How do I find out if I have an Extension Period for my FSA?

The best way to find out if you have an extension period for your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) is to contact your FSA administrator. If you’re not sure who your FSA administrator is, check your FSA card or ask your HR professional.

Before you sign up for an FSA, make a conservative estimate about your future health care expenses.

It can be difficult to narrow down what these might be, but remember that you can use an FSA toward over-the-counter products, dental and vision care, and out-of-pocket costs for medical services.

What extension options could my FSA have?

  • Your plan may include a grace period extension – this is a 2 ½ month extension at the end of your plan year to still use your FSA funds from the prior year. It lets you incur new expenses and use remaining funds toward FSA eligible items. Say you have a plan year ending on December 31 but you have a grace period; you would have until March 15 of the following year to incur new expenses and spend-down your FSA.
  • Your plan could include a run-out. This is a set amount of time after the plan year ends during which you can file claims for FSA eligible expenses incurred during the prior plan year. Say you have a plan year ending on December 31, but you have a 90-day run-out period, so you would have until March 31 to submit claims from the previous year.
  • Your plan may allow for up to $500 in remaining funds to rollover at year-end. If you have this option, up to $500 in funds may rollover to the new plan year and will be eligible for use in the new plan year or if you have a run out as well, eligible for claims submitted in the run out as well.

Tip: Contact your FSA administrator ahead of time to ask about claims procedures and any remaining funds, and also browse through your Summary Plan Description to learn the details of your account.

Note: these options are at the discretion of your employer (employers are under no obligation to offer either, but many do). Extensions are meant to help you maximize your FSA and avoid losing the money you contributed.

The IRS has a rule that if you don’t have a carryover or if you do have a carryover and more than $500 remains, you lose any remaining FSA funds by your plan’s set deadline. Avoid losing your remaining funds and shop at FSAstore.com for FSA eligible products!

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