Preparing for 2015 with your Flexible Spending Account
How to Make the Most Of Your FSA in 2015
2015 represents a fresh start – and, if your FSA plan year is ending on December 31, it's also the beginning of your Flexible Spending Account year on January 1.
If you're relatively new to Flexible Spending Accounts (recently signed up during your company's open enrollment), you may still be exploring how you can best use your account to maximize on your healthcare expenses.
Be aware of the following:
Always keep track of your balance information. When you enrolled, you calculated expected expenses for the year. It's good to monitor expenses like shopping for products or visiting medical providers.
Understand your plan-year deadline. Flexible Spending Accounts remain "Use-it-or-Lose-it" accounts, meaning that money must be used, or you lose it. Changes introduced to FSAs now allow some people to have a Carryover (if your employer offers this extension) or a Grace Period (a 2 1/2 month extension at the end of the FSA year to use remaining money). It's important to know if you have these extensions, as this could give you more time to use your FSA.
Understand what's covered. You might be surprised to discover just how many healthcare products are covered by a Flexible Spending Account, and which medical providers you can visit.
What are some examples of FSA eligible items?
- Breast pumps and breastfeeding accessories
- Contact lens care, prescription eyeglasses, contact lenses
- Hot/cold therapy packs
- Shoe inserts
- Knee braces and ankle braces
- Athletic tape
- Blood pressure monitors
- First aid kits, band-aids
- Neti pots and warm steam vaporizers
For a complete list of FSA eligible expenses, check out the Eligibility List
Examples of medical procedures covered by an FSA:
- LASIK eye surgery, chiropractic care, acupuncture visits, dental cleanings/fillings, eye exams, annual physicals, flu shots, and more. In order to qualify for FSA reimbursement, services performed by health care providers must bemedically necessary.
Learn more about preventive care procedures covered by a Flexible Spending Account