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Do I have the FSA Grace Period?
"I keep hearing about it, but don't know if a Grace Period applies to my FSA. What isaGrace Period? How do I know if I have one?
If you're asking yourself these questions, you're not the only one! Deadlines can be confusing, but once you learn more, that confusion will disappear.
At FSAstore.com, our goal is to make it easy to use and understand your FSA, so read on for more details!
For many people, their Flexible Spending Account (FSA) deadline ended on December 31. But, your FSA deadline may vary (this also depends on your employer and when your FSA plan year started), and some FSA plans are structured to have a Grace Period. This Grace Period provides for an additional two-and-a-half months following the last day of the plan year to spend your remaining funds AND incur new eligible expenses.
For example, if your plan ending in December has a Grace Period, then you'd be able to still use your remaining FSA money until March 15. If you're not certain about this deadline, it's best to ask your FSA administrator or your HR department at work to find out when your plan year ends and how much FSA money you have left for your plan year.
"I also heard about a carryover? What is that? Do I have one?"
The IRS and U.S. Treasury Department issued regulations that allow employers to give employees another option: to carry over up to $500 in FSA money to the following year. This doesn't apply to ALL FSAs, and it's again best to check in with your FSA administrator or HR department to find out if you have the carryover. If you don't end up using your FSA money or if your FSA has a carryover and more than $500 is unspent, that money is then forfeited to the employer.
"What happens if I have claims to file? Can I still file a claim even after the FSA year is over, or if the Grace Period ended?"
Similar to a Grace Period in terms of giving you an extension, with a Run-Out period you'll have typically three months after the end of your plan to get reimbursed for expenses incurred during the prior plan year. This means you can get reimbursed for any new expenses.
But, what about if I want to file a claim for a service I received before the FSA plan year? You cannot file claims outside of the plan year or Grace Period.
Have more questions about claims? Visit our Learning Center for additional answers!
Need to use your FSA dollars from 2015? Wondering how to use the rest of your FSA money before the Grace Period deadline?
1. Schedule an annual eye exam or dental exam. You can use your FSA to cover a co-pay, coinsurance or deductible. Browse our FSA Eligibility List for more information about covered expenses.
2. Shop for products you'll need during the year! Need to refill a first-aid kit? Wear contact lenses and need contact lens solution? There are many products your FSA can cover.
3. Do you exercise? Hot/cold therapy packs, elastic bandages and tape, and ankle or knee braces, are among the items you can buy.
4. Planning travel soon? Browse our Travel Essentials and be sure to pack these items before you go.
5. In a time crunch and not sure what to get? Visit our Bundles page to find similarly-packaged items together.
Looking for additional items? Shop FSAstore.com and discover thousands of FSA-eligible products.