Flex Spending Account budgeting all year long

Imagine this for a moment...

You frantically sit down at your computer or step into your car and go off to the drugstore. You're scrambling to buy eligible products for your Flexible Spending Account. You have to spend your FSA funds in the next 24 hours or else you'll lose them. You wonder what you'll buy in bulk this time - eyeglasses, contact solution, or maybe Band-Aids.

Does this scenario sound familiar? It doesn't have to be this way.

Take simple steps to not risk losing your FSA dollars.

1. Carefully estimate your spending. Each year before you enroll in your FSA, calculate how much you think you'll spend on qualified medical expenses. Our FSA Calculator can help you estimate your health spending!

The calculation takes into account:

  • Out-of-pocket expenses such as co-pays and deductibles for medical services including routine office visits, specialist office visits, and even hospitalization or acupuncture.
  • Over-the-counter FSA eligible items and prescriptions (Rx).
  • Dental care and vision care.

2. Buy items online as you need them* - look for seasonal care, over-the-counter FSA items that you use often, and discover just how many products are FSA eligible. You may not realize that sunscreen and hot and cold packs and thermometers are FSA eligible items, and the selection goes on.

*Certain over-the-counter products will require a prescription to be reimbursed under your FSA.

By planning ahead, you'll easily avoid buying products in bulk (or stockpiling) and instead enjoy a variety of items - rather than ending up with 10 pairs of eyeglasses, or countless boxes of Band-Aids.

3. Consider how FSA Services tap into your expenses. Need to schedule a visit with a chiropractor or dentist for a procedure? You can use your FSA towards those expenses, as long as the procedure is medically necessary. Find out about FSA Eligible Services through our section where you can also access information for local providers.

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