Summer's here, and that means warm weather, long days, and plenty of opportunities to hit the road on a bike. While there's something to be said for getting out and forgetting the worries of everyday life, you'd be doing yourself a disservice if you spent more time preparing for your mid-ride lunch stop than ensuring your safety while out on the road!
Luckily, saving money on some simple purchases to improve your cycling experience is easier than ever. And you can pay for them through an unexpected source - your flexible spending account (FSA) funds! Here are a few great FSA-eligible items that could make your ride safer and more comfortable.
If you don't plan ahead for your ride with the right sun protection, you may end up with an epic burn instead. Last year's sunscreen may have a limited shelf life, so make sure that you're prepared for the new season with the most effective sun care regimen. Sunscreen with broad spectrum protection against ultraviolet rays and SPF 15 or above is eligible for FSA reimbursement, so make sure you and your loved ones avoid sunburn wherever you're headed.
- Lip Balm
With the constant flow of wind in your face while biking, which may result in chapped lips for days afterward. While not all lip balm is FSA-eligible, those that are, follow the same eligibility requirements as sunscreen. As long as lip balm is SPF 15+ and offers broad spectrum protection, it is FSA-eligible!
- Allergy Medicine
Being in the great outdoors comes with its own set of challenges, not the least of which are high pollen counts that could trigger your allergic symptoms. Allergy medication can help you breathe a little easier when you're out on the road, and over-the-counter medicines are eligible for FSA reimbursement with a prescription from a doctor.
- Hot/Cold Packs
Whether you're an avid cyclist or a total newbie, a long ride can leave your muscles sore for days after physical activity, but your FSA can help tackle that as well! Hot and cold packs are eligible over-the-counter products that can administer targeted heat and cold therapy to soothe sore muscles, curb swelling and reduce pain so you can get back on the road faster.
- Crash Pack
Last but not least, we never want to think about it when we're out on the road or on the trail, but falling off your bike in an emergency can lead to a serious injury that could be worsened without the right preparation. Every cyclist should keep a crash pack handy, and your FSA can help cover an extensive selection of bandages, braces, first aid kits and—worst-case scenario—crutches.
No matter where you're headed this summer, make FSAstore.com a part of your plans! We have the web's largest selection of FSA-eligible products to keep you and your loved ones healthy year-round.
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!
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
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
- 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
Wondering what to pack for your next hike or camping trip? Don't forget to add a first-aid kit before you leave. Read about 5 must-haves for your kit.
First aid kits are among the most popular FSA eligible items available at FSAstore.com, and in the event of a major emergency, they can give you confidence to respond effectively in some scary situations.
Of course, no first aid kit can be expected to treat every emergency that arises, so it's wise to supplement yours with a few products that could prove invaluable in a pinch.
Here are 5 must-haves for your first-aid kit:
Activated Charcoal Powder
Poison control is often overlooked in first aid kits, but activated charcoal powder is a smart choice during these instances. These ultra fine charcoal grains can absorb a wide variety of drugs and chemicals, has a nearly indefinite shelf life and can be a life-saver in poisoning emergencies that could also include venomous bites and even severe allergic reactions.
Foreign objects, chemicals and other environmental hazards can cause significant damage to the eyes if they are not cleaned quickly, and many first aid kits do not include an eye wash to handle these situations. Opt for a large enough bottle that can provide a steady stream into the eyes, and be sure to look for a product with an active preservative so it will stay fresh for years in your first aid kit.
Before handling a wound or other afflicted area, you should ensure that your hands are clean to avoid spreading them to affected areas and possibly leading to infections. Hand sanitizer is the quickest and easiest way to remove germs and other pathogens from your hands and should be a mainstay in any first aid kit.
These rugged scissors are used to remove clothing in the event of a major injury, so the person providing first aid can get to the afflicted area quickly. The shears' design of a blunt tip and curved blades will reduce the chances of further injury, as well as being easy to use by those caring for the injured or for the injured person to remove clothing on his/her own.
Surprisingly, there are a number of first aid kits that do not contain safety pins, but these hold innumerable medical uses. They can be used to cinch bandages over a wound, fasten a sling and even used to dig out small objects like splinters and debris from underneath the skin.
Using an FSA for first-aid items:
Of course, you can't get started on improving your first aid kit if you don't have one!
Shop for Adventure Medical Kits with your FSA.
These comprehensive first aid kits have something for all kinds of situations, whether you're at home, traveling, camping, hiking or hunting!