10 FSA eligible staff favorites for the March 15 Grace Period deadline

We're just going to say what everyone's been thinking: 2020 was, well, a year. We understand that there's probably a lot weighing on you, but figuring out how to use your FSA funds before the March 15th Grace Period Deadline shouldn't be one of them.

So, we're here to help you start thinking about it. Whether you need a refresher on the basics or are looking to delve a bit deeper, our website has a ton of helpful information on FSAs, eligible products, and those important deadlines. We know you have some time before March 15th, but we thought we'd help in the idea department in case your pandemic fatigue has your mind completely blank (because we hear that's a thing that we may or may not have).

Here are 10 of our staff's favorite FSA eligible products:

1. Sejoy Infrared Forehead Thermometer

According to The New York Times, 6 million Americans received the coronavirus vaccine and more than 27 million have received the first dose. While this is progress, COVID-19 is still in full force. Protecting yourself and others is hugely important, so spending your remaining funds on important virus preparedness items is a great investment. The Sejoy Infrared Forehead Thermometer is one such device. It's a no-contact thermometer that gives quick and easy results. Especially suited for the pandemic, it's the same kind of thermometer doctors' offices and employers have been using to safely check temperatures without touching anyone, and with it you can do that in your own home.

2. Zyrtec Adult Allergy Relief Tabs - 90 ct

Whether you're prepping for the just-around-the-corner allergy season, or you're someone who suffers from allergies all year long, using those remaining 2020 FSA dollars on Zyrtec Adult Allergy Relief Tabs is an excellent idea. Its prescription strength provides 24-hour relief of indoor and outdoor allergy symptoms, including itchy nose and throat, runny nose, sneezing, and itchy and watery eyes.

3. MyPurMist Free Cordless Ultrapure Steam Inhaler

The best thing about the MyPurMist Free Cordless Ultrapure Steam Inhaler? Actually, we can think of two: it helps ease sinus pressure and pain when you're not feeling well, and it also sort of makes you feel like you're in a steam room, which sort of makes you feel like you're in a luxurious spa. If that feels like a stretch, know that it's an all-natural, drug-free remedy and a great choice for allergy season and year-round nasal irrigation.

4. Omron Total Power Heat + TENS Unit

The Omron Total Power Heat + TENS Unit makes you feel like you're at physical therapy (if physical therapy was in your own home). It's a drug-free pain relief option that combines soothing heat with TENS therapy (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) to relieve acute and chronic muscle and joint pain.

5. myLAB Box COVID-19 At-Home Viral Detection Test

There are a lot of COVID-19 preventative measures we should all be taking: social distancing, wearing masks, washing hands, and getting tested. But weekly COVID testing isn't accessible or affordable for everyone. That's where the myLAB Box COVID-19 At-Home Viral Detection Test comes in! This at-home COVID-19 testing kit is the perfect solution. It takes saliva samples (as opposed to the hard-to-do-yourself and somewhat uncomfortable nasal swabs at clinics and hospitals) and provides pre-paid shipping labels so you can get your test results ASAP.

6. Elvie Double Electric Breast Pump

This is one of our most popular breastfeeding products, and for good reason. The Elvie Double Electric Breast Pump allows for hands-free pumping and eliminates noise for a peaceful pumping session. Plus, it comes with a free app (not necessary for operation — just a bonus!) so moms can easily monitor milk volume in real time, track pumping history for each breast, and control the pump remotely.

7. BAND-AID® Adhesive Bandages Variety Pack, 120 Count

Cuts and scrapes are bound to happen, so it's super useful to have these bandages around. This variety pack has a bunch of different kinds, including bandages that are waterproof, clear, designed for sports, and even ones with Disney characters on them!

8. Neosporin Plus Pain Relief, Maximum Strength Antibiotic Ointment, 1 oz

Bandages and antibiotic ointments go perfectly together, so once you add the BAND-AID® Adhesive Bandages Variety Pack to cart, you don't want to forget about Neosporin. It helps heal cuts, burns, and scrapes quickly and prevent infection, and is always useful to have on hand.

9. Aveeno Clear Complexion Face Moisturizer, 4oz

Let's face it, if moisturizer isn't part of your acne treatment routine, your skin is missing out. This one is specially formulated with salicylic acid for people with stubborn pimples, helps prevent breakouts, and clears up blemishes. It also has a soy complex to gently moisturize, improve your complexion, and keep skin feeling refreshed.

10. Miku Smart Baby Monitor with Breathing and Movement

This item may be last, but it definitely shouldn't be at the bottom of your list. If you're a parent with a newborn, the Miku Smart Baby Monitor with Breathing and Movement is a must-have. One of our most popular hi-tech health items, it allows you to monitor your baby's breathing, temperature, humidity, sound, and movement without wires or wearables through a compatible smartphone app. You can rest assured while your baby rests peacefully.

We hope you're as excited by these products as we are, but if you're looking for some other FSA eligible items to catch your eye, check out our FSA Deadline Spending Guide. Whether it's sun care, thermometers, tampons and pads, or any of our other health essentials, we've made it beyond easy to use your remaining dollars before the 3/15 Grace Deadline. Happy shopping!

Thanks for visiting the FSA Learning Center! To stay on top of all FSA news that can affect your health and financial wellness, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

FSAstore.com’s Favorite Staff Picks for the 2020 Grace Period Deadline

For more than a third of the flexible spending account (FSA) user population, March 15 is a pivotal deadline when they have to spend the last of their 2019 funds before they're forfeited to the "use-it-or-lose-it" rule.

Need some help getting your wellness shopping trip started? Let the FSAstore.com staff help. We've compiled our staff's favorite newly eligible and top sellers so you can get exactly what you need to spend your remaining funds and get what your family needs to stay healthy year-round.

1. MDSolarSciences Hydrating Lip Balm SPF 30

"This is my favorite sun-safe lip balm that goes with everything. It has broad spectrum protection and helps prevent chapped lips," - Pauline F.

2. Bug Bite Thing

"This is one of our office favorites. It uses a suction tool to remove insect saliva and venom to quickly get rid of any itching or burning after a bite," - Kevin O.

3. KT Tape Recovery Cold Therapy Roller

"If I have a sports injury or just some regular workout soreness, this is a great option to have in my freezer to fight off pain and inflammation," - Ethan W.

4. Kanjo Acupressure Zip-Apart Mat

"I'm a big fan of Kanjo products, and this zip-apart mat helps me set up and break down the mat quickly and stow it in a suitcase or bag when traveling. It's a great way to treat common pain issues that can affect your neck and back," - Brendon A.

5. Attitude Living Baby & Kids Mineral Face Stick SPF 30 Fragrance-free

"I love this face stick for my little ones because it's plant-based, reef-safe and certified sustainable while offering broad spectrum protection against UVA/UVB rays," - Nancy H.

6. Recoup Cryosleeve Cold Compression Sleeve

"When I pull a muscle or tweak something at the gym, this cold compression sleeve is a lifesaver. It conforms to the area to ease pain and speed up the recovery process," - Bill S.

7. Sven Can See Antifog Gel

"If you wear contacts or eyeglasses, an FSA is a no-brainer to cover vision corrective aides and everything else that goes with them. I'm a big fan of Sven Antifog gel that will keep my lenses clear for 24 hours and comes in a pen-sized spray bottle that can go with you anywhere," - Zach W.

8. Elvie Double Electric Breast Pump

"After using a regular breast pump after the birth of my first child, I'm absolutely wowed by the Elvie. It can be worn in a standard nursing bra, and I can get stuff done while still being able to pump. It's one of the coolest mom innovations out there today," - Vanessa S.

9. Caring Mill Travel Heating Pad

"You'd be amazed how many ways you can use a heating pad, especially when it comes to treating abdominal cramps and discomfort. This Caring Mill design is perfect for use at home and can fit easily in a travel bag, and each sale benefits our charitable partner, Children's Health Fund! It's a win-win," - Jackie D.

March 15 will be here before you know it, so make sure you shop at FSAstore.com for all of your deadline spending needs:

  • Shop worry-free until midnight PST on March 15
  • 24/7 access to FSA experts, call or chat
  • 100% eligible products, guaranteed

Podcast-Eligible: Let's talk FSA and HSA budgeting

Sean and Brad ring in the new year by discussing the best ways users can make the most of their tax-free accounts and budget appropriately throughout their plan years.

If you want more ideas, head over to our shop, to find 4,000+ guaranteed-eligible health care items, with something for any budget.


Asked and Answered: What happens to lost FSA money?

As you probably know from looking around our site, the 12/31 deadline is just about here. It's an exciting time for us, of course. But it's also an exciting time for FSA owners who have the chance to make the most of their tax-free funds, rather than forfeiting them due to the "use it or lose it" rule.

Whether we're reminding FSA holders of upcoming deadlines, or just sharing some information about these tax-free accounts, "use it or lose it" has become a tagline for our entire team. And, because we offer a growing selection of 4,000+ FSA-eligible products, people usually don't have any trouble using their FSA funds.

Still, with the deadline here, we thought it would be a good idea to revisit the most common questions about FSA funds -- what happens to the money that does get lost? No one likes losing money, no matter the amount. So we thought it was a good idea to remind people of what happens if they end up on the wrong side of the "use it or lose it" rule.

Let's cut to the chase…

You may not like this answer, but your unused FSA money returns to your employer. These funds can be used in a variety of ways, which we'll get to in a bit. Now, before you and your coworkers march down the hall with flaming torches, realize they're not the "bad guys" in this scenario. In fact, they're on your side, and are even taking some risks to make FSAs available to employees.

See it from your company's perspective

It's true -- your employer assumes a good amount of financial risk when you sign up for an FSA. That's because even though you get to contribute to your account little by little, through regular paycheck deductions, you actually have access to the entire year's allocation, right from the beginning of the plan year.

Who's fronting that money? You guessed it, the employers. And they're on the hook for any losses if you leave the company before making a full year's contribution.

In other words, if your plan year begins on January 1, and you opt for an expensive FSA-eligible procedure that week, you can use the entire year's allocation to pay for it tax-free. But if you quit a month later, your company is forced to eat that balance.

So, lost FSA funds from other employees can be used to offset these losses. It's not what your employers want to do. But it's certainly better for them than having to absorb the entire loss.

So where does it go from there?

While we certainly can't fault companies for wanting to protect themselves from potential financial losses, some choose to reinvest this "found" money into its people. No, they can't just refund you the exact amount you lost. But there are several ways they can share the wealth and ease the sting of lost funds.

1. Pooling

Though it's rare, companies could choose to give the money back to its employees directly. It's not as simple as refunding the exact amount lost to each person with an FSA, but employers might opt to pool the collective losses and distribute back to plan participants in a fair, uniform way.

(To be clear, any money returned to participants must be distributed to ALL participants -- not just those who lost funds that year.)

2. Administrative fees

Companies may choose to save these excess funds and use them as a way to offset the costs and fees involved in providing FSAs. By doing so, they can make it easier to offer these accounts to employees.

In this "worst case" scenario, your money ends up used in a way we outlined above. There is good news though -- your employer may offer a few options to help extend your funds and avoid losing them altogether.

1. Grace period

Many employers offer an FSA grace period -- something we've discussed quite a bit in our Learning Centers -- which gives you an extra 2.5 months to use their funds from the previous plan year. For example, if your plan year ends on December 31, you have until March 15 of the following year to use those funds before risking a loss.

2. Rollover

Another common FSA feature is the rollover option, which allows you to carry up to $500 of your FSA dollars to the following year, eliminating any last-minute rushes or lost funds.

Like we said at the beginning of the article, no one likes losing money, which is why we encourage users to create a budget and spend accordingly to meet your family's health care needs. But on the off chance you miss your FSA deadline, know that the money is safe, and might even find its way back to you before long.


From FSA basics to the most specific account details, in our weekly Asked and Answered column, our team gets to the bottom of your most-pressing flex spending questions. It appears every Wednesday, 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.


Real Money: Just how strict is the 12/31 FSA deadline?

Just take a look around FSAstore.com and you'll notice that we're racing toward the year-end FSA deadline. And there's a good reason -- a LOT of people have their deadlines fall on the end of the calendar year. It's an exciting time around here (and for anyone getting great deals on FSA-eligible products) but it doesn't apply to all FSA holders.

So, the first thing you need to do is contact your FSA administrator, to be 100% sure of your deadline, and your options. If you do have the 12/31 deadline, it's technically pretty strict, but that doesn't mean you have to submit all your claims by the end of the year.

If you have a 12/31 deadline, there are two other dates in 2020 you need to be aware of — March 15 and March 31. These are both deadlines that may apply to you to but they're drastically different in terms of the last date you can spend your FSA funds.

Confused? Not to worry, we've got you covered.

Which deadline do you have?

As I mentioned before, there are two separate deadlines. The grace period for December 31 plans ends on March 15, while the run out period typically ends on March 31

The runout period is the time you can submit to get your FSA funds reimbursed for the previous plan year. For example, you have $300 left in your FSA in 2019 and are waiting on invoices. If your plan offers the runout period, then you likely have until March 31, 2020 to submit the receipts for the $300 or else you risk losing the money.

On the other hand, the grace period typically ends on March 15 on the following year. This is where your FSA provider gives you time to purchase new products or services before you need to forfeit your money. That $300 in your FSA funds for this year can be used up until March 15, 2020. It can include money you spend on qualified expenses anywhere between January 1 and March 15, 2019.

Your FSA provider may also give you a rollover option — and it means just that -- you can roll over up to $500 into your 2020 FSA budget. Keep in mind that your plan will only offer either the grace period or rollover options (you can't have both), they can be combined with the runout, and they may offer none of them. Your employer's plan is not obligated to offer any additional extensions for people with a year-end deadline, so again -- check with your administrator before assuming anything.

(If you still have questions, we have a fantastic guide that decodes these terms so you know exactly where you stand.)

Now I know… so what now?

No matter what your plan's rules are, it's still a good idea to comb through your 2019 expenses to see if you've already made claims on them. Hopefully, you've been keeping track of receipts and invoices for this very reason.

If you have the runout period, now's the time to make sure you spend the rest of the FSA funds before December 31. You still have time to submit receipts until the cut off date.

If you have the runout, make sure you budget accordingly so that you can use up the funds. Let's say you still have $200 left to spend and your FSA providers allows you to spend those funds until March 15, 2020. Make a budget now to see what qualified medical expenses you can make so that you're prepared.

With the rollover option, think about your expenses for the year and if you will have more than $500 remaining at plan year-end, make sure you spend it down.. Does this mean you'll need to change your contribution amount for 2020? Or are there upcoming expenses you have you didn't before?

Planning ahead will help you with budgeting and making sure you use your FSA funds the right way. It's worth taking the time to do it, because the savings are usually pretty significant.

Use it... don't lose it!


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.


Asked and Answered: Any last-minute tips for FSA owners before tax day?

Tax day is here. If you're one of the 30 million Americans who did not withhold enough money throughout the year and now owe money to the IRS as a result, it's probably not the most festive time of the year.

But here's the good news — if you're also one of the 35 million Americans who have an FSA, then it's the perfect time to check on your account and make sure everything is up-to-date. After all, when you owe money (or narrowly escaped owing money!) every dollar counts.

Always speak with a tax professional to get proper advice for your own tax situation. But in the meantime, here's a few tips we find helpful when assessing our FSAs during tax season.

Don't worry about extra filing steps

First off, breathe easier knowing this fact: Unlike HSAs, which need to be reported on Form 1040, there are no reporting requirements for FSAs on your income tax return. There's one less thing to worry about!

But you do need to be wary of your deductions! Because you can't -- no matter how tempting it might be -- deduct qualified medical expenses if they were paid with tax-free FSA dollars. And that includes any money you forfeit at the deadline. If you have any unused cash in your FSA, since you already got a deduction, you can't deduct the loss.

Double check the rules

If you don't understand the unique rules for your FSA, then you may miss out on potential benefits like "run-out" periods, grace periods and rollovers. Because plan providers are not required to offer any of these perks, they vary from plan to plan. Take a few minutes to check in with your plan provider and brush up on the rules for your FSA. It's time well spent.

For most FSA owners, whose plan years end on 12/31, these extended deadlines have come and gone. But if your FSA operates on a different calendar, some of these perks might still be available to you, so you don't lose your funds.

To do: Check in with your human resources department and explicitly ask if your employer plan offers any of these three options for FSA users: "run-out" periods, carryovers and grace periods. (And make a note, so you don't fall into the same problem this time next year!)

File for reimbursement

Whether you have a "run-out" period and have expenses from last year or you have new expenses from this year, it's important to file for reimbursement with your employer. In fact, it's especially during tax season because it might mean that you get unexpected money from your FSA for eligible expenses that you've already purchased.

The process of filing for reimbursement varies from plan to plan, but it usually involves the following steps:

  • Knowing your deadlines. There's a deadline for when you'll need to submit any requests for reimbursement, so keep track of your plan details.
  • Then you'll want to gather your receipts. Whether it's for prescriptions, copays or eligible health products, you need to get organized.
  • Next, you'll file with your FSA provider. Usually, you will file for reimbursement online or through a mobile app. However, you might also be able to submit your claim my email or mail. As usual, it all depends on your plan.
  • Finally, you will want to track the reimbursement to make sure it's deposited into your account or cash the reimbursement check once you receive it. This is also the perfect time to note how much money you have left in your FSA for the rest of the year.

Take another look at your expenses

Now that you've gathered your receipts and filed for reimbursement, it's time to double-check your expenses. There are a lot of common expenses that you probably know are covered — copays for doctor visits, home medical items and even acupressure products to relieve pain — but there might be some expenses you made that you didn't even know were eligible. It's worth a second look.

To do: Skim through the FSA eligibility list to check for possible expenses that you missed.


From FSA basics to the most specific account details, in our weekly Asked and Answered column, our team gets to the bottom of your most-pressing flex spending questions. It appears every Wednesday, 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.


Flex-Ed: Why you shouldn't "stockpile" items with your FSA (and shouldn't have to)

Even though it feels like we just went through a deadline period (well, we sorta did) it's hard to believe that the Grace Period deadline is just a month away. This winter has gone quickly, and you might find yourself wondering just how you're going to spend down the rest of your 2018 FSA funds.

To a newcomer, it might seem easy -- just load up on eligible products to make sure that you don't lose those funds. But it's not quite that easy.

By IRS rules, you're not allowed to do that. But, there are still some options that can help you avoid losing any funds. Let's take a closer look at how you can take advantage of all your FSA benefits before deadline hits, while staying on the right side of IRS mandates.

How will the IRS know I'm "stockpiling?"

We get it -- it's not like federal agents are monitoring your monthly bandage and ice pack usage. While the term hasn't been fully defined, stockpiling eligible items within your FSA means you buy more items than you're realistically able to use before the end of the plan year.

By the very nature of FSAs, any products you buy should be for meeting a health care need for you and your qualified dependents. Because of this, the IRS doesn't let you front load your shopping cart with items. And, to be honest, your administrator can probably figure out any potential stockpiling by looking at your purchase history. (Hint: administrators are required by law to look through your expenses to ensure they're qualified.)

Let's say it's March 1st and you still have $400 left in your FSA. You realize that you're running out of sunscreen, so you decide to buy 25 bottles of your favorite SPF15+ variety, just to get your family of three ready for a long summer season. Easy as it gets, right?

The problem is that unless your little family is somehow going to use all that sunscreen in the next 30 days or so, your FSA administrator may flag that purchase as a little excessive.

No, uniformed officers probably aren't going to crash through your door to confiscate your sunscreen. And some FSA administrators might not even give it a second look (even though they should). But others might. If they do, you'll probably get a letter that indicates that this type of spending goes against the nature of FSAs … and that your reimbursement might be in question.

Not only does that create an unnecessary headache for you (especially when trying to make good use of your tax-free funds) but it also goes against the principles that allowed FSAs to be such a benefit in the first place. Playing by the rules is important, friends.

Rollover and grace periods are here to help!

The best way to avoid stockpiling is to spend down your FSA balance within your plan year. This way, you can avoid the mad scramble once deadline time rolls around.

But if you find that you can't quite pull that off, it's important to know that some FSA plans allow you to carry over up to $500 of the previous year's funds into the next calendar year. If your plan doesn't offer that option, it may offer a grace period of two-and-a-half months at the end of the plan year -- exactly the season we're in now for anyone who had a 12/31 deadline.

You may have this option and not even know it. You might even think you lost some funds at the end of 2018 -- forever. But the reality is you might still have time to use this money, before you actually do lose it.

There's no time like today -- contact your FSA administrator to see the status of your account, and whether your plan offers a carryover or a grace period option so you can finish off those 2018 funds, and plan better for the coming year.

That said, remember to be smart when doing this spending. Take a good look at your household's health care supplies and wellness needs, and then make realistic purchases that not only ensure your family's health, but also that it falls in line with the true intention of tax-free health care accounts.


New to FSAs? Need a refresher course in all things flex spending? Our weekly Flex-Ed column gives you a weekly dose of FSA Living 101, offering tips for making the most of your tax-free funds. Look for it every Thursday, exclusively on the FSAstore.com Learning Center.


[WATCH] What's an FSA Grace Period?

Having an FSA grace period is sort of like getting an extension on a final paper in college in that it gives you more time to use the funds from your prior plan year. If you still have 2018 FSA funds leftover after the 12/31 deadline, the FSA grace period is almost here!

Watch the video below to get a quick rundown of FSA grace periods, so you can make the most of those remaining funds before they're gone!


And for a closer look at FSA grace periods, along with some other FSA options you might not even know about, check out The Simple Guide to decoding the FSA grace period, rollover & run-out.


Podcast-Eligible: Deadline Bling

The 12/31 deadline is approaching, and if you have an FSA through your employer (and don't have the 2.5 month grace period or $500 rollover), there's a good chance your FSA deadline is coming in the next few weeks! As always, please check with your HR department for the specific end date of your plan year!

In this episode, we recap some of our favorite FSA-eligible products of the year, and help you shop based on how much you have left in your account. (Don't worry about taking notes - we'll provide links to all of our favorite products below the podcast link.)


On average, about $30 is forfeited each year by individual FSAs. This might not seem like a lot, but it adds up to millions of unspent dollars annually across the country. Since it's your money, check out the show to see how Kevin and Sean can help you avoid deadline oversights.

$50 and below


$200 and above

If you have FSA money to spend before 12/31, come visit us! We'll accept orders with your FSA card until midnight PST - no other retailer can say that. Happy deadline season and we'll see you in the new year!