Basics

Podcast-Eligible: Our Co-Host on What He Gets (And What He STILL Doesn’t Get) About FSAs

Kevin is moving to the Pacific Northwest so this is his last episode! To commemorate his time at FSA Store, here's recapping what he learned about FSAs and HSAs before and AFTER joining the company, as well as what he thinks could be done better to benefit and educate regular consumers.

If you want to know what prompted this discussion, check out Kevin's article on spreading the word about FSAs!

And as always, for all things flex spending, be sure to check out the rest of our Learning Center, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Eligibility

Introducing Care+Wear at FSA Store

Care+Wear is the leading designer of innovative healthwear. Learn more about its PICC line covers and what the company does for patients across the country.

Care+Wear is the leading designer of innovative healthwear. It partners with leading non-profit foundations including the American Caiety and is committed to giving back to organizations that support patients and families, whether through education, financial assistance and/or emotional aid.

Care+Wear's first product, an ultra-soft, antimicrobial PICC line cover, is designed to help the 6 million people each year who live with a PICC line as part of their treatment plans.

According to Care+Wear's team:

"Patients are given a PICC (peripherally inserted central catheter) line to help access the blood stream. They can be used in a variety of circumstances, including used in treatments for Cancer, Diabetes, Lyme Disease and TPN.A PICC line is inserted in a peripheral vein in the arm and then advanced proximally toward the heart through increasingly larger veins, until the tip rests in the distal superior vena cava or cavoatrial junction. PICC lines are usually inserted by physicians, physician assistants (in the US), radiologist assistants (in the US,) respiratory therapists, nurse practitioners, or specially trained certified registered nurses like vascular access nurses and radiologic technologists using ultrasound, chest radiographs, and fluoroscopy to aid in their insertion and to confirm the placement of the line."

Why Care+Wear?

Developed with leading doctors and nurses, Care+Wear's cover is now available in numerous hospitals, retail locations, and of course, at FSAstore.com as well! The cover has an EPA approved microbial treatment, is machine washable and reusable, and a mesh window for breathability.

The company also recently launched a new product line, antimicrobial polo shirts, blouses and baseball t-shirts,for patients with chest ports. This is just the beginning of the innovation that Care+Wear is bringing to the market.

Shop for Care+Wear using your FSA

If you have a PICC line or know any friends or family with a PICC line, you can shop for the covers at FSAstore.com. We're excited to be able to provide the Care+Wear PICC line covers and allow you to use your pre-tax dollars to help you or loved ones get back to living!

Eligibility

5 FSA eligible items to improve your eyeglass care

Eyeglasses require consistent care to keep them in optimal shape, but if you have a flexible spending account (FSA), you are already ahead of the game! Your healthcare benefit covers a huge range of eyeglass & lens accessories you may not have known are FSA eligible, but will come in handy again and again in the future. Got some extra FSA funds to work with? Here are a few places to get started!

Eyeglass Lens Cleaner

Whether you work outdoors for a living or have to contend with the elements during your morning commute, dirt, grime and other substances can directly affect the visual acuity of your lenses. Lens cleaners can solve this issue in a pinch! These small spray bottles fit perfectly into a backpack or purse and can quickly clean lenses when you're on the go.

Check Out: Sight Savers Lens Cleaner Spray, .5 fl oz

Eyeglass Microfiber Wipes

Wiping off the surface of glasses with anything but a soft cloth can permanently scratch and damage the lens, which can leave you hunting for replacement lenses far sooner than you'd expect! A microfiber wipe is the safest option to clean eyeglass lenses, and works perfectly in tandem with spray lens cleaners.

Check Out: Apex Microfiber Lens Cleaning Shamee Cloth

Pre-Moistened Lens Wipes

If you're looking for a quick and easy solution that you can use on the go or at work, pre-moistened lens wipes may be the perfect solution! These FSA eligible wipes are formulated with anti-fogging ingredients and an anti-static formula to prevent additional dirt and grime from building up on the surface of lenses. As an added bonus, these wipes are safe to use on smartphone and computer screens!

Check Out: Flents Wipe N' Clear Pre-Moistened XL Lens Wipes, 100 ea

Nose Pads

Over time, the nose pads that are originally installed on a pair of glasses can begin to wear and degrade, which can affect how the glasses rest on your face and can even become painful in some cases. Replacement nose pad are a helpful tool for eyeglass wearers that can stabilize their frames and improve the wearers' comfort level until the glasses can be professionally repaired.

Check Out: Nose Pads for Glasses by Optic Shop

Eyeglass Repair Kit

Last but not least, if over the course of a day a screw becomes loose in your frames (or is lost altogether!), an eyeglass repair kit is often the only solution to fix your specs! These kits contain replacement screws to fit a huge variety of eyewear, screwdrivers, a magnifying glass and everything else you'll need to make repairs on the fly.

Check Out: Apex Eyeglass Repair Kit

35 million Americans have FSAs, but only one place to shop! Visit FSAstore.com today to explore the web's largest selection of FSA eligible products!

Sight Savers Lens Cleaner Spray

Cleans and polishes glass and plastic lenses. Anti-fog, anti-static protection.

Eligibility

Improve your road trip comfort with FSA eligible products

If you have a flexible spending account (FSA) through your work, your benefit covers a huge range of qualifying medical products, many of which can help you and your loved ones stay comfortable during a long car trip. Here are a few of our favorite FSA eligible travel essentials that will make for a more enjoyable journey this summer!

Neck Pillow

While some people may have no problem sleeping upright during a long car trip, others may struggle to find a comfortable position to get some shuteye. Neck pillows are a great option to keep your head stable during your trip so you can wake up refreshed by the time you reach your destination.

Check Out: IMAK HappiNeck Orthopedic Neck Support

Mineral Sunscreen

Wearing sunscreen is a must every day (rain or shine, no matter the season)! Did you know you should protect your skin year round for ultimate UV protection? Learn more about special mineral sunscreen from MDSolarSciences and shop for these with your FSA!

Check out: MDSolarSciences

Acupressure Wrist Bands

Car sickness is a condition where the motion detected by the inner ear does not sync up with the motion that is visualized in front of them, which can lead to nausea and other forms of discomfort. Car sickness is most common in children aged 2 to 12, and one solution that may help them is acupressure wrist bands. These bands can be worn throughout the road trip and apply gentle pressure to a specific acupressure point in the wrist that can prevent nausea and stomach discomfort.

Check Out: Psi Bands Acupressure Wrist Bands - Cherry Blossom

Relaxation Mask

These masks are designed to treat a variety of medical conditions that are imbued with fragrant oils and natural herbs that are ideal for treating sinus tension and headaches. On a road trip, these masks can provide calming relief to various forms of discomfort, as well as optimal eye coverage that can help you sleep during the course of your trip.

Check Out: Bed Buddy at Home Relaxation Mask (Lavender and Mint)

Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers

Headaches, aches and pains can arise at any time, and during a long car trip you could be miles away from the nearest pharmacy or grocery store. Prepare ahead of time with your FSA funds by picking up common pain relievers like ibuprofen, acetaminophen and more before setting off on your trip. However, it's important to note that as a result of the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), OTC medications require a prescription from a doctor for FSA reimbursement.

Check Out: Advil Advanced Medicine for Pain, 200 mg, 200 ea, Tablets

35 million Americans have FSAs, but only one place to shop: FSAstore.com! Come explore the web's largest selection of FSA eligible products to maximize the potential of your employee benefits!

IMAK HappiNeck Orthopedic Neck Support

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

Accounts

What's new for consumer-directed healthcare accounts in 2016?

What does 2016 have in store for consumer-directed healthcare accounts? Each year, the IRS releases information about these accounts.

learn about consumer-directed healthcare account changes

What does 2016 have in store for consumer-directed healthcare accounts? And, what exactly are these accounts? Each year, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) releases its long-awaited consumer-directed healthcare account changes. The IRS provides an update as to whether these accounts will have different contribution limits or if there are other plan changes. Whether you have a flexible spending account (FSA) or a health savings account (HSA), these accounts are typically adjusted for inflation annually with a series of changes for the coming year.

Beloware the current regulations of each of these accounts. Learn more about the most popular consumer-directed healthcare accounts:

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) (Medical)

Changes for 2016: None

Contribution Limits: $2,550 per FSA account.

Note: If anindividual and his/her spouse each have his/her own FSA, they could be setting aside $5,100 as a household.

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)

Changes for 2016: No change in individual contribution limit, +$100 for families

High-Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) Maximum Out-of-Pocket Amounts: Individuals +$100 and +$200 for families

Contribution Limits (Employer + Employee): Individuals - $3,350, Married Couples Filing Jointly - $6,750

HSA Catch-Up Contributions (age 55 or older)*: $1,000

HDHP Minimum Deductibles: Individuals - $1,300, Family: $2,600

HDHP Maximum Out-of-Pocket Deductibles: Individual - $6,550, Family: $13,100

Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRAs)

Changes for 2016: No Changes

Contribution Limits: No Limit, Controlled by Employer

Limited Care Flexible Spending Accounts (LCFSAs)

Changes for 2016: No changes

Contribution Limits: $2,550 per FSA account. If individual and spouse each have their own FSA, could be $5,100 as a household.

For HSA-compatible LCFSA, can only be used for eligible non-medical vision or dental expenses throughout the plan year.

Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts (DCFSAs)

Changes for 2016: No changes

Contribution Limits: $5,000 per household, or $2,500 if married and filing separately.

As 2016 kicks off, be sure to meet with your benefits administrator to stay on top of your healthcare benefits, and spend your hard-earned dollars at FSAstore.com! If you'd like to learn more about FSAs, HSAs or HRAs, browse our comprehensive Eligibility List or Learning Center for answers to popular questions and to see details about eligible expenses.We have the web's largest selection of FSA eligible products to help you support the health and wellness of you and your dependents year-round.

Accounts

How to set up a Flexible Spending Account for your company

Flexible Spending Accounts offer substantial savings on qualified health care expenses. Setting up an FSA is relatively low cost and pain free for an employer, and adds significantly to the employer's overall benefits offering.

Employers decide the maximum contribution they wish to allow for their FSA, up to a Health Care Reform set maximum of $2,500. Employees opt into an FSA each year during open enrollment. Employees can then use their FSA toward a variety of out-of-pocket expenses including dental and vision care, medical services, and medical products and supplies. Often, FSA eligible expenses are those that are not covered by an employees' traditional health insurance plan. The FSA balance is available in full for use starting on the very first day of the plan year, although employee contributions are taken evenly throughout the year.

Perks of an FSA

-Employees save up to 40% on the money they contribute to an FSA.

-FSA funds are exempt not only from income taxes, but also from payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare, resulting in savings to the employee and employer.

-Increased spendable income for employees.

-FSAs offer an additional employee benefit in the overall benefits package.

FSA Administration

Third Party Administrators (TPAs) are a great resource for employers as they have extensive knowledge about FSAs. FSAs can be complicated, so having a TPA handle them is also time effective for employers. FSA administration also requires HIPAA and ERISA compliance, and TPAs can typically provide an employer with the required documents and administrative materials necessary to remain compliant.

Employers decide which expenses they deem FSA eligible (in compliance with IRS guidelines), and have a say in the plan structure, which is explained for employees in the required Summary Plan Description. The Summary Plan Description describes all the details of the FSA – coverage questions, enrollment information, claims handling, which expenses qualify as eligible and more, and is necessary for ERISA compliance.

Health Care Reform brought some changes to FSAs. TPAs keep abreast of these changes and adapt their FSA plans accordingly.

2 Health Care Reform changes to FSAs:

Since January 2011, over-the-counter products containing medicine require a prescription to be reimbursed under an FSA. FSAstore.com's Eligibility List also outlines items requiring a prescription for your FSA.

Plan years starting in 2013 have a maximum FSA limit of $2,500 per account. Employers determine contribution limits – so it could be less than $2,500. If spouses in a household both have an FSA, they could contribute up to $5,000.

Not sure when your FSA deadline is? Do you understand the recent “Use it or Lose it" changes made to FSAs? Learn more on our blog post about FSA Use it or Lose it Changes