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5 FSA savings tips for the year
Ahead of Tax Day, Bloomberg released a tax-related article discussing ways in which you can maximize your savings, including those with a Flexible Spending Account, or an FSA.
While it may be too late to consider some of these strategies right now, Bloomberg emphasizes: "Every year, millions of taxpayers miss out on chances to lower their tax bills. They miss deductions or don't exploit tax breaks designed to lower the costs of education, retirement, and health care."
An FSA is the perfect example of a tax break that you shouldn't miss out on. You can save up to 40% on medical expenses including dental and vision care, medical services and thousands of everyday products like contact lenses, prescription eyeglasses, hot/cold therapy packs, band-aids and baby care items like thermometers, and breast pumps.
Even if you already have an FSA - and though you don't need to do anything extra for tax purposes with an FSA - you can still keep the following tips in mind to make the most of your FSA plan throughout the year.
Make the most of your FSA
1. Understand & Discover Covered Expenses
When you sign up for an FSA, you learn about available expenses covered by the plan including eye care and dental care. However, there are many more available medical services and thousands of products that qualify for an FSA. Your individual FSA will outline specifically what's covered, though if you'd like to browse and search for available expenses, take a look at our FSA Eligibility List. If you're ever not sure about a covered expense, it's best to reach out to your FSA administrator for more information.
2. Keep track of deadlines
Every FSA plan year has a specific deadline. These deadlines vary depending on the start date of your plan year, and also on if you have a deadline extension including a Grace Period. Some FSA plans may now have a Carryover option - up to $500 can be carried over to the next plan year. It's important to keep track of these deadlines and extensions, so you're maximizing what you contributed and to make sure you don't lose your contributions!
Have an FSA Store account? Sign up for the FSA Tracker to avoid missing important deadlines!
3. Submit Claims for your FSA
Be sure to submit claims on time. If you have an FSA debit card, you won't need to submit additional paperwork. It is a good idea to hold on to any receipts, just in case you need to substantiate a claim or explain an expense.
Learn more about what you can buy with your FSA card
4. Sign up for Multiple FSAs
If you and your spouse have access to different FSA accounts from work, signing up for them separately gives you access to up to $2,550 per person. That's a great way to save on out-of-pocket healthcare costs.
5. Ask about Qualifying Events
If you experienced big life changes - a new job, getting married, having a baby - you might be able to change how much you contribute to your FSA. Ask your FSA administrator if your plan allows for changes due to these "qualifying events," and ask when you would be able to change the contribution amount.