For all the more serious problems caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, there's a simpler issue that just about everyone can relate to - boredom. Whether you've been hard quarantining since the start of lockdowns or spending more time out and about in the last few months, there just isn't as much to do in 2020.
Well, there is one thing.
Many experts are expecting a quarantine baby boom starting in December. If you're one of these expecting parents, you may be wondering how you're going to pay for all these new expenses. That's where an FSA can help.
Here's a detailed rundown of what new moms can - and can't - buy with their FSA, along with some tips on how to manage your account.
What is an FSA?
A Flexible Spending Account (FSA) is a special savings account for qualified medical expenses. FSAs are only available through employers, so companies have to decide whether to offer FSAs. Workers cannot open an FSA on their own. Some employers will even match contributions to their employees' FSAs, but this isn't guaranteed. FSAs are not available to self-employed workers.
Employees have to decide during open enrollment if they want to open an FSA, along with how much to contribute. This can be either a dollar amount or a percentage of their salary. The money will then be taken directly out of their paychecks.
Once you've decided how much to contribute to your FSA, you can't change that amount until the next open enrollment or if you have a special qualifying event. That's why it's so important to choose an amount that fits your budget and your medical needs.
Like with HSAs, FSA contributions reduce your taxable income. Let's say you earn $50,000 a year and contribute $1,000 to your FSA. You would only be taxed on the $49,000 and not the $50,000 you earned. Obviously, higher contributions then lead to even lower taxable income.
How an FSA Can Help New Moms
Women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant can save money on essential supplies by contributing to an FSA. Before you even get pregnant, you can use an FSA to buy fertility kits, pregnancy tests and sperm test kits.
Once you get pregnant, FSA funds can be used for a variety of prenatal expenses including:
- OBGYN, primary care and other doctor's visits
- Prenatal vitamins
- Prenatal tests, ultrasounds, DNA tests and bloodwork
- Lamaze and childbirth classes
- Baby movement monitors
- Belly band or maternity belts
You can use FSA funds to pay for all medical child-birth related expenses, whether you choose to give birth in a hospital or have a home birth with a midwife.
After you've given birth, you can use an FSA to pay for:
- Out-of-pocket childbirth costs
- Lactation consultants
- Breastfeeding classes
- Breast pumps and accessories like nipple shields, bottles, storage bags, coolers, pumping bras and more
- Baby thermometers
- Baby sunscreen
- Nose wipes
- Nasal and ear cleaners and nasal aspirators
- Nursing pads
- In-home sleep training services
However, there are some common prenatal and postpartum expenses you can't use FSA money for. These include:
- Maternity clothes
- Breastfeeding and maternity pillows
- Baby clothes and accessories
- Cloth and disposable diapers
- Baby wipes
- Cribs and bassinets
- Baby-wearing wraps
How Much to Contribute to an FSA
In 2021, the projected annual limit for FSAs is $2,750 per person. If you and your spouse both have access to an FSA, you can each contribute $2,750 to your individual accounts.
FSAs are provided by your employer. Unlike HSAs, FSAs have a use-it-or-lose-it-policy. If you have money left over in an FSA at the end of the year, you would have to spend it down by the final day of the plan year or forfeit it back to your employer: Your employer has two additional options: to let you roll over a maximum of $550 into the following year or give you an extra 2.5 months to use the funds. Employers may choose to implement a rollover or a grace period, but cannot offer both. Ask your HR department what the company policy is.
This is why it's crucial not to save extra money in an FSA. Be conservative when deciding how much to contribute. It's better to outspend your FSA than to have hundreds left over and no eligible expenses. Also, you'll forfeit any money in your FSA if you leave your job.
Most people reach their health insurance deductible when giving birth, but you can also call your insurance provider and ask them how much childbirth will cost.
If your deductible is more than the FSA maximum limit, then it's safe to save the maximum FSA amount. For example, if your deductible is $6,000, then it's ok for you to contribute the FSA limit since you'll likely reach the deductible amount during your pregnancy.
If you've already had your open enrollment period and didn't select any FSA contributions, then it's too late to change that. However, you can opt to open an FSA when you give birth, because having a baby counts as a special qualifying event. Some (but not all) employers will allow you to make a mid-year election change in this circumstance, but as always it is best to check with your benefits administrator. You won't be able to use the FSA for any past medical events, but you can use it going forward.
If you're planning on getting pregnant, it may be worth signing up for an FSA just in case.
How to Pay for FSA-Eligible Expenses
You can pay for FSA expenses directly with an FSA debit card if you're given one. Some FSA providers don't issue debit cards and require that you pay for expenses out-of-pocket and submit those for reimbursement. You'll have to keep your receipts to prove that you bought FSA-eligible items.
Try to store receipts in the cloud, and ask for an email receipt when shopping in-store. Many paper receipts fade within a few months, so it's best to scan the original receipt and store it digitally as soon as possible.
Even if you use an FSA card, you should still keep the receipts in case the IRS asks for proof that you purchased FSA-eligible items.
Still not sure what you can buy with your FSA card? Shop online at FSAStore.com and be confident that you're buying eligible maternity and baby items.
Zina KumokZina Kumok is a freelance writer specializing in personal finance. A Certified Financial Health Counselor and Student Loan Counselor, she also works as a money coach helping people one-on-one at Conscious Coins. She has been featured in Lifehacker, DailyWorth and Time. She paid off $28,000 worth of student loans in three years.
Leaving your baby behind for a much-needed weekend away can be nerve-wracking. Calm your senses a bit by making sure your caretakers are prepared.
Educating them on your child's schedule, dietary needs, and likes and dislikes is all well and good, but don't forget about their medical needs. We go over what to leave behind for your child's caretakers, from basic first aid supplies to feeding gear, even some useful items in the off-chance your little one comes down with a cold.
And don't forget to have a few extras of everything on hand. Trust us, something will inevitably get misplaced.
Take our advice: Stock up on more diapering must-haves than you think you'll need. That includes diapers, wipes and diaper rash cream. Amateur diaper changers always go a little too heavy on the wipes, am I right?
With FSA-eligible items like ointment, gas drops, and a hi-tech baby monitor to your arsenal, and you'll be more than ready to leave your little one. And if you're not ready, go anyway. Having a little time apart is good for both you—and the baby.
If your caretakers plan to take your little one on an excursion of two (don't panic—even the most novice babysitters can handle a walk around the neighborhood in a stroller), be sure they have all the goods to keep baby protected.
Be sure you have some infant sunscreen (keeping in mind sunscreen recommendations by age), a good water bottle and a sunhat. You may even want to spring for some sunscreen with bug repellent.
If you're little one is still breastfeeding, be sure to leave behind enough pumped milk or formula for the entirety of your time away, plus some extra. An FSA-eligible breast pump can help you save up some liquid gold for your little one. And don't forget to take your pump—along with some nursing pads, trust us on this one—on your weekend away. If your baby is formula-fed, be sure to have a few canisters on hand, as well.
Don't forget to leave specific feeding instructions on ounces, frequency, even which bottle your baby prefers (yes, this is very much a thing). While feeding your baby is like second nature to you, it's a whole new ballgame for anyone else.
Kids get sick at the most inopportune times. Let's face it, it's usually when you and your spouse finally have a trip planned for some much-needed R&R. But don't cancel your trip on account of a few sniffles. Instead, stock up on some must-haves like Boogie Wipes, a nasal aspirator, and a humidifier.
Once you have the supplies to ensure both baby and babysitter will be well-taken care of, it's time to take care of you. And that means getting away, sleeping in, and maybe even having an adult beverage or two. After all, you won't have your tiny alarm clock rousing you at 6:00 the next morning.
Whether you budget week-to-week, or plan to use your FSA for bigger things, our weekly Real Money column will help you maximize your flex spending dollars. Look for it every Tuesday, exclusively on the FSAstore.com Learning Center. And for the latest info about your health and financial wellness, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
As a new mom or dad, you have a laundry list of infant health issues to be concerned with, but now that we're in the dog days of summer, sun care is likely at the top of your list of priorities. Sunburn is especially dangerous for a child's skin, and the Skin Cancer Foundation reports that suffering one or more blistering sunburns in childhood or adolescence more than doubles a person's chances of developing potentially-deadly melanoma later in life.
This risk is especially acute in infants, as babies younger than 6 months old should never be in direct sunlight, while infants 6 months and older must be well-protected with sunscreen when outdoors, according to The Mayo Clinic. But how can you pick the ideal sunscreen for your little one? Here are a few key features to look for when shopping for FSA-eligible baby sunscreen.
- Broad spectrum protection
On each bottle of sunscreen there are two important pieces of information to look out for. First, the product is most effective if it offers broad-spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays, which are the primary causes of sun damage. Additionally, the product's sun protection factor (SPF) is significant as well.
The Mayo Clinic suggests that baby sunscreen should be at least SPF 15 to provide an adequate level of protection against the sun's rays (and if using your FSA to purchase the sunscreen, only those that are SPF 15+ will qualify as eligible).
- Chemical-free sunscreens
Chemical-free sunscreens are the better choice for baby sunscreen for two very important reasons. First and foremost, if ingredients in a chemical sunscreen run due to sweat or another form of moisture, they could sting the baby's eyes or could even cause a skin reaction.
Chemical-free sunscreens typically contain active ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium oxide, and BabyCenter reports that these products have the added benefit of being active from the second they are rubbed onto the skin, as opposed to chemical sunscreens that may need 15-30 minutes to become active.
Now, refine your sun care routine!
When you've found the perfect baby sunscreen, it's important to remember that an infant's skin burns very easily, so you'll need to practice additional sun safety measures. These include:
- Seek the shade: Whenever possible, make an effort to keep your baby in the shade to ensure that he/she will not receive direct sunlight for the majority of your time outdoors.
- Avoid peak sun hours: According to The Skin Cancer Foundation, UV rays are at their most intense levels between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., so re-apply sunscreen generously during these hours or keep your outdoor time reserved for the early morning and evening when the sun is not its strongest.
- Invest in sun-protective clothing: In addition to using baby sunscreen, there are a number of great sun protective clothing items that can protect your infant's skin. Tightly-woven or knit clothing, hats and dark/brightly colored clothing offer the best possible protection from the sun.
For everything you need to keep your family healthy year-round, you can rely on FSAstore.com! We have the web's largest selection of FSA-eligible products to help you maximize the potential of your employee benefits.
With powerful UVA/UVB protection, stay out of harm's way with a wide variety of FSA-eligible sunscreens.
Stay protected in and out of the water with water-resistant sunscreen spray.
Have you used our FSA Calculator? It's one of the easiest ways to figure out your flexible spending account (FSA) allocation for the coming plan year. But if you overestimate or don't find yourself making qualifying purchases or visiting the doctor as often as expected, you may be sitting on extra cash you don't want to forfeit!
With the summer weather finally here (and many mid-year FSA deadlines approaching), this is the perfect time of year to splurge on FSA-eligible products, and you'd be amazed at how much $100 will cover to boost your long-term health and wellness. Here are a few ways you can spend down remaining FSA dollars based on our most popular customer groups!
From prenatal vitamins to breastfeeding supplies, new parents can build a foundation for the future by saving with their FSA!
BabyGanics Cover Up Baby Sunscreen for Face and Body SPF 50+, Fragrance Free, 6 oz - $11.99, Link
Medela Breast Milk Storage Solution - $32.99, Link
NoseFrida The Snotsucker Nasal Aspirator - $15.99, Link
Medela Breast Milk Cooler System - $23.99, Link
Thinkbaby LIVE STRONG Safe Sunscreen SPF 50, 3 oz - $12.99, Link
Whether you're looking to get back into the gym or building on your gains, FSA-eligible products can help you prevent and treat injuries, and help you manage your workout regimen free from acute and chronic pain.
KT TAPE PRO, Pre-cut, 20 Strip, Synthetic, Laser Blue, $19.99, Link
Arctic Ease Instant Cold Wrap Black (4"X60"), $15.99, Link
ACE 3" Self-Adhering Bandage, $5.09, Link
Icy Hot Smart Relief TENS Therapy Knee and Shoulder Starter Kit, $39.99, Link
KT Tape Recovery+ Patch 4 ct Black, $9.99, Link
Be safe on your next hike or camping trip with FSA-eligible products! Your FSA can cover sun protection, first aid supplies, foot cushioning treatments and more!
BullFrog Water Sport Lotion SPF 50, $11.99, Link
Band-Aid Advanced Healing Blister, Cushions, 6 ea, $5.79, Link
Adventure Medical Kits Sportsman Whitetail, $49.99, Link
Banana Boat Aloe Vera with Vitamin E Sunscreen Lip Balm SPF 45, 0.15 oz, $2.99, Link
Dr. Scholl's P.R.O. Pain Relief Orthotics for Lower Back, Men's Size 8-13, 1 pr, $12.79, Link
ACE 3" Elastic Bandage with Clips, $4.99, Link
Got a vacation on the horizon? FSAs are a boon for regular travelers to help you avoid motion sickness, neck stiffness and sunburn with a huge variety of travel necessities.
Vichy Idéal Capital Soleil SPF 45 Dry-Finish Body and Face Sunscreen with Antioxidants and Vitamin E, 5 Fl. Oz., $28.50, Link
Johnson & Johnson First Aid Kit, Safe Travels, 70 pc, $7.49, Link
IMAK HappiNeck Orthopedic Neck Support, $32.99, Link
Psi Bands Acupressure Wrist Bands - Racer Black, $18.99, Link
Solar Sense Clear Zinc Stick for Face and Lips, SPF 50, .45 oz, $4.99, Link
For everything you need to stay healthy year-round, rely on FSAstore.com! We have the web's largest selection of FSA-eligible products to help you maximize the potential of your employee benefits!
Will 2017 be a life-changing year for your family? If your family will expanding in the coming months, be sure to take the lessons of Folic Acid Awareness Week to heart during January 8-14, 2017! Folic acid (also known as folate or vitamin B9) is a key nutrient for women of child-bearing age, as it can prevent up to 70% of some serious birth defects of the brain and spine, called neural tube defects, if taken before and during early pregnancy. Folic acid is a type of B vitamin that helps your body produce and maintain new cells, while also preventing DNA changes that may lead to cancer.
The CDC and the U.S. Public Health Service recommend that all women between the ages of 15 and 45 consume 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid daily to prevent two types of neural tube defects, spina bifida and anencephaly.These defects develop in the early stages of pregnancy, which is why it's so vital that women who are planning to become pregnant have the appropriate levels of folic acid present to contribute to a healthy pregnancy. Let's explore how you can incorporate more folic acid into your diet to prepare for a little one who may be on the way!
- Supplement your diet with folic acid-rich foods
Folic acid is typically added to a number of fortified foods like pastas, cereals and grains in the U.S., but only one-third of U.S. women of childbearing age get the recommended amount solely from their diets. In addition to fortified grains and pastas, folic acid is found in a variety of natural foods that can supplement your diet. In particular, consider incorporating increased amounts of dark leafy green vegetables like spinach and collard/mustard/turnip greens, asparagus, broccoli, beans (lentils, pinto, garbanzo, black, navy, kidney, lima) beans, okra, Brussels sprouts, avocado, sunflower/flax seeds and cauliflower.
- Begin a prenatal multivitamin regimen
If you are enrolled in a flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA), these funds can cover the cost of prenatal multivitamins! Prenatal vitamins contain the nutritional requirements that women of childbearing age need to fill the necessary nutrient gaps that can contribute to the healthy development of a newborn.
In addition to a generous amount of folic acid (also known as folate or vitamin B9), choose a prenatal multivitamin that contains vitamin B12, vitamin D, K, E, and minerals such as calcium, chromium, iron, magnesium, selenium and zinc.
- Keep it up!
While folic acid intake is truly pivotal for women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant in the future, Folic Acid Awareness Week also sheds light on the nutrient's role in a woman's long-term wellness. This nutrient has been known to play a role in preventing certain cancers like colon and cervical cancer, and it can also contribute to the elimination of the chemical homocysteine in the body, which is known to contribute to the development of heart disease. Furthermore, folic acid is used in the treatment of memory loss, Alzheimer's disease, osteoporosis, and a variety of other age-related conditions.
For all of your parenting needs from pregnancy to motherhood, rely on FSAstore.com! We have the web's largest selection of FSA-eligible products and the baby care products you need to help your little one thrive!
National Breastfeeding Month takes place each August to educate mothers about the importance of breastfeeding in the healthy development of their children.
There are five themes including: nutrition/food, security, health, well-being and survival, environment and climate change, work productivity, empowerment, social protection, and sustainable partnerships and rule of law.
Lower frequency of illness/colds
The breast milk made after birth is called colostrum. It's dense with nutrients and antibodies that can help protect babies from infections. Additionally, colostrum plays a role in the development of a baby's digestive system and overall function. Research shows that babies who breastfeed are typically less-likely to contract colds and viruses, as well as develop pneumonia, diarrhea and other digestive maladies. Additionally, research has reveals breastfed babies are also less likely to develop chronic medical conditions later in life, such as type 1 diabetes, celiac disease and Crohn's disease.
Higher IQ Scores
In the long-term, a number of breastfeeding studies show children who were breastfed showed a 7.5 point increase in IQ by the time they reached elementary school age. Additionally, once these children reach adult life, they also showcase an increase in verbal, performance and comprehensive IQ.
Benefits for Mom
Breastfeeding moms will also reap the benefits of the practice.Women who breastfeed have a much lower risk of postmenopausal osteoporosis. They also have a lower risk of breast and ovarian cancer. Research finds that breastfeeding also burns extra calories.
The cost of formula can range anywhere from $150 to $400 per month, and can leave significant nutrition gaps that can negatively affect the child's development. In the immediate and long-term, breastfeeding is a cost-effective, sustainable option.
Visit FSAstore.com for your baby care needs! We have the web's largest selection of FSA-eligible products, including breast pumps, storage bags and related items.
Sun protection is a major consideration for parents. Learn more about the safest sunscreen for kids on this blog post and shop with an FSA.
Spring may seem early to begin talking about proper sun care, but if you have small children, protecting their skin from the sun's rays will take on a new importance as they spend more time outdoors as the season progresses. Sun protection is a major consideration for parents, as recent studies have shown that sustaining just five major sunburns during youth can raise a child's risk of developing life-threatening skin cancers like melanoma by 80 percent.
Sunburns are caused by the skin's absorption of harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which are present whether it's sunny or cloudy, reaching their peak levels between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. and are directly tied to the formation of skin cancer. Luckily, if you have a flexible spending account (FSA), your benefit can cover the reimbursement of sunscreen for the whole family. Here are some vital guidelines to consider when choosing a sunscreen for your kids.
Keep babies out of the sun entirely: First things first, if you are a parent of a child younger than 6 months, you should be searching for ways to cover him/her up rather than purchasing a sunscreen! Physicians advise new parents to keep their infants out of sunlight completely if they are under 6 months of age, as sunburn can cause significant pain, fever and even dehydration in newborns, as well as dramatically raising their susceptibility to skin issues later in life. Keep the baby's arms and legs covered in light-colored, lightweight clothing and stick to the shade during his/her first 6 months.
Shop for Baby Sunscreen
Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 15 or higher: A sunscreen's sun protection factor (SPF) is a measure of the item's ability to prevent UV rays from harming the skin, which is a huge consideration for small children who will experience long periods of sun exposure. For instance, if a person's skin can remain unprotected in the sun for 30 minutes without burning, an SPF 15 product will theoretically protect the wearer for 15 times longer, or for 7.5 hours. SPF 15 is the bare minimum for a child's sun care regimen, so feel free to go for a stronger variant for very young children or kids with skin that is more susceptible to sunburn.
Broad spectrum protection: The classification of "broad spectrum" refers to sunscreens that block all forms of ultraviolet rays. UV radiation is broken up into two primary wavelengths: UVA (long-wave) and UVB (short-wave) radiation. UVA and UVB rays contribute to premature skin aging, eye damage and most skin cancers, and UVA rays make up about 95 percent of all UV radiation reaching the Earth's surface, while the other 5 percent is UVB rays. While UVB rays are the chief cause of sunburn and damage the outermost layers of the skin, UVA rays can penetrate down to the dermis level and can spark the development of some skin cancers. Simply put, if it's not "broad spectrum," it won't do the job!
Shop for Broad Spectrum Sunscreen
Water resistance: Sunscreen that can stand up to water during swimming or sweat during heavy activity is a major concern for the product's efficacy, especially with active children. The Federal Drug Administration has ruled that sunscreens that are considered "water-resistant" will continue protect wearers for at least 40 minutes after application. Because no sunscreen is 100 percent waterproof, it's vital that wearers re-apply throughout the day to maintain a full spectrum of protection.
Shop for Water-Resistant Sunscreen
With a long summer of fun in the sun ahead, make sure to support the wellness of your entire family by shopping at FSAstore.com! We have the web's largest selection of FSA-eligible products to help you maximize the potential of your benefits!
Diaper rash is common among newborns, but it might seem an alarming development for new parents. Learn more about it in this post.
If you're a new parent, you know that every day is a learning experience with your bundle of joy. But, in the event that your little one is sick or is uncomfortable from an ailment, you'll do anything possible to fix the problem.
Diaper rash is common among newborns, but it might seem an alarming development for new parents who may begin to second guess their care regimens. This simple form of skin irritation (dermatitis) will happen at some point during infancy, but there are ways that you can provide relief and prevent diaper rash flare-ups in the future.
Let's explore how you can do just that:
Understanding diaper rash
Diaper rash appears on the skin in the diaper area, and while it can affect infants and children up to 2 years of age, it typically occurs between the periods of 9-12 months when babies are sitting often and just beginning to eat solid foods. The underlying skin irritation of diaper rash has numerous potential causes, such as friction between the skin and the diaper, as well as irritation caused by moisture and buildup of acid from urine and bowel movements.
In some cases, diaper rash can be a result of a fungal or yeast infection, which can be treated with over-the-counter (OTC) prescription medicines (in order to buy these with your FSA, you'll need to submit a prescription for reimbursement).
Last but not least, diaper rash can also be a result of an allergic reaction to cleaning agents, diaper wipes/materials, laundry detergents, soaps or lotion that are applied to the diaper areas.
How is diaper rash treated?
Ideally, the best way to reduce the chances of diaper rash is to keep your baby's diaper areas as dry as possible with frequent diaper changes and close monitoring of the products used to clean these areas to ensure they are not adversely affecting them. In most cases, diaper rash will clear up with the use of mild hydrocortisone cream and a more frequent diaper change regimen.
However, some diaper rashes are caused by outside sources, such as a bacterial or fungal infections, which typically last longer than 4-7 days and are not responsive to treatment. In these cases, it's best to consult with a pediatrician to diagnose the source of the issue, and if advanced treatment methods are needed, the physician will most likely prescribe an antifungal or antibiotic treatment to eliminate the underlying cause of the problem.
While diaper rash may re-emerge in the future, generally these conditions can be treated successfully at home and are simply another milestone of infancy for parents to overcome.
Shop for Baby Care at FSAstore.com
No matter what you need as new parents, you'll find it at FSAstore.com! We have the largest selection of FSA-eligible products on the web to support the health and wellness of you and your growing family!
Learn which baby care needs are covered by an FSA, and what's important to consider during the winter to keep your baby healthy.
You always want what's best for your baby, and taking care of your baby's health is a year-round priority. During the winter, there are some specific viruses and colds spreading that can easily target baby's fragile immune system. While you may not be able to protect your baby from every winter illness, there ways to minimize exposure and keep your baby healthy during the season.
According to an article by Baby Center, "Boost your baby's immunity by breastfeeding her. Your baby is likely to develop fewer infections, and recover more quickly from illnesses, in the first year of her life, if you breastfeed exclusively for the first six months. As well as the antibodies that are already in your breast milk, your body will make new antibodies as soon as you are exposed to an infection."
Breastfeeding with your FSA
A Flexible Spending Account can cover the cost of breast pumps and other breastfeeding accessories including nursing bra pads, breast pump accessory wipes, micro-steam bags, nipple shields, and milk storage solution. Check out the variety of Medela products at FSAstore.com.
Treating a cold or a fever
Among other ways can be using your FSA to get baby health care products - specifically items like baby thermometers or nasal aspirators to monitor a fever or treat a cold or congestion. It's also important to ensure that babies have received the latest vaccinations,and your pediatrician will be able to advise about these the best.
Shop for Cold and Allergy Products at FSA Store
Shop for Baby Thermometers with your FSA
Do you have older little ones at home? Another great way to keep your kids when they're not feeling well is through Thermal-Aid Zoo Animals. These are hot or cold therapy stuffed animals designed to treat headaches, fevers, earaches, flu symptoms and much more.
If you need to administer medications to baby,you can use pain-free medicators.
For a full list of covered expenses, view our FSA Eligibility List (this list includes medical services and healthcare products).
Vicks Baby Pacifier Digital Thermometer
Baby gets a pacifier while you get the soothing comfort of continuous temperature readings.
Were you aware that prenatal vitamins are covered by a Flexible Spending Account (FSA)? Do you know what to look for when shopping for prenatal vitamins?
Were you aware that prenatal vitamins are covered by a Flexible Spending Account (FSA)? This month marks two important health initiatives that have amajor impact for women who are planning to become mothers in the coming year. National Birth Defects Prevention Month and National Folic Acid Month shed light on one of the most important supplements a new mom can take for the health of her child: prenatal vitamins!
While expecting moms are encouraged to eat a healthy diet to support the health of their growing child, their diets may be missing key nutrients that can play a major role in preventing birth defects and supporting the optimal development of their children.
What are the most important ingredients to look for in prenatal vitamins? Let's find out!
Folic Acid: This nutrient has been proven to prevent neural tube defects, which are serious abnormalities in the brain and spinal cord. Folic acid is the natural form of the vitamin, while folic acid is the synthetic derivative that is added to foods as required by federal law. Folate is found naturally in many foods, including asparagus, okra, leafy vegetables, beans, yeast and mushrooms. It's recommended that any woman who could get pregnant should take 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid daily, starting before conception and continuing through the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
Iron: This mineral is pivotal in the baby's growth and development, as well as preventing the development of anemia, which results in a lack of healthy red blood cells in the body. Iron is a staple in many prenatal vitamin brands, and can be found in a number of natural sources including leafy green vegetables (spinach, kale, etc), dried fruit like raisins and apricots, seafood, beans and more. Aim for at least 27 mg of iron each day during pregnancy.
Iodine: This nutrient assists in the mother's thyroid function and metabolism during pregnancy, and can be found in cranberries and organic foods like yogurt, raw cheese and organic potatoes. Iodine also contributes to the baby's brain and nervous system development, and a lack of iodine during pregnancy has been linked to an increased risk of miscarriage, stillbirth and preterm delivery. Pregnant women should aim for 220 mcg of iodine per day, while breastfeeding woman should up that to 290 mcg.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: These acids have been known to support healthy brain and vision development in infants, and they are most often found in fatty fish, eggs and peanut butter. These substances have been found to prevent pre-term labor and delivery and may increase birth weights. The two most beneficial omega-3s are EHA and DHA, and DHA is especially important for the brain, eyes and central nervous system. As such, pregnant/lactating women are advised to take at least 300 mg of DHA each day.
Calcium: This nutrient plays a pivotal role in the development of healthy bones and teeth, the heart, nerves and muscles. It is recommended that women should receive 1,000 mg of calcium per day before, during and after pregnancy, and they should supplement their diet with calcium-rich foods like dairy products, sardines, soybeans and fortified juices/cereals/grains.
The preceding ingredients are a must for any prenatal vitamin regimen, but expecting mothers should also read labels and compare products to ensure they are receiving the proper levels of vital nutrients. Other important prenatal vitamins/minerals to look for are vitamin A/B12/C/DE, niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, zinc and copper.
If you have a bundle of joy on the way, make sure you give your child the best start possible with prenatal vitamins purchased at FSAstore.com! We have the web's largest selection of FSA eligible products to support the health and wellness of you and your loved ones.
Vitafusion PreNatal Gummy Vitamins
Easy on the stomach and provide expectant mothers a multi-vitamin formula.
Rainbow Light Prenatal One™ Multivitamin
A holistic, whole body formulation that provides potencies of essential nutrients.
Learn about the CDC's report on breastfeeding and the global standard for hospital care. Your FSA can support baby care, too.
Breastfeeding is often arguably the best decision that a new mother can make for the long-term development of her child, but traditionally, hospitals wouldn't take a stand for or against the practice. However, a new study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that hospital support for breastfeeding is slowly but surely becoming the norm nationwide.
According to the CDC's recentVital Signs monthly report, a majority of U.S. hospitals now use the "Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding," the global standard for hospital care to support the practice of breastfeeding. In 2007, 29 percent of U.S. hospitals embraced these guidelines, and this jumped significantly to 54 percent by 2013, a nearly two-fold increase in six years.
"Breastfeeding has immense health benefits for babies and their mothers," said CDC director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. "More hospitals are better supporting new moms to breastfeed - every newborn should have the best possible start in life."
How your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) can help with breastfeeding and overall baby care:
New or expecting mothers can find everything they need to give their babies the best start in life by purchasing breastfeeding supplies from FSAstore.com! You can shop for various breastfeeding supplies and medical accessories to take care of your baby.
Check out Medela to shop and learn more about baby care with your FSA.
Understanding the benefits of breastfeeding
Physicians have long advocated for breastfeeding, but hospital support and the types of direction that new mothers receive in the hospital can be pivotal in them creating a treatment plan and sticking to it for the betterment of their child. The CDC report also revealed that 60 percent of new mothers cease breastfeeding before they'd like, so programs like the Ten Steps could be pivotal in giving mothers the knowledge necessary to breastfeed successfully.
The American Academy of Pediatrics reports that breastfeeding holds innumerable benefits for mother and child, including ease of digestion, ideal nutrition, protection against common colds/illnesses and even the prevention of specific disorders like obesity, diabetes, asthma, colitis and some cancers.
Curious as to how your FSA can help with breastfeeding? Learn more about FSA eligible products and services that can help you take care of your baby.
Pregnancy is an exciting time, and your FSA can play a role in it, too! After all, you're getting ready to welcome your bundle of joy to the world and expand your family. Admittedly, you might also have lots of questions about breastfeeding, your baby's health, your own health and necessary checkups, and much more, and that's understandable!
Questions might come including: What type of breast pump should you buy? Are there accessories? What health screenings do you need? Will insurance or an FSA cover expenses involved pre-birth?
Luckily, an FSA can help in a variety of ways.
Let's start by taking a look at some of the basics and expand into which baby care products and services your FSA can cover.
FSA EligibleServices Before Baby
Before baby's arrival, you'll be visiting various healthcare specialists to get the necessary care and guidance to make baby's arrival as smooth as possible. A Flexible Spending Account or FSA can used for many services, but if you or your spouse have questions about specific expenses, it's best to ask your FSA administrator about services your plan covers.
For example, FSAs can be used for:
Visits to the gynecologist
Birthing classes (partially covered, as long as they are medically relevant i.e.relate to the childbirth itself and focus on breathing techniques and labor stages or delivery procedures).
Birthing coaches (as long as the coach is necessary for the treatment of a medical condition). You'd need a Letter of Medical Necessity to get FSA reimbursement.
To discover other eligible expenses, visit our FSA Eligibility List.Or, you can ask your FSA administrator for the details of your plan.
FSA Eligible Products For Breastfeeding
In addition to medical services, you can also use your FSA for healthcare products like Medela breast pumps and breastfeeding accessories.
Wondering which breast pump might best suit your needs? Take Medela's survey and discover the answer, and then save by using your FSA for a pump at FSAstore.com!
Looking for additional breastfeeding accessories? Medela has a selection of compatible items whether it's breast milk storage bottles or storagebags, breast pump bustiers, nursing bra pads, and more. Shop for Medela at FSAstore.com
Baby Health Items Available with an FSA:
Additional items covered by an FSA include prenatal vitamins, baby sunscreen (SPF 15+), and baby health products such as baby thermometers, nasal aspirators and baby saline spray.
Shop for Baby Care at FSAstore.com
If you'd like items such as baby formula or baby rash ointment, you'd need to obtain a prescription for FSA reimbursement. Baby oil and baby powder are not covered by an FSA.
Know a mom-to-be? Share today's blog post with tips on how she can use an FSA and save on healthcare items and services!
Owlet Smart Sock 2 Baby Monitor
Wraps around your baby's foot to track and trend their heart rate, oxygen levels and sleep.
Fall is officially here. Learn about fall health for your baby on our blog.
Prepare for Colder Weather
Babies can be prone to different health problems depending on cooler temperatures. Make sure to adequately prepare your house and your family while leaving home, especially on those chillier autumn days.
Prevent the flu
Use your Flexible Spending Account to get a flu shot. They're covered! You can also buy Cold & Allergy products with your FSA, whether you're dealing with fall allergies, a cold, or flu-like symptoms.
Check out the TheraPearl Hot/Cold Eye Pack for sinus pressure relief
Shop for Cold and Allergy Products at FSA Store
Does your baby or older child have a fever?
Thermometers are covered by your Flexible Spending Account (FSA). It's easy to monitor their fevers with a wide variety of thermometers.
Keep kids comfy while they're sick
Another fun item to keep kids comfy while they're feeling sick is a Thermal-Aid Zoo Animal. These 100% natural cotton items can be used for both hot and cold therapy and treat fevers, earaches, flu symptoms, sprains, headaches and more.
Keep kids healthy during school
Have a little one in school? Make sure you treat minor injuries or cold/flu-like symptoms as quickly as possible to ensure they stay healthy during the year.
Shop for Back to School items with your FSA
Additional items covered by your FSA for Baby and Young Children:
- Nasal aspirators &saline solution. Nasal aspirators or saline solution can be a great way to treat a cold and provide some relief. However, if you think your baby has closer to flu-like symptoms, be sure to contact your doctor.
- If you need administer medications to baby,you can use specialmedicatorsthat provide medications ina pain-free way.
- Breast Pumps & Accessories (storage bags, nipple shields, etc.).
- Baby sunscreen (SPF 15+). Use baby sunscreen year-round to keep your baby's sensitive skin protected from the elements.
- Items containing active medical ingredients including baby aspirin, chest rubs or diaper rash cream are covered but require a prescription for FSA reimbursement.
Summer may slowly be winding down, but warm weather will be around for a while. Learn about three ways to keep your baby cool for the remainder of summer.
Even though the end of summer will be here before you know it, warm weather will be around a bit longer. And, you might be curious about ways to stay cool, or ways to make sure your baby stays cool, as well.
BabyCenter recently shared some great tips on how to keep your baby cool and comfy during summer, and here's how your FSA can help!
1. Keep your baby protected from the sun. Baby skin is very sensitive, and requires extra protection from the sun's harmful UV rays. Be sure to bring baby sunscreen for any outdoor outing, and to dress your baby in easy-breathing, cotton clothes and proper sun protection (wide-brimmed hats). Avoid the hottest moments of the day and go outside during off-peak hours (avoiding going out between 10am and 5 pm).
Shop for baby sunscreen with your FSA.
2. Ensure that your baby stays properly hydrated. According to BabyCenter's experts, "If your baby is younger than six months, and if you are exclusively breastfeeding, you do not need to give him water, even in hot weather. Babies who breastfeed whenever they wish do not get dehydrated." They added, "In hot weather, your baby may want to have more frequent, shorter feeds. He will get enough liquid from your breastmilk. These short feeds will give him more foremilk. This is thinner and more refreshing than the fat rich hindmilk. So let him have as many extra feeds as he wishes. If your baby is formula-fed, you could offer him some boiled, cooled water in hot weather.
Shop for baby care products with your FSA.
Shop for Medela with your Flexible Spending Account
3. Create a little oasis to retreat from the heat. Why not give your baby some time in his/her bathtub, a splash in the pool, or an inflatable, specially-designed baby pool? This will be a great way to help your baby cool off.
Averyimportant note from the BabyCenter experts, "Avoid taking your baby to an air conditioned room right after a bath
Switch on the air conditioner only after your baby is fully clothed and his hair is dry. Dress your baby in thicker cotton clothes and an inner vest if you plan to keep him in an air conditioned room all day. Babies can quickly catch a chill or cold if they are not well protected."
For more information and additional tips, turn to the extendedarticle with great tips from BabyCenter