cleaning wipes.
Don't hurt your inner ears with cotton swabs ever again! An ear unclogger is the safest method to clear the Eustachian tubes through the body's own natural mechanism for clearing ears.
Check Out: Eustachi Ear Unclogger
Flexible elastic bandages are extremely helpful in the event of muscle/joint sprains. They can also help stabilize an affected area to promote the healing process.
Check Out: ACE 3" Self-Adhering Elastic Bandage
These FSA eligible items come in a wide range of colors and styles to suit any lifestyle.
Need even more shopping inspiration? Browse our 2016 End of Year Popular Product Guide!
Have a December 31 FSA plan year deadline? Spend FSA dollars with these popular items from different categories at FSAstore.com.
Still have a few leftover FSA dollars to spend? Not to worry! You have a little bit more time, but if you need some inspiration, below is a list of some new and popular categories with FSA eligible products to help you.
Spend FSA dollars before December 31:
Dermatological. Browse our new dermatologist-recommended sun care products from popular brands including La Roche Posay and Vichy. Looking for mineral sunscreen? Learn more and shop for MDSolarSciences. An FSA covers sunscreen with an SPF of 15+. Shop for Dermatological Sunscreen at FSAstore.com.
Goodies. If you have some remaining FSA money, but aren't quite sure what to get, our Goodies category is full of popular items that many people may not have realized are covered by an FSA. Some items in this category include pain relief hot/cold therapy packs, KT Tape athletic treatment, first aid kits, and more.
Shop for Goodies at FSAstore.com
Travel. Planning on travel early in the new year? Or, maybe you have plans for in the spring? No matter when you plan to travel, your FSA can come in handy for you for items including sunscreen, first-aid kits including from Adventure Medical Kits for the road, acupressure wristbands from Psi Bands, orthopedic neck supports, and more.
Shop for Travel Essentials at FSAstore.com
Contact Lenses. Did you know your FSA can cover different eye care items? You can use an FSA for visits to the opthalmologist or to get an annual eye exam, or to get prescription eyeglasses, but also for contact lenses and contact lens care.
Shop for Contact Lenses with your FSA
Hi-Tech Health products. Looking for healthcare items that connect with a smartphone to track your vitals? Our Hi-Tech Health category has just that with blood pressure monitors including from Qardio (that connect to your smartphone), thermometers from Kinsa and more. You can alsobuy Icy HotTENS therapy units for pain relief, and drug-free acne treatment through laser therapy from reVive.
Shop from our Hi-Tech Health category
Not sure when your FSA deadline is? Contact your HR department or your FSA administrator, or consult your Summary Plan Description for more details about your FSA plan.
Have a year-end FSA deadline? Get spending tips from FSAstore.com CEO's and learn more about your FSA!
By Jeremy Miller, CEO & Founder of FSAstore.com and HSAstore.com
Open enrollment is a done deal for many companies, but employees – especially those who are facing a year-end flexible spending account deadline – still need support and direction from human resources and benefits professionals.
Recent surveys have shown that consumers still don't fully understand how their spending accounts work and, more importantly, that they look to their employers as a source of education and information about how to use their accounts. You can improve employee education, engagement and satisfaction with your company's FSA by reminding employees of these key spending account tips and reminders.
1. When is the deadline to submit expenses?
For many employers, December 31 is the deadline for employees to spend down FSA funds – or risk forfeiting unused dollars. This is commonly known as the “Use-it-or-lose-it" rule.
2. Is there an extension for spending FSA dollars?
Be sure to communicate clearly (and often) if your company offers one of the following plan features that give employees extra time to spend down their FSA or submit expenses for reimbursement:
- Carryover or Rollover Option: This allows employees to carry over up to $500 of unused FSA dollars to the next plan year. This amount is added to their balance for the next year.
- Grace Period: A grace period gives employees two-and-a-half months beyond December 31 (until March 15) to incur expenses and spend unused FSA dollars.
- Run-Out Period: A run-out period gives employees additional time (usually 90 days) beyond the end of the plan year to submit reimbursement requests for eligible expenses, but only if those expenses were incurred during the plan year.
Employers can offer the carryover option or a grace period, but not both. Your company is not required to offer either of these options, but if your plan includes an extended deadline, that means employees have more time and flexibility to use their accounts, so be sure they understand this benefit.
As the FSA deadline approaches on June 30th for spending the money in your Flexible Spending Account, FSAstore.com offers a convenient and simple solution.
Do you have an FSA plan year deadline on June 30th?
With the June 30th deadline for spending the money in your Flexible Spending Account fast approaching, FSA Store is a quick and simple solution to making sure you take advantage of all of your money! If you have been spending your FSA account dollars throughout the year, you probably only have a small amount left in your account. Even so, you should attempt to use it all up so you don't lose any money.
We created a list of a few items you can buy at FSAstore.comwith remaining FSA dollars before your FSA deadline!
Not sure where to start or want to shop for a variety of items with your healthcare FSA?
Our popular Goodies category has surprising finds with your Flexible Spending Account, and covers a variety of items.
Shop for Goodies
$15 or less:
Buy with $15:
Perfect for sore knees and ankles, wrists and hands, shoulders and chest. Use it at the gym, the office, at home, to let you work or play comfortably.
Contains calcium, vitamin D, and soy to help maintain healthy bone and joint function. If you have arthritis, take this dietary supplement regularly to support joint flexibility, cartilage maintenance and bone health. No prescription needed.
Buy with $10:
With a large opening for inserting ice and water, this ice bag will stay cold for hours to keep your injury or pain point cold and relieved!
Despite the specific name, this pack comes with a variety of shapes and sizes to use on knees, elbows, noses, chins, etc. The absorbent island wound pad helps to keep dirt and other forms of contamination out.
Buy with $5:
A sun protected chap stick for use anywhere on your face, from your lips to ears and back of the neck. This is great for touching up your sunscreen in hard to reach places at least every 2 hours.
KT tape helps you endure multiple workouts by providing pain relief. It will stay in place for up to three days, even through showers, humidity, cold, and pool.
Have a lot more to spend before the FSA deadline, and not sure what products you'll want?
Or, if you have a lot of money left over and limited time before the deadline, you can view our Bundles!These are conveniently-packaged, similar products that come in a handy bundle (with a free tote). We sella variety of bundles depending on your healthcare needs - a family-friendly bundle, travel essentials, an eye care bundle, sun care bundle, pain relief bundle and more!
Shop a Bundle
In a time crunch to spend down your Flexible Spending Account? It's December 31 - the final day for many* (not all) FSA account holders to spend 2014 dollars.
If you still need ideas for products to browse with your FSA, check out our Ultimate Guide with FSA eligible products depending on your needs - everything from travel to baby care to active lifestyles.
How do you know if you have the Dec. 31 deadline?
Contact your FSA administrator. If you don't know how much money is left in your FSA account, or when your exact spending deadline is...call your FSA administrator today. If you're not sure who your FSA administrator is, you could ask your HR department.
10 Ways to Use your Flex Spending Account
To discover the 10 ways to still use your FSA dollars on healthcare products you'll need for 2015, you can also check out this Buzzfeed post for more ideas.
Know someone else with an FSA? Share the post to help them maximize on their remaining FSA money, before it's too late!
*If your FSA plan has a Carryover (up to $500 to the next plan year) or a Grace Period, you'll have additional time to use your FSA.