7 Tips to make the most of your Flexible Spending Account
7 Ways to Maximize Your FSA Account
Though it's only March, it's important to think about your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) throughout the year.
You maximize what you put into the account when you use it for different out-of-pocket expenses. Your FSA is very versatile - you can use it to buy common healthcare products like first-aid kits and contact lens solution, to buy surprising items like defibrillators and sunscreen, to cover co-pays and deductibles at the doctor's office, to visit specialists not covered by your health insurance...and more!
Think about the medical exams or services you'll need during the year. You'll likely schedule annual dental visits and eye checkups. How about a yearly physical? These are all expenses that your FSA can cover.
But, above all else, here are few tips to consider to make the most of your plan year-round:
Understand your FSA
Your FSA administrator knows all the specifics of your FSA - whether you want to know what your your remaining balance is, have a question about eligibility, or checking your claims status.
You can also discover eligible products and services by searching the FSA Store FSA Eligibility List.
Confirm your deadlines
It's easy to lose track of deadlines sometimes when you already have so many other deadlines to remember! You can easily discover your FSA deadline by checking in with your FSA administrator or by viewing your information online.
Understand FSA plan extensions
Though Flexible Spending Accounts have firm deadlines by which you must use your money, your FSA plan could have a Grace Period or Carryover option (up to $500 carried over to the next plan year), or even a Run-Out Period. It's important to know if your plan has these, as they add a bit more flexibility and time to spend your money, or additional time to submit claims (Run-Out period).
Watch our video explaining the FSA Carryover vs. Grace Period
Use your FSA card
If you have an FSA (debit) card, it allows you to pay for eligible health care expenses and shop FSAstore.com while avoiding submitting paperwork and receipts. Purchases with an FSA card are substantiated automatically. If something is not considered as an FSA eligible expense under your plan guidelines, your card does not get charged. It's not a bad idea to hold on to receipts though, in case you ever need to substantiate a claim.
Stretch your contributions
Remember that you can put up to $2,550 in an FSA account. How much you can contribute is determined by what your specific plan allows for the maximum. If you and your spouse have access to separate FSA accounts, each of you can take advantage of the $2,550 cap.
Ask about life changes
Ask your FSA administrator about changes to your FSA contribution. Sometimes, if you've had a qualifying event (having a baby, getting married, switching jobs, etc.), you can change your FSA contribution in the middle of the year. Not every FSA plan allows for these, so it's best to ask your FSA administrator if this is something that your plan allows.
Read more about changes in employment and how these might affect your FSA.
Shop & Save on products with your FSA
Take advantage of special promotions on everyday health products at FSA Store. Sign up on the FSAstore.com homepage to receive special discounts and offers throughout the year.