Enrolling in an FSA will require research to figure out if it is the best option for your financial bottom line, but like all things on the internet, even long-debunked ideas can persist. Luckily, we've identified the most common FSA myths that you should disregard in your search for the ideal health plan:
- "I will lose any money I don't spend by the end of the year."
While it is true that all flexible spending accounts adhere to the "use-it-or-lost-it" rule that requires all unspent funds to be forfeited to your employer at the end of each plan year, a number of regulations have made this requirement much easier to work around. Employers now have the option to choose one (or neither) of either a $500 rollover or 2.5 month grace period.
The $500 rollover allows FSA users to move up to $500 into the next plan year's allocation, which won't count against the plan year contribution limit. The 2.5 month grace period gives FSA users two and a half months to spend down the remainder of their FSA funds and submit claims. In fact, we started our company to help people avoid forfeiting funds by creating a one-stop-shop for over 4,000 eligible products you can purchase with your FSA funds. So, with a little advanced planning and careful spending, there's a good chance you won't have to waste a cent of your FSA funds each year.
- "The FSA claims process is a hassle"
With the introduction of FSA debit cards, account holders have the ability to pay for qualifying products and services at the point of sale. In the past, FSA users were forced to pay with a different payment method and file a paper claim with their benefits administrator to be reimbursed for their eligible purchase. While it's still important for FSA users to save receipts and invoices for tax purposes in the event documentation is required by the benefits administrator, FSA cards make it easier for account holders to get what they need without tying up their cash waiting for reimbursement. We make sure to accept FSA cards as a method of payment on our site, and most items on our site auto-substantiate, so you can skip the receipt submission process too!
- "I have to pay in before getting my full FSA allocation"
Before each plan year during Open Enrollment, FSA users choose how much money they would like to set aside for the year, and this is taken out, pre-tax, from your paycheck through regular payroll deductions. While that may sound like your FSA funds will accrue over the course of the year, the reality is the full FSA allocation is available from the first day of the plan year. So, you can be confident that the money you set aside will be ready for any medical emergency or qualifying purchase right away.
For everything you need to keep your family healthy year-round, rely on FSAstore.com! We have the web's largest selection of FSA-eligible items to help you maximize the potential of your healthcare benefits.
We are halfway through 2016, and we here at FSAstore.com want to help you make the most of your FSA with a mid-year FSA checkup!
We are halfway through 2016, and we here at FSAstore.com want to help you make the most of your FSAwhile you can!
Tips foraMid-year FSA Checkup:
Are you monitoring your spending?
Many FSA account holders have a December 31, 2016 deadline to use their FSA money. Plan-year deadlines vary by employer, and you may have a different one for your FSA. Some FSA plans also have deadline extensions, such as aGrace Period or a Carryover up to $500. Ask your FSA administrator about deadlines that apply to your account.
Needhelp estimating your total health spending for the year? Want to know how to apply your FSA?UseourFSA Calculator.
Did you experience a Qualifying Life Event (QLE)?
Qualifying Life Events (QLE) are life-changing events that could affect your coverage. These includechangesin marital status, changes in the number of tax dependents, employment changes, a change in residence, judgments, decrees or orders resulting from an annulment, legal separation or change in legal custody or becoming eligible for Medicare or Medicaid. Ask your FSA administrator whether you can make changes to your FSA at the mid-year mark or whether you have to wait.
If any of these life events happened or may be coming up in the future, be sure to speak with your benefits administrator.
Is it time for a checkup or specialist visit?
FSAs can cover costs associated with visiting many types ofmedical specialists. If you've been putting off an appointment, FSAs can cover a visit to the dentist, dermatologist or dentist, or if you've been looking into treatments like acupuncture or chiropractors, your FSA covers these!
Tip: For any questions about what is and is not covered, use our Eligibility List!
Save money on FSA eligible products!
Your FSA covers a huge range of consumer medical products, but you'd be amazed by how many items you use every day are covered by your employee benefit! An FSA can help you save on over-the-counter pain relievers, baby care products, contact lenses/eyeglasses, diagnostic products/equipment, braces and elastic supports, sunscreen, first aid products and so much more.
Tip: If you're curious about how far your FSA will take you, shop for FSA eligible products at FSAstore.com
Curious to learn more about flex spending? Not sure where to begin? Here are 10 questions to ask your HR department or FSA administrator.
Ever been curious to learn more about Flexible Spending Accounts, but not sure where to begin with the research or questions? These accounts can be confusing, especially if you don't know all the details. But, that's where your FSA administrator or HR department come in handy to ask about the specifics of your plan!
While we aim to make it easy to use your FSA atFSAstore.com, we never have access to your FSA account. So, we couldn't tell you your available balance, or how to submit claims, or what's specifically covered, as these terms depend on what's allowed by your FSA plan. You'd need to ask your FSA administrator about your account information.
But, we can help with these 10popular questions people ask abouttheirflex spending account:
1) "What's covered by a Flex Spending Account?"
Flexible Spending Accounts cover lots of different medical expenses, whether you're looking to buy everyday products or want to visit a medical specialist. At FSAstore.com, you can shop for thousands of products that are FSA eligible. You can also learn about covered medical services through our comprehensive FSA Eligibility List, which lets you search hundreds of FSA-eligible expenses.
For example, you can use an FSA to visit a physician, dentist, chiropractor and more. You can also use the account for an annual eye exam or fees for hospital services or even lab fees. Some alternative medicines including acupuncture are also FSA eligible.But to learn what your plan allows, it's good to consult your FSA administrator. Every FSA account has its own guidelines about covered expenses.
Shop for FSA eligible itemsat FSAstore.com
2) How can I use an FSA for medical services?
Out-of-pocket costs such as co-pays, co-insurance and deductibles are easily covered with an FSA. Insurance premiums are not FSA eligible. It's good to again ask your FSA administrator about the details to confirm which expenses are eligible.
Browse the FSA Eligibility List
3) Can I still use an FSA to buy over-the-counter products or medications? Which ones?
Absolutely! Due to some regulation changes in January 2011, some over-the-counter items require a prescription for FSA reimbursement. This requirement is limited to products contain active medical ingredient including Tylenol, Advil, Benadryl and more. Fortunately, thousands of other, everyday products are eligible without a prescription. If you have a prescription, we can easily process it at FSAstore.com, so you can still conveniently shop for the FSA Rx items.
Learn more about our Rx Process
4) How much money can I contribute to an FSA? Are there limits?
Yes, there are limits on how much you can contribute to a flex spending account. The maximum employee contribution is $2,550, although the limits vary per employer. Some employers do also contribute to their employees' FSAs in excess of $2,550, but it's best to ask about contribution limits for your FSA.
Some FSAs now also have a Carryover, meaning up to $500 can be carried over from the previous year, if that option is provided by the employer. You can always ask your HR department, or if you have access to view your FSA balance online, you can view it online through your FSA administrator's website.
Use our FSA Calculator to estimatehow much to contribute
5) Can I spend all of my FSA money at any time during the plan year?
Yes, you can! The FSA money you contribute technically becomes available on the first day of the plan year, regardless if your FSA money has been deducted from your paychecks.
6) What if I change my mind about the amount of money I want to put in an FSA?
You can change your FSA contribution amount during your company's open enrollment period. During this specific time, you can change or add coverage options, which also means changing how much you contribute to the account. Once your FSA plan year has started, changes are typically only allowed due to qualifying events including getting married, having kids, or changing jobs. It's best to consult your FSA administrator about these qualifying events and ask if you can make changes to your account.
7) How do I get the money out of my FSA to pay for qualified health costs?
There are a few options available to you when you want to pay for qualified expenses with an FSA. Your employer may offer an FSA debit card that automatically deducts accepted charges, so you have less paperwork. At FSAstore.com, you can use any FSA debit card, and may not have to deal with giving receipts to your FSA administrator. However, it's not a bad to hold on to receipts, should you ever need to substantiate a claim.
If you don't have an FSA debit card, you can still shop here using a major credit card, and submit your FSAstore.com receipt and any necessary paperwork to your FSA administrator. All purchases made at FSAstore.com will include a receipt that you can print or share with your FSA administrator. You'll be paid back out of the FSA by check or direct deposit. The structure of how you get paid out depends on the FSA administrator.
Learn about our FSAstore.com Customer Perks
8) Can my spouse and I both have FSAs? How does that work?
Yes, you and your spouse can both have FSAs. But, you cannot use both FSAs to cover the same expense.
9) Does it cost me money to set up or have a Flex Spending Account?
No, there's no fee for opening an FSA or using the account.
10) What happens if I leave my employer before the end of the plan year?
Before you leave the employer, make sure to submit any claims to be paid out of the FSA for any qualified expenses. You can file these claims typically by 90 days after the end of your plan participation.Check in with your FSA administrator or HR department to learn what applies to your flex spending account.
Have more questions about your account? Search our FSA Learning Center for answers!
Looking foreveryday health items? Shop FSAstore.com for new products!
As the December deadline approaches for FSAs, be sure to check these 5 year-end steps for your Flexible Spending Account and spend down remaining funds.
Thereis a little bit over a weekleft until the December 31 deadline, so be sure to take these five steps to ensure you use your FSA before it's too late. Not exactly sure how to figure out your balance information or wondering about submitting claims? Contact your FSA administrator (or ask your HR department at work) about that!
5 Year-end Steps for YourFlexible Spending Account
- Check on your deadline. A lot of plans have year-end deadlines on December 31, but every FSA plan is different and can therefore have a different spending deadline. Either way, you'll want to know exactly when your deadline is to avoid losing your hard-earned money. Some FSA plans allow for a Carryoverof up to $500 to the next year, while other plans have a Grace Period (2 1/2 months beyondthe deadline to use remaining funds). It's best to reach out to your FSA administrator right now to see when your deadline is, and whether your plan has a deadline extension. If you are wondering who the FSA administrator is, you shouldconsult your HR department for answers.
- Submit receipts or paperwork for FSA reimbursement. As the end of year approaches, check to see if you've submitted all necessary receipts and paperwork for FSA reimbursement in time. Some plans also work with an FSA Debit Card, in which case you likely won't have to worry about submitting additional paperwork. It's generally a recommend practice that you hold on to receipts, in case you're asked to substantiate a claim. If you have an FSA Debit card, your card is auto charged for qualified expenses. FSAstore.com accepts all FSA debit cards (and also major credit cards)to make it easy for you to shop for FSA-eligible products online.
- Reviewyour remaining balance. Still have leftover FSA money? How much? If you still have remainingFSA money, you could use itfor various expenses. For a better idea of which expenses qualify with an FSA, check in with your FSA administrator, or you can also browse our Eligibility Listfor eligible medical services and qualified healthcare products.
- Shop for products for yourneeds. FSAs cover lots of items you may not realize are eligible,such as breast pumps, band-aids, hot/cold therapy packs, contact lenses, prescription eyeglasses, shoe inserts, and even defibrillators. Shopping for these with your pre-tax FSAmoney will save you on items you would otherwise be purchasing using out-of-pocket money.
- Earn rewards by being responsible with your FSA at FSAstore.com. Yes, you read correctly. If you've been shopping at FSAstore.com for a while, you could be earning points with every purchase through our FSA Perks program. For different sharing activities, like submitting a site review, referring a friend, sharing on social media and more, you can earn points toward discounts for on-site purchases.
Got the December 31 FSA deadline soon? Shop at FSAstore.com with your Flexible Spending Account!
FSAstore.com reminds consumers of the approaching FSA year-end deadline. Now's the time to spend down remaining funds and check balances.
Don’t Lose Flexible Spending Account Dollars: Know Plan Deadlines
NEW YORK, NY (PRWEB) DECEMBER 21, 2015
FSAstore.com, the only e-commerce site exclusively stocked with FSA-eligible products, urges the nearly 35 million American consumers covered under a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) to check their FSA balances and spend any remaining funds before they expire. People with a deadline who don’t spend FSA dollars by December 31 could risk forfeiting them.
“As the FSA deadline approaches, FSAstore.com can help customers maximize their health care savings and avoid losing FSA balances,” said Jeremy Miller, CEO and founder of FSAstore.com. “Two primary reasons people lose FSA dollars involve not knowing about the deadline or being unaware of what’s eligible for reimbursement. FSAstore.com offers the simplest solution by exclusively selling more than 6,000 FSA-eligible products, which eliminates all guesswork as to what’s eligible and makes shopping with an FSA fast, easy and convenient.”
According to Miller, FSAstore.com offers individual products or FSA Bundles, which feature similar products in one, comprehensive package, from $30-$400. There are various bundles available on FSAstore.com, including the Baby Care Bundle, Family Essentials Bundle, Pain Relief Bundle, Sun Care Bundle, Travel Essentials Bundle, and more. Earlier in 2015, FSAstore.com introduced an FSA Perks program for users, where every dollar spent at FSAstore.com earns valuable points. Users can also collect points through different activities such as reviewing the site, referring others, social media sharing, and more that can translate into on-site discounts.
Maximize a Flexible Spending Account at year-end
1.Keep track of deadlines: Depending on the FSA plan, it may have a Carryover, Grace Period or neither. Learn more about Carryover vs. Grace Period in this video. Individuals should contact their FSA administrator to see which option(s) apply to their particular FSA.
2.Spend wisely: Use the available funds in the FSA to pay for out-of-pocket expenses such as co-pays and deductibles. With any funds left over, don’t forget about ongoing eligible medical products needed throughout the year, such as contact lenses and glasses, thermometers, first-aid kits and thousands of additional products offered by FSAstore.com.
3.Reduce paperwork: When using an FSA debit card at FSAstore.com, consumers do not have to submit paperwork, as all products sold on the site are guaranteed FSA eligible, and the FSA debit card connects directly to the FSA account.
FSAstore.com was founded to make it simple and convenient to spend, manage, and use an FSA. FSAstore.com is the only e-commerce site stocked exclusively with FSA eligible products, eliminating any and all guesswork as to what is and is not FSA eligible. In addition to the 6,000 eligible products available, the site offers educational resources for FSA holders, including the most comprehensive Eligibility List in the industry and a Learning Center with answers to the most common FSA questions. FSAstore.com accepts all FSA and major credit cards, offers 24/7 customer service, two-day turnaround for all orders and free shipping on orders $50+ in the continental U.S.
Do you know how to access Flexible Spending Account info? The go-to guide or main resource is an FSA provider, also known as Third Party Administrator (TPA)
"How do I know what's left in my FSA account? How do I find out if my claims were processed? When does the plan year end? What can I buy with this account?"
Ever find yourself asking these questions? You're not the only one.
Millions of Americans have Flexible Spending Accounts, yet these benefit plans differ in terms of what's covered, or when their spending deadline is. This all depends on when you sign up for them through your employer. Many of the plans have December 31 deadlines, but the deadlines can vary depending on when your company's open enrollment happens.
Often, you'll hear about theplansaround open enrollment, and wonder howyou can use them. But, even more so, it can be tricky to track your account if you're not sure how to go about finding your account details like where to monitor claims, or how to know what your remaining balance is.
At FSA Store, we're often asked to explain where customers can access their FSA accounts.
How to Access Flexible Spending Accounts:
The go-to guide or main resource for your FSA is yourFSA provider, also known as a Third Party Administrator (TPA). FSA administratorswill workwith your employer to directly administer your FSA plan, and will know all the specifics about coverage, balance, and coordinatethe claims process.
By asking your FSA administrator, you can quickly discover information about your balance, claims for reimbursement and discover what expenses are covered by your FSA. When you sign up, you'll receive what's known as a Summary Plan Description, which is documentation that explains the benefits and plan details of your FSA.
Many FSA administrators allow you to also track your FSA and submit claims online, but it's best to contact them directly if you're not sure about the procedures.
While our customer service representatives are happy to help you with any questions about products sold at FSA Store, and about other general questions about FSAs, we cannot and do not have access to your specific FSA account. Any questions you have about your plan - claims information, your balance, and your deadline - should be directed to your FSA administrator. If you're not sure who the FSA administrator is, you can always ask your HR representatives and get directed to the right person.
You can find your FSA administrator via:
1. On the back of your FSA card, there should be a phone number to call to reach the FSA administrator directly.
2.If you're confused about who the FSA administrator could be, it's best to ask your HR department for answers.
3. Alternatively, our customer service representatives might be able to help you. We partner with FSA administrators, and chances are, wecould direct you to the appropriate contact!
For some with Flexible Spending Accounts, June 30th is another big spending deadline. If you have that deadline, be sure to maximize your remaining dollars.
For some with Flexible Spending Accounts, June 30th is another big spending deadline. If you have that deadline, check out our Eligibility List for services and products, or shop at FSA Store for items with your Flexible Spending Account.
Can you believe it's already June? This year is flying by! We're celebrating our five-year anniversary at FSAstore.com. Five years ago, our founder launched the site to help millions of Americans with a Flexible Spending Account. Our site aims to make it easy for anyone with an FSA to use the account, and to learn more to better understand the accounts and maximize the tax-free benefits.
5 steps to take to check in about your Flex Spending Account:
1. Ask about the specifics. If you're not sure what option (if any) applies to your plan, be sure to contact your FSA administrator or your HR department. The FSA administrator will be able to tell you everything you want to know about your plan: how to submit claims, what products or medical services are covered, when your deadline is, and more.
If you have an FSA, you know that your plan has a yearly deadline. This deadline exists by which you must use the money you contribute to your plan, or you risk losing it. Of course, when that deadline is, however, depends on when your plan year officially started. Some FSA plans also have extensions by which you can use your money. Some have a Grace Period (two and a half months to use your money and incur new expenses), and others have a Carryover (the option to carry over up to $500 to the next plan year).
2. Use your Flex Spending Account throughout the year. When you signed up, you calculated how much money you wanted to contribute to your plan. At the time, you may have accounted for expenses related to eye care, dental checkups, and products. Whatever the medical expenses may be, make sure to use your FSA to save on out-of-pocket costs!
3. Submit claims. During the FSA year, it's a good idea to submit your claims on a timely basis. Onceyou do that, you'll be able to track what's left over in your account, and be able to know what the remaining balance is to use it for products and services.
4. Ask about life events. Sometimes we experience life-changing qualifying events, such as having a baby, getting married or starting a new job. If you're anticipating one of these, or recently experienced one, ask your FSA administrator about these events. Some plans allow you to change your contribution at the mid-year mark, if you had a life-changing event.
5. Follow up with the FSA administrator. The FSA administrator or third-party administrator (TPA) is your guide to your FSA plan. This person will know details about your plan including remaining balances, claims processes, and what's covered by your account. If you're ever in doubt or have a question, it's best to ask the FSA administrator.
Have other questions about your Flexible Spending Account? Browse our Learning Center for answers!
Ahead of Tax Day, Bloomberg released an article discussing ways in which you can maximize your savings, including with an Flexible Spending Account (FSA).
Ahead of Tax Day, Bloomberg released a tax-related article discussing ways in which you can maximize your savings, including those with a Flexible Spending Account, or an FSA.
While it may be too late to consider some of these strategies right now, Bloomberg emphasizes: "Every year, millions of taxpayers miss out on chances to lower their tax bills. They miss deductions or don't exploit tax breaks designed to lower the costs of education, retirement, and health care."
An FSA is the perfect example of a tax break that you shouldn't miss out on. You can save up to 40% on medical expenses including dental and vision care, medical services and thousands of everyday products like contact lenses, prescription eyeglasses, hot/cold therapy packs, band-aids and baby care items like thermometers, and breast pumps.
Even if you already have an FSA - and though you don't need to do anything extra for tax purposes with an FSA - you can still keep the following tips in mind to make the most of your FSA plan throughout the year.
Make the most of your FSA
1. Understand & Discover Covered Expenses
When you sign up for an FSA, you learn about available expenses covered by the plan including eye care and dental care. However, there are many more available medical services and thousands of products that qualify for an FSA. Your individual FSA will outline specifically what's covered, though if you'd like to browse and search for available expenses, take a look at our FSA Eligibility List. If you're ever not sure about a covered expense, it's best to reach out to your FSA administrator for more information.
2. Keep track of deadlines
Every FSA plan year has a specific deadline. These deadlines vary depending on the start date of your plan year, and also on if you have a deadline extension including a Grace Period. Some FSA plans may now have a Carryover option - up to $500 can be carried over to the next plan year. It's important to keep track of these deadlines and extensions, so you're maximizing what you contributed and to make sure you don't lose your contributions!
Have an FSA Store account? Sign up for the FSA Tracker to avoid missing important deadlines!
3. Submit Claims for your FSA
Be sure to submit claims on time. If you have an FSA debit card, you won't need to submit additional paperwork. It is a good idea to hold on to any receipts, just in case you need to substantiate a claim or explain an expense.
Learn more about what you can buy with your FSA card
4. Sign up for Multiple FSAs
If you and your spouse have access to different FSA accounts from work, signing up for them separately gives you access to up to $2,550 per person. That's a great way to save on out-of-pocket healthcare costs.
5. Ask about Qualifying Events
If you experienced big life changes - a new job, getting married, having a baby - you might be able to change how much you contribute to your FSA. Ask your FSA administrator if your plan allows for changes due to these "qualifying events," and ask when you would be able to change the contribution amount.
The Flexible Spending Account deadline is approaching
Now that the holidays are over and the end of the year is near, it's time to re-focus on Flexible Spending Accounts.
Because FSAs have a "Use-it-or-Lose-it" rule, you must use any remaining money or else you'll risk losing it (if you don't spend the money by your specific year-end deadline).
Luckily, there's still some time before this year ends, so there are a few days to get all the FSA expenses in order. A lot of plan years end on December 31, but it's advised to contact the FSA administrator or HR department to find out when exactly your plan year is over.
Here are 5 Ways to Make Sure You Use your Flexible Spending Account
- Keep calm and carry on...and check your FSA plan-year deadline. Some FSAs allow for a Carryover of some FSA money (up to $500) to the next year, and other plans have a Grace Period (2 1/2 months past the deadline to use remaining funds). Check with your FSA administrator now to see when your deadline is, and whether your plan has an extension.
- Submit for reimbursement. Make sure you submit for FSA eligible expenses to get reimbursed in time. FSA eligible expenses could include costs for medical care, for out-of-pocket expenses at the dentist or eye care, and for thousands of healthcare products. If you have an FSA debit card, you won't have to worry as much (though holding on to receipts isn't a bad idea)as payments for eligible expenses are auto-deducted from the card.
- Check your remaining balance and spend down the FSA account. If you still have some remaining funds, you could use these toward a variety of expenses. For a better idea of which expenses would be covered, check in with your FSA administrator, or you can also browse our Eligibility List for a comprehensive guide.
- Treat yourself. The holidays are over and you can finally relax at home. At FSAstore.com, we offer a Goodies section with pain relief eye masks, hot/cold therapy products and more to stay healthy.
- Shop for products for everyday health needs. FSAs cover everyday health items such as band-aids, hot/cold heat wraps, contact lenses, prescription eyeglasses, shoe inserts, and even breast pumps. Shopping for these with tax-free money will save you on items you would already be purchasing out of pocket!
Can I change contribution amounts to my Flexible Spending Account?
As a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) holder, you rely on your benefit to cover a huge range of qualifyingproducts and services, so finding ways to maximize your payroll allocations throughout the year ispivotal to reducing your bottom line. Unfortunately, outside of the open enrollment period, you are onlyallowed to make changes to your contributions, if you experience a Qualifying Life Event (QLE), and ifyour plan allows for such changes.
When can I change my payroll allocation?
A Qualifying Life Event refers to an event defined by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Section 125 thatallows you to change your FSA election outside of the open enrollment period.
Here are the specific events that can give you a chance to raise or reduce your allocations:
1. A change in your number of tax dependents
2. A change in your legal marital status (including marriage, legal separation, divorce or death ofa spouse)
3. A death of a dependent
4. Birth of a child, adoption of a child or placement for adoption
5. A change in your employment status that affects eligibility for health insurance benefits (foryourself, a spouse or one of your dependents)
6. A change in your dependent's eligibility, such as when a child reaches age 13 and no longqualifies for coverage under a Dependent Care FSA
7. A change in child/elder care cost or coverage, but this only applies to those who use aDependent Care FSA
8. COBRA Qualifying events, Judgments Decrees or Orders, Entitlement to Medicare and FMLA(Family Medical Leave Act)
What should I do if I experience a QLE?
When one of these events takes place or is around the corner, you should speak with your FSAadministrator within 30 days of the event to make the necessary changes. It's important to rememberthat not all employers will offer mid-year changes to FSAs, so speaking with your benefits administratorabout the regulations surrounding your account is extremely important.
If you'd like to learn more about your FSA or purchase qualifying medical products, be sure to check outFSAstore.com! We have thousands of FSA eligible products!
How to plan ahead with your Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
There are few feelings of accomplishment that are quite as fulfilling as announcing your retirement, but there are certainly a few loose ends that you’ll need to tie up before you embark on this next stage of your life.
If you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) in your current position, you have undoubtedly been taking money out of your paycheck each month to put toward qualifying medical expenses. When it’s time to leave your current position, you may be wondering where those funds will go. After all, it’s your money!
Your FSA also covers a huge range of qualifying medical products and equipment, and the easiest way to avoid forfeiting your funds upon retirement is by shopping atFSAstore.com! With an extensive selection of medical products like sunscreen and cushioned insoles, it’s the easiest way to spend your hard-earned cash on items that you’ll use long into your retirement.
What happens to your FSA funds when you retire?
- In short, you will be reimbursed for any eligible expenses incurred before the date of your retirement.
- Under current IRS regulations, any remaining funds in the account must be forfeited.
- Any expenses you incur after your period of employment will not be eligible for reimbursement.
As an FSA account holder, you onlyhave so much time to spend your FSA funds before you leave! This is a perfect opportunity to get that medical procedure you’ve been putting off, visit a qualifying medical specialist or plan a physical exam. Why not start this next phase of your life with a clean bill of health and a new outlook?
If you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), then you may know that the funds you set aside expire by specific deadlines. These deadlines vary per plan and are determined by the guidelines of your individual plan.
Some plans may offer a grace period (a 2 1/2 month extension to spend down your FSA), and others may now allow for a carryover of up to $500 to the next year. Learn more about the "Use it or Lose it" changes introduced to FSAs.
Our short checklist serves to help you keep track of your FSA spending as you use the account for out-of-pocket expenses. You can use the FSA account toward a lot of FSA eligible expenses including (specialty) medical care, routine dental and eye care, and over-the-counter products like those sold at FSA Store.
Curious about new ways to use your FSA for the remainder of the year? Check out our post on what to use your Flexible Spending Account for in 2014?
As it's half way through the year, it's good to check on your FSA now to ensure you're maximizing the account, and to ensure you don't lose your hard-earned tax-free income. Many FSA holders have a plan year ending in December (as this is a popular deadline). Use your FSA every time for qualified expenses including medical services and products.
If you've experienced any major life changes recently (had a baby, got married, switched jobs) - also known as qualifying events - you might be able to change your contribution. However, this is something to discuss with your FSA administrator to see if your plan allows for mid-year changes.
It's best to always consult your FSA administrator (or HR department, if unsure who administers the FSA), who would be able to answer any questions about your FSA account.
The FSA administrator will also know details about your available balance, have access to any claims processing information, and fully understands which are qualified FSA eligible expenses for your account.
Can you believe it's almost May? We're nearly halfway done with 2014, and while you're planning summer vacations, travel, or simply busy with work, it's good to also check in about your FSA account.
Flexible Spending Account Annual Spending
Flexible Spending Account (FSA) deadlines occur throughout the year, so it's good to stay on track with your spending. If you're not sure about your FSA deadline, or don't know your account balance, it's best to contact your FSA administrator or HR department who will be able to answer these questions and much more.
Monitoring your healthcare expenses throughout the year also ensures you keep abreast of your health. You can use an FSA toward a variety of out-of-pocket expenses including co-pays and deductibles for medical services, and also thousands of healthcare products available at FSAstore.com.
Don't forget these tips to maximize your FSA funds throughout the year:
1.Check your available balance. Just like you would with a regular bank account, check in on your FSA every once in a while. This will ensure that you can allocate your funds wisely to different expenses you have.
2.Use your FSA during medical visits. Yes, you can use your FSA toward coinsurance, deductibles and even co-pays. Unfortunately, insurance premiums are not covered, but on the upside, you can use your FSA toward visits with specialists that your regular insurance may not cover (including chiropractors and acupuncturists).
3.Save on healthcare products. You may not realize that everyday healthcare items including band-aids, hot/cold packs, and even contact lens care are available with your FSA. If you're planning travel, did you know that sunscreen and mini first aid kits are eligible? It's not a bad idea to get a few extra medical supplies before you take off. And, instead of shopping for these without your pre-tax funds, why not use your FSA? If you shop at FSAstore.com, you can save up 40% on FSA eligible products by using your FSA - savings on top of savings!