Eligibility

5 FSA-eligible products for your next business trip

If you ask most business travelers, they will tell you that they have a love/hate relationship with the practice. While it's certainly exciting to see and experience new places, the daily grind of flying and an ever-changing slate of hotel rooms can weigh on even the most savvy business traveler.

So if you had a way to improve your comfort level, avoid chronic pain issues and maintain your overall wellness during travel, you wouldn't turn it down, right? Luckily, if you have a flexible spending account (FSA), your benefit covers a huge range of eligible products that will do just that. Here's how to use FSA money to boost your overall health during your next business trip.

  1. Orthopedic Neck Pillow

If you experience chronic pain issues from sleeping in an upright position, you may experience additional pain throughout your business trip. An orthopedic neck pillow can contour to the neck and shoulders, and can be used in conjunction with traditional pillows to provide a comfortable sleep position that alleviates pain.

Check Out: IMAK HappiNeck Orthopedic Neck Support

  1. Acupressure Mat

Tackling pain on the road is tough, but instead of constantly resorting to over-the-counter pain relievers, acupressure mats may be the perfect solution. Acupressure mats target specific pressure points in the user's back, neck and shoulders to alleviate pain in various parts of the body. These mats are used to treat back/neck/shoulder pain, fibromyalgia pain and even migraines. Best of all, they are compact and can be stored in a suitcase with ease.

Check Out: Kenko Acupressure Mat for Back/Neck Pain, Emerald

  1. Pain Relief Eye Mask

In addition to helping to block out light to help you sleep, pain relief eye masks are great options for business travelers who experience migraines, sinus pain or wake up with puffy eyes. After a short time in the refrigerator, these masks can provide cooling relief to fight pain and inflammation so you can wake up feeling your best.

Check Out: IMAK Eye Mask, Pain Relief

  1. Sun Protection with Daily Moisturizer

Is your face feeling as refreshed as it could be before a major business excursion? Daily moisturizers are usually not FSA-eligible, but those that offer broad spectrum protection and an SPF of 15+ are eligible for reimbursement with an FSA as long as their primary purpose is sun protection. These products can help refresh the look of your skin and safeguard your skin from the harsh effects of UVA and UVB rays.

Check Out: MDSolarSciences Daily Anti-Aging Moisturizer SPF 30, Travel Size

  1. Eyeglass Repair Kit

If you wear glasses, you know the nightmare of having your eyewear break while on the road. Luckily, a surprising number of eyeglass accessories are FSA eligible, from eyeglass repair kits to cleaning wipes to cleaning sprays. Prepare ahead of time for these emergencies to give you confidence on your business trip!

Check Out: Flents Eyeglass Repair Kit

IMAK HappiNeck Orthopedic Neck Support

Offers the ultimate in neck comfort and support, for traveling or relaxing.


Living Well

How to survive allergy season with contact lenses

When you're experiencing the worst of your seasonal allergy symptoms this spring, just imagine how much worse it could be if you were wearing contact lenses! This time of year is especially trying for contact lens wearers, as the American Optometric Association claims more than 75% of contact lens wearers complain of allergen-caused eye pain and irritation.

Allergy season calls for special tactics that contact lens wearers should practice throughout spring to control their symptoms and improve their quality of life. Before your local pollen count peaks, keep the following tips in mind.

  1. Switch to eyeglasses

During allergy season, contact lenses provide an additional surface for pollen, dust and other allergens to stick to, and they can be like sponges for these particles throughout the spring, reports VeryWell.com. Wearing eyeglasses, even on a part-time basis, can dramatically limit how many allergens your eyes come into contact with and can reduce irritation over the course of allergy season.

  1. Invest in rewetting drops

If you're sticking with your contacts throughout allergy season, investing in rewetting drops or artificial tears is a must. Not only will this help your eyes feel better, but they can also wash out allergens that may be present on the surface of your lenses. Best of all, if you are enrolled in a flexible spending account (FSA), rewetting drops and other contact lens care products are FSA-eligible!

  1. Boost your cleaning regimen

Allergy season calls for a more rigorous cleaning routine, so make an effort to clean your lenses more often during the spring months to remove any lingering traces of allergens that may be present on the surface of the lenses. Consider full-scale disinfecting solutions for this time of year, and if you wear disposable lenses, replace them more often during the spring months to avoid irritation.

  1. Utilize cold compresses

One of the worst things you can do when experiencing eye irritation is to rub your eyes, as this will make the inflammation worse by spreading the allergens around your eyes. Instead, utilize cold compresses. A cool, damp towel or washcloth can work in a pinch, as well as FSA-eligible eye therapy masks that can be placed in the refrigerator and worn over the eyes when you're experiencing your worst symptoms.

This allergy season, make sure you're prepared by shopping at FSAstore.com! We have the web's largest selection of FSA-eligible products to help you maximize the potential of your healthcare benefits!

Eligibility

5 FSA eligible eye care expenses for Save Your Vision Month

Each year, the American Optometric Association sponsors Save Your Vision Month, which is held each March to promote the importance of regular, comprehensive eye care from a doctor of optometry.Your eyes are your windows to the world, and if you can't remember the last time you've been in an optometrist's office, it's never too late to put a renewed emphasis on your eye health.

Luckily, if you have a flexible spending account (FSA), your FSA can cover a huge range of qualifying optometric products and services. Don't know where to start? Here are a few FSA eligible expenses to keep in mind during Save Your Vision Month.

  1. Eye Exams

First and foremost, the cost to cover a visit to the optometrist's office is FSA eligible! A standard eye exam will consist of vision tests to check close and distant vision, Tonometry to test for glaucoma, and a thorough exam of the inner eye after the pupils have been dilated. Most eye exams will only take an hour or more to complete, which provides enough time for the exam and to be fitted for a prescription vision correction method if necessary.

  1. Eye Surgery

Surgery that is necessary to correct vision loss is FSA eligible, so if you or a loved one needs corrective surgery as the result of a vision problem or a recent injury, these procedures would be covered by your benefit. Additionally, vision correction surgeries such as LASIK are also FSA eligible, so common vision issues such as presbyopia (poor far sighted vision) and myopia (poor near sighted vision) can be treated in a single doctor's office visit.

  1. Eyeglasses

If you wear glasses, an FSA can help you save hundreds each year on the frames, lenses and accessories you need to see clearly. Both reading and prescription eyeglasses are FSA eligible, as well as eyeglass repair kits, cleaning cloths and sprays to help you prolong the life span and efficacy of your vision correction methods.

  1. Contact Lenses

Contact lens wearers must support their vision correction methods with a rigorous cleaning and maintenance regimen. Contact lenses, lens solution and carrying cases are daily mainstays for contact lens wearers, but luckily all of these products are FSA eligible as well. This can help contact wearers save hundreds each year on the products they use every day.

  1. Eye Drops

Last but not least, March hails the arrival of spring allergy season, and your vision could suffer greatly during peak pollen days when contending with itchy, watery eyes. Anti-allergy eye drops are FSA eligible and can relieve the discomfort that often accompanies the early spring for allergy sufferers.

If you're in need of eye care products during Save Your Vision Month, rely on FSAstore.com! We have the web's largest selection of FSA eligible products to help you maximize the potential of your healthcare benefits!

Eye Drops

Feel relief from the first blink.

Contacts

Keep it comfortable and choose the type you like best with FSA-eligible contact lenses.


Eligibility

10 ways to spend your FSA dollars by March 15

For many FSA users, 2016 isn't over quite yet! The period between January 1 and March 15 is the FSA grace period (for FSA plans that ended on December 31, 2016), the last chance for millions of FSA holders to spend down the remainder of their 2016 funds before they are forfeited.

Companies have the option of choosing the 2.5 month grace period or the $500 rollover when setting up FSA plans for employees, so if your plan features the grace period, there is still time to spend down the remainder of your 2016 funds before the deadline! Whether you have $600 or $60 left in your account, FSAstore.com can help you spend down your remaining 2016 funds on the eligible products you and your family use the most. Here are a few ideas to keep in mind before March 15 arrives!

  1. Medical/Dental/Vision Care

First and foremost, your FSA is one of the easiest ways to save on medical spending, so whether you've been putting off a physical exam, a dental cleaning or even thinking about LASIK surgery, these are all qualifying medical expenses that can be covered with FSA funds. Before your 2016 plan year comes to a close, use your remaining funds to lay a healthy foundation for 2017!

  1. First Aid Kits

You may have a first aid kit at home, but what about your car, boat or workplace? Accidents happen when you least expect them, so be prepared for the worst wherever you're heading with FSA eligible first aid supplies.

Check Out: Adventure Medical First Aid Kit Comprehensive

  1. Mineral Sunscreen

The sun's rays are dangerous for your skin during any season, so if you'll be spending an extended amount of time outdoors in the coming months, make sure your skin is protected with mineral sunscreen! These products do not absorb into the skin, offer broad spectrum protection against UVA/UVB rays and are ready to protect from the sun as soon as they're applied.

Check Out: La Roche Posay Anthelios SPF 50 Face Mineral Tinted Sunscreen, 1.7 fl oz

  1. Sunscreen Lip Balm with SPF 15+

Don't let your lips suffer from a lack of sun protection year-round. Sun care lip balms that contain a sun protection factor of 15 or above are FSA eligible! Apply it before heading outdoors to safeguard your lips from the elements.

Check Out: Coppertone Sport Sunscreen Lip Balm SPF 50

  1. Bandages

Bandages are staples of the modern household that can handle cuts, scratches and bruises large and small. They can also run out fast over the course of the year, so this is the perfect opportunity to plan ahead.

Check Out: Band-Aid Flexible Fabric Adhesive Bandages 1 In, 100 ea

  1. Neck Supports

Orthopedic neck supports are considered FSA eligible expenses, so if you're traveling in the future or simply need some pain relief when you're lounging around the house, these neck pillows can make a huge difference!

Check Out: IMAK HappiNeck Orthopedic Neck Support

  1. Contact Lens Accessories

In addition to contact lenses being FSA eligible, products like lens solution, carrying cases and other accessories are eligible for reimbursement as well.

Check Out: Bausch and Lomb Biotrue Multi Purpose Solution, 10 oz (Pack of 2)

  1. Eyeglass Accessories

On the opposite end of the spectrum, eyeglass wearers have plenty of care considerations of their own when maintaining their eyewear. Cleaning clothes, eyeglass repair kits and other accessories are FSA eligible, so use your benefit to ensure they're in great shape year-round.

Check Out: Apex Eyeglass Repair Kit Model No : 71013 - 1 Ea

  1. Thermometer

Has your family's thermometer seen better days? These devices have evolved by leaps and bounds in recent years to make taking a temperature easier than ever. Oral, in-ear, forehead and other designs are all eligible with an FSA!

Check Out: Braun Forehead Thermometer

  1. Blood Pressure Monitor

If you or a loved one has a history of hypertension or a family history of heart disease, blood pressure monitoring is a smart choice for future health decisions. Smartphone-enabled blood pressure monitors make it easier than ever to track numbers and share them with healthcare professionals to better realize your long-term health goals.

Check Out: Qardio Arm Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor

Adventure Medical First Aid Kit Comprehensive

Find everything you need to care for a large group on an extended trip.


Accounts

2016 FSA Mailbag recap: Y​​our top Learning Center questions answered!

2017 is finally here, and whether you're a new flexible spending account (FSA) user or a seasoned veteran of these accounts, if you ever have an issue with your benefit, you can submit a question to the FSAstore.com Learning Center! This area of our site outlines the most frequently asked questions about FSAs, and you can even submit a question to our experts who will reply to your query as quickly as possible!

We received plenty of great questions over the course of 2016, and we wanted to share a few of the most common and relevant submissions as we kick off the new year:

  1. Can I cancel my FSA contributions at any time?

Unfortunately, FSA contributions cannot be canceled at any time during the plan year and account holders are required to finish out their plan year in accordance to the payroll deductions they signed up for during the Open Enrollment period. However, there are a few special exceptions that would allow an FSA user to change their contributions, which are called Qualifying Life Events (QLEs). QLEs include a change in marital status (marriage, divorce, death of spouse), a change in the number of dependents, a change in employment status of account holder, spouse or dependent, an event that causes the dependent to satisfy or cease to satisfy an eligibility requirement for a particular benefit or a change in residence of the employee, spouse or dependent.

  1. Is there a cap on spending for eyeglasses?

There is no cap on spending for eyeglasses if they are purchased for you, your spouse or a qualified dependent. However, the IRS does not allow for the "stockpiling" of one particular item with FSA funds, so as long as account holders are not buying excessive amounts of a specific item, they should have no issues with reimbursement.

  1. I am going to finance the $5K cost of hearing aids over a 48 month period. I will then pay monthly installments totaling +/- $1,400/year. I know hearing aids are eligible expenses, but are they covered via financing? Including the finance charges?

FSAs may only provide reimbursement for services received within the current plan year. So for the year in which you actually incur the expense (you are provided with the hearing aids), you would be able to submit for reimbursement from your FSA. However, finance charges are not eligible with an FSA, and any payments you make in subsequent years would not be eligible because they would not correspond with the year in which the services (or in this case, product) were received. Keep in mind that you don't actually have to pay the expense for it to qualify for reimbursement. In the year in which you are provided with the hearing aids for example, you could potentially elect the full $2,550 FSA limit and be provided with up to $2,550 in reimbursement for your $5,000 hearing aids, whether or not you have actually paid that much to date.

  1. Can I have an FSA and HSA?

Yes, you can have what's known as a Limited FSA as that's often paired with an HSA. But to be eligible for both an HSA and FSA, the Limited FSA will only be able to cover specific items that are not covered under the HSA. For example, these limited expenses could include dental, vision or over-the-counter dental and vision products. If you have more questions about eligibility, it's best to ask your HSA/FSA administrator.

  1. What's the max allowed for 2017 medical FSA that each my husband and I can take through our individual employers?

The IRS announced in October that the 2017 FSA maximum will be $2,600, up $50 from 2016. Because the FSA max is applicable on an account by account basis, if an individual and their spouse both have access to their own FSA through their own employers (and those employers are not affiliated), they can each elect the maximum for 2017. If they did, they would have a combined household contribution of $5,200.