"Oh no! I apparently just missed my FSA deadline on December 31. What happened to the money I had? Can I still get paid for claims even though the plan year ended?" - Maria from Houston, Texas.
If you're wondering about this, you're not alone. It can be a bit confusing, but luckily you could have some options. You're typically given a window of up to 90 days to submit claims after the end of plan year, which is typically called a "run-out" period (this is for any expenses incurred during that plan year). How much time you have actually depends, and it's best to consult your FSA administrator as to the specifics/timeline for your plan.
Below are some other points to consider related to claims:
Does your plan have a Grace Period? If you're not sure if your plan has this deadline extension, contact your FSA administrator or HR department as soon as you can. With a Grace Period, you'd have up to 2 and a half months following the end of plan year to continue incurring new expenses with your prior-year FSA.
Does your FSA plan have a Carryover? If your employer gave you this option, you'd be allowed to carry over up to $550 in unused FSA funds at the end of plan year. If you have a Carryover, you cannot have a Grace Period as well.
Wondering how you can submit claims for (FSA) reimbursement during the year? Your FSA administrator will have a specific process for receiving claims. Some FSA administrators allow you submit claims online, while others offer a form for you to fill out.
Can I file claims for any medical services I got before the FSA plan year started?
People are often curious if they can file a claim for medical services they received prior to the beginning of the plan year. The simple is no. The date of the medical service must fall within the plan year.
How about getting reimbursed for a service before paying the bill?
You can get reimbursed as long as the date of the medical service falls within the FSA plan year, and this medical service is considered eligible under your FSA plan. You would need to submit a claim for reimbursement with details showing specifically what's owed, and then once you obtain the reimbursement, you can use that to cover the bill.