How to use a Flexible Spending Account

If you want to save on healthcare costs throughout the year, then a Flexible Spending Account is a great option. An FSA is an employer-sponsored benefit add-on. The money you put into the account is pre-tax and is evenly taken out of your paycheck per month. However, the FSA funds are taken out before you even get your paycheck, so it’s really easy to save. Your taxable income is reduced, while your spendable income increases.

Flex Spending Contributions

Some employers opt to contribute to an FSA as well. The yearly limit per FSA account is $2,500, but if your employer contributes extra then that does not count toward the $2,500 limit. Your FSA can help you pay out-of-pocket costs for various healthcare expenses including medical services, but also over-the-counter products and medications.

Planning your FSA eligible expenses throughout the year will help you maximize the money you contributed to your FSA. If you need certain annual medical checkups (a vision exam, a visit to the dentist), or if you want to see a specialist (chiropractors, pediatricians, and more are covered), or if you rely on medical products, your FSA can be a great resource.

When does my FSA year end?

If you’re not sure when your plan year ends, it’s good to contact your FSA administrator or HR department to find out which provisions apply.

  • An FSA plan could have a grace period, which is a 2 ½ month extension to use your remaining FSA funds until March 15, 2014 for FSAs ending on December 31.

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