Did you know you can use your Flexible Spending Account for baby care items? Yes, you can! And, you can save up to 40% by using your FSA, as opposed to buying these items on an out-of-pocket basis.
You can use your FSA for breastfeeding supplies, for baby health related to colds and monitoring fevers, for baby sunscreen, and more.
4 Baby Care Products with your Flex Spending Account
Shop for breastfeeding supplies and accessories with your Flexible Spending Account (FSA). FSA Store sells popular Medela products - from breast pumps to milk storage solution to cleaning wipes.
1. The Medela Freestyle Solution Set is a hands-free, double-electric pump. You can use this hands-free pump while on the go - as there's no need to be near an outlet.
2. Baby thermometers - easily monitor your baby's fever in a non-intrusive way with forehead thermometers
3. Nasal aspirators - use these to provide your baby relief for colds.
4. Baby sunscreen - gentle, non-irritating protection for your baby.
While you're thinking about your general health, eye care is something that you should monitor closely. Whether you wear prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses, or have good eyesight, getting an eye exam on a yearly basis is not a bad idea.
You can use your Flexible Spending Account for numerous expenses related to eye care - everything from eye exams and prescription eyeglasses to contact lenses and contact lens solution.
FSA Eligible Services. Your Flexible Spending Account can cover treatments like LASIK, as well. If you're not sure what else is covered, ask your FSA administrator, or read the Summary Plan Description to check about your plan details.
Browse the FSA Eligibility List for ideas about covered expenses.
Popular Eye Care Products
Contact Lens Solution
Multipurpose and disinfecting solution for contact lenses is not only convenient, but also offers deep, effective cleaning and disinfection.
This solution kills germs and bacteria that could lead to infections, and removes protein, build-up and direct on contact lenses.
You can also shop for contact lenses with your Flexible Spending Account. Check out FSA Store Optical to shop for brand-name items from AcuVue, Dailies, AirOptics and more!
Eye Care Bundle
This eye care bundle combines multi-purpose disinfecting solution, rewetting drops, an eye mask and more, to keep your eyes comfortable and your lenses clean.
Are you heading somewhere for spring break? Spring provides a great opportunity for you to travel or even stay local and explore your own neighborhood or a nearby park.
While you prepare for travel with family, by yourself, or plan a trip with friends, it's good to keep in mind a few essentials for your next trip.
Your Flexible Spending Account can offer healthy essentials for spring, and save you money that you'd otherwise spend out of pocket on these items.
3 Products For Spring
Spring brings warm weather, sunny days, and opportunities to be outdoors. With that in mind, here are a few tips to help you make the most of your spring and FSA money!
Protect your Skin
Proper sun care is important year-round, and even counts on a cloudy day! It's important to protect your skin on a daily basis, and apply extra protection if you know you'll be exposed to the sun for an extended period of time (at the beach, while hiking, camping, etc.)
Check outthe Sun Carebundle
The last thing you want to deal with when on vacation is pain. No matter what type of pain you experience, there are ways to soothe it in a drug-free way with hot and cold therapy packs.
Check out Thermal-Aid for adult and kid-friendly pain relief!
Prepare for Minor First-Aid Needs
If you're planning a hike, taking your kids to the playground, or even going camping, it's a good idea to bring a first-aid kit. You can shop for a variety of first-aid kits at FSA Store, whether it's a comprehensive one, a travel-friendly one, or sports-related.
Shop for popularAdventure Medical Kits
April 7 isWorld Health Day. The World Health Organization created this day to highlight public health, and encourage people all over the world to celebrate their health.
If youFlexible Spending Account (FSA), you already make a positive difference in your health. You can cover various medical expenses ranging from medical services to over-the-counter products.
Here are a fewideasfor a healthy 2015:
Visit a Dentist
It's recommended that you visit the dentist for annual cleanings, and checkups to keep tabs on your dental health. Your FSA can cover these visits and be used for cleanings, necessary medical procedures like fillings, and more.
Schedule Eye Exams
If you wear glasses or use contact lenses, you know how important it is to monitor your eyesight. However, even if you don't yet have eye wear, it's good to check your eyesight. You can use your FSA to schedule an annual eye exam, and also to buy eye care products like prescription eyeglasses, contact lenses and contact lens solution.
While your FSA can cover visits to doctors and dentists (like your regular health insurance does), you can also use an FSA to visit specialists not covered by your insurance. These specialists might include acupuncturists or chiropractors.
Get a Physical
You can talk to your doctor, and have your FSA cover the visit in terms of co-pays and deductibles. Physicals are important to keep track of your health and discover any information regarding your health, so that you can stay healthy.
This World Health Day think about your health, and make positive changes for the future.
Search ourFSA Eligibility List to discover medical services that are covered by your Flexible Spending Account
ShopFSA Eligible productsto stay on track with your health
Since you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), you likely hear about upcoming deadlines throughout your plan year. Whether that's a plan-year deadline (by which you must use your FSA money, or risk losing it), or a Grace Period ending, or even a Run-Out Period.
Forbes published an article explaining what today's deadline - March 31 - means for Flexible Spending Account holders. It provides a detailed explanation of what the run-out period deadline means.
If you quickly want to know what you can do, here's our tip:
Check with your FSA administrator if you have the Run-Out Period deadline. Most Flexible Spending Accounts offer a Run-Out Period.
What is the Run-Out Period? This is an extended period of time (3 months following the end of your plan year) to be reimbursed for any expenses incurred during the prior plan year.
Remember these two details:
1. You cannot incur new expenses to be reimbursed.
2. Submit old receipts for expenses from 2017 to still get reimbursed.
Each year in March, The Red Cross Celebrates American Red Cross Month.
This is time to remember the big role that first aid plays in our lives - whether it's used in disaster zones, at hospitals, an emergency experienced during travel, or even in our homes.
With American Red Cross Month in mind, let's discuss how your Flexible Spending Account can come in handy:
1. Update your medicine cabinet at home
According to an article from ConsumerMedSafety.org, while medications can last one to two years after the expiration date, it is a good idea to replace them with new medications.
The article notes, "Since you last purchased the product, new dosing instructions or warnings may be advised; the strength may have changed to reduce the risk of errors; a new dosing device may be available to help measure doses more accurately; the product may be packaged in a new container more child-resistant than an older version of the drug; and so on. So, clean out your medicine supplies regularly, and replace any medicines that are more than a year or two beyond its expiration date."
You can shop for products that require a prescription at FSAstore.com, as well. Learn more about FSA Store's Prescription Process and how we make the Rx process an easier one, so you can get reimbursed with your FSA.
However, you don't need a prescription to get reimbursed for first-aid supplies like Band-Aids, first-aid kits, and more.
Shop for first aid supplies at FSA Store
2. Bring a first-aid kit for the road
If you're planning any type of travel - whether you have a daily commute to work, are visiting friends or relatives, enjoy going on road trips, or have other travel plans - a first-aid kit can come in very handy. You never know what types of minor cuts and scrapes you might deal with during your travels, and having a band-aid, a cold pack, or other first-aid supplies with you will make it much easier to quickly get relief.
Shop for first aid kits at FSA Store
3. Prep first-aid supplies for small day trips and other adventures
As the warmer weather approaches, you'll likely be spending more time outside! Spring provides great opportunities to go for hikes, walks in the park, exercise outdoors, and more.
Shop for Adventure Medical Kits for your next outdoor adventure.
Remember: when you use your FSA, you're saving on out-of-pocket expenses on items you would have purchased otherwise.
7 Ways to Maximize Your FSA Account
Though it's only March, it's important to think about your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) throughout the year.
You maximize what you put into the account when you use it for different out-of-pocket expenses. Your FSA is very versatile - you can use it to buy common healthcare products like first-aid kits and contact lens solution, to buy surprising items like defibrillators and sunscreen, to cover co-pays and deductibles at the doctor's office, to visit specialists not covered by your health insurance...and more!
Think about the medical exams or services you'll need during the year. You'll likely schedule annual dental visits and eye checkups. How about a yearly physical? These are all expenses that your FSA can cover.
But, above all else, here are few tips to consider to make the most of your plan year-round:
Understand your FSA
Your FSA administrator knows all the specifics of your FSA - whether you want to know what your your remaining balance is, have a question about eligibility, or checking your claims status.
You can also discover eligible products and services by searching the FSA Store FSA Eligibility List.
Confirm your deadlines
It's easy to lose track of deadlines sometimes when you already have so many other deadlines to remember! You can easily discover your FSA deadline by checking in with your FSA administrator or by viewing your information online.
Understand FSA plan extensions
Though Flexible Spending Accounts have firm deadlines by which you must use your money, your FSA plan could have a Grace Period or Carryover option (up to $500 carried over to the next plan year), or even a Run-Out Period. It's important to know if your plan has these, as they add a bit more flexibility and time to spend your money, or additional time to submit claims (Run-Out period).
Watch our video explaining the FSA Carryover vs. Grace Period
Use your FSA card
If you have an FSA (debit) card, it allows you to pay for eligible health care expenses and shop FSAstore.com while avoiding submitting paperwork and receipts. Purchases with an FSA card are substantiated automatically. If something is not considered as an FSA eligible expense under your plan guidelines, your card does not get charged. It's not a bad idea to hold on to receipts though, in case you ever need to substantiate a claim.
Stretch your contributions
Remember that you can put up to $2,550 in an FSA account. How much you can contribute is determined by what your specific plan allows for the maximum. If you and your spouse have access to separate FSA accounts, each of you can take advantage of the $2,550 cap.
Ask about life changes
Ask your FSA administrator about changes to your FSA contribution. Sometimes, if you've had a qualifying event (having a baby, getting married, switching jobs, etc.), you can change your FSA contribution in the middle of the year. Not every FSA plan allows for these, so it's best to ask your FSA administrator if this is something that your plan allows.
Read more about changes in employment and how these might affect your FSA.
Shop & Save on products with your FSA
Take advantage of special promotions on everyday health products at FSA Store. Sign up on the FSAstore.com homepage to receive special discounts and offers throughout the year.
This post was written by FSAstore.com Compliance Director, Rachel Rouleau
On March 23, 2015, Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Representative Erik Paulsen (R – Minn.) introduced new legislation known as The
Family Health Care Flexibility Act.
This would repeal the portions of the Affordable Care Act that put a $2,500 cap on Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) and prohibit purchase of Over-The-Counter (OTC) medicines using an FSA or
Health Savings Account (HSA) without a prescription.
If passed, the legislation would mean that a prescription would no longer be required to purchase items like OTC pain relievers or allergy medicines with an FSA or HSA. According to the announcement and Paulsen, “Health savings and flexible spending accounts put power in the hands of patients by letting them make their own decisions when it comes to their care," said Rep. Paulsen. “It makes no sense that the President's healthcare law prohibits a parent from using these accounts to purchase
over-the-counter allergy treatment or cold medicine for their child without a doctor's prescription. As health care costs continue to rise, Washington should allow more choices in health care, not fewer options."
Similar legislation, H.R. 1248, was previously introduced in the House by Representative Paulsen on March 19, 2013 with 48 cosponsors but was not enacted.
Please note: The FSA contribution limit increased to $2,550 as of January 1, 2015. You can read more about this in our other blog post.
As April 15 approaches, it's important to consider the benefits of your FSA. A recent article in USA Today stressed some of the tax breaks you could be enjoying and noted, "Even after April 15, make sure you're not missing out on other valuable tax breaks for the rest of 2015—namely, pre-tax contributions to an employer-sponsored retirement plan or flexible spending accounts for medical, child care and transit expenses. "That's money left on the table," Labant said."
Flexible Spending Accounts can cover a variety of expenses - ranging from healthcare products to medical services - and this is all on a pre-tax basis.
Do I submit additional paperwork when it comes to taxes (if I have an FSA)?
Money is taken out of your paychecks on a pre-tax basis every month, which reduces your taxable income. You don't have to do any additional paperwork come tax time. What you should always keep in mind is how much money is available in your FSA account throughout the year, so you can fully utilize the benefits of the plan.
Can I ever change how much I contribute to an FSA?
Employers provide an open enrollment period during which you can add or change your coverage options, including your FSA contributions. You can contribute up to $2,550 per year to an FSA. Once the FSA plan year has begun, changes to your FSA are typically only allowed if there is a qualifying event, which may include getting married, changing jobs, and certain other circumstances. Each FSA plan defines the circumstances in which you can change your contribution. Your FSA administrator can confirm these with you, and your Summary Plan Document outlines provisions of your FSA plan.
Again, the best way to use your FSA is to keep tabs on it during the plan year. Be sure to apply it for different out-of-pocket medical expenses ranging from medical care to healthcare products.
Check out FSAstore.com's FSA Eligibility List for a full list of eligible expenses like products and services.
Though big deadlines have passed for many Flexible Spending Accounts (the December 31 FSA plan-year deadline and the March 15 Grace Period deadline, for example), there's another deadline approaching.
Deadlines for Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) vary depending on your plan-year, and sometimes plans will also have extensions - a Carryover or a Grace Period...or something known as a Run-Out Period.A Run-Out Period is a limited time after the FSA plan year ends during which you can continue filing claims for any expenses that you incurred during the plan year. Since FSAs are “Use-it-or-Lose-it" accounts, the Run-Out Period gives you the opportunity to still file claims.
For example: If your plan year ended on December 31, but your employer gives you a Run-Out Period, you might (typically) have 90 days to submit claims – meaning your deadline would be extended to March 31.
Note:Not all FSA plans automatically include a Run-Out Period. It's best to check in with your FSA Administrator if you are unsure. You can also ask HR or your Administrator about claims processing. If you prefer to read guidelines about your specific plan, your Summary Plan Description contains important information about your FSA.
Looking for items you can buy with your Flexible Spending Account? Shop for FSA eligible products at FSAstore.com
It's St. Patrick's Day! In honor of the holiday, we wanted to highlight how you can celebrate the day with help from your Flexible Spending Account (FSA). While your FSA may not immediately come to mind when you think of St. Patrick's Day...both have something in common: being green!
Did you know you can purchase products with a Flexible Spending Account... that are also eco-friendly? You can!
Corn-based Hot/Cold Therapy
Thermal-Aid products for hot and cold therapy are an eco-friendly way to get pain relief whether you're an adult or a kid. The hot/cold therapy pads can be heated in the microwave, cooled in the freezer and are made from 100% natural cotton and specially-engineered corn. And, you can reuse them and easily toss them into the wash to keep them clean.
The Thermal-Aid Zoo Animals come in a variety of fun animals to provide cuddly and soothing relief for kids.
All-natural Vitamins & Supplements
Specialty vitamins and supplements are covered by your Flex Spending Account. You can use your pre-tax dollars forglucosamine chondroitin (promote joint health) and prenatal vitamins (for baby health).
As the weather begins to warm up in some parts of the country again, it's a good time to look into your sunscreen supply to protect your skin. You can shop for sun care like mineral sunscreens with your FSA just in time for spring break, days outdoors, and even in anticipation of summer!
Shop for this Mineral Sunscreen Bundle.
Update your First-aid Kit
With the chance to enjoy the outdoors, updating your first-aid kit is an easy fix to ensure you don't get sidetracked with minor cuts and scrapes along the way. You can buy a range of first-aid supplies including bandages, popular kids Band-Aids, and full-size first-aid kits (for sports, adventure and more)!
Shop for all of the eco-friendlyFSA eligible products in time for spring!
Important Information for The FSA Grace Period Ending on March 15, 2015
"Can you check my Flexible Spending Account balance for me?"
Unfortunately, we cannot check that for you. FSAstore.com is a retailer for products covered by a Flexible Spending Account. You would need to contact your FSA administrator, or TPA (third-party administrator) to access any details about your FSA plan. The administrator can direct you to information about your remaining balance, claims and coverage information, and more.
Grace Period Details
If you have an FSA, you could have a Grace Period ending this weekend (March 15). What does that mean?
The Grace Period is a two-and-a-half-month extension during which you could spend down your FSA. This means, if you had an FSA plan year ending on December 31, 2014, and had a Grace Period, you'd still have time to use your FSA until March 15. Now, in this case, that's this weekend!
If you're not entirely sure if you still have money left over from 2014, or if you had the Grace Period, you can still contact your FSA administrator this Friday to find out. If you don't know the FSA administrator, you can always ask your HR representative for that information.
3 Tips to Avoid Losing Your 2014 FSA Dollars
FSA money must be used, or you lose it. FSA money cannot be refunded to you.
Think about any expenses you've incurred.Make sure to submit any claims before March 15.
Check if you have a Grace Period or a Run-Out Period. Some FSAs have a Run-Out period, which is different from a Grace Period. If you have a Run-Out period, you can get reimbursed for expenses incurred during the previous plan year (so you can't use your FSA for new expenses). The Run-Out ends on March 31.
Please note: Employers are also allowed to offer a Carryover of FSA money (up to $500) to the next year. Not every FSA has this option. Alternatively, employers can continue providing an FSA Grace period. To find out which of these two options applied to your FSA, contact your FSA administrator this week.
It's been a long winter, and many of us are ready for spring! In some parts of the country it's still not quite there yet, but this time of year does bring us to spring break, and warm weather travel planning.
Spring is a good time for you, and your friends and family to travel together. Even if you're staying local, you can take advantage of nice weather by spending time outdoors or taking your exercise routine outside. Before you get started, don't forget to think about a few healthy spring essentials.
Your Flexible Spending Account can help you prepare for the upcoming season.
Health Checkup: Services Covered by Your FSA
Stay on track with your overall health by scheduling a few exams and other healthy screenings. You can use your FSA toward expenses not covered by your insurance plan, and also to cover co-pays, deductibles and coinsurance at the doctor's office. Have you had your annual eye exam? When was the last time you visited the dentist? Have you had a physical? Use your FSA for all these expenses. Check the FSA Eligibility List for details on services & products.
3 Tips for Products Covered by Your FSA
Get ready for Spring with Your FSA, whether you're going to the beach, enjoying a hike, planning a road trip, want to go for a run, or anything else...
Are you planning a road trip, or are you off to the beach? In addition to snacks, clothes, and other essentials, it's great to bring along a few healthy Travel Essentials for the road. Think about a first-aid kit for travel (for minor cuts and scrapes), sunscreen for the beach and while in the car, contact lens solution, and more.
Shop for Sun Care Bundle, which contains much of what you'll need for the beach.
Check out MDSolar's Sunscreen bundle to protect your skin!
Are you going on an adventure soon? If you're planning a hike, or enjoy camping, you'll definitely benefit from having first-aid essentials with you in the car, in your backpack, or in your tent.
Adventure Medical Kits can offer a wide selection based on your needs, ranging from a comprehensive kit to a sports kit and other first-aid supplies.
Shop for Adventure Medical Kits
Do you exercise regularly? Are you a runner, or do you enjoy walking around the neighborhood, or are you planning to complete a race?
One of the biggest factors in staying active is making sure you don't overdo it, and prevent injuries. At the first sign of any muscle strains or pains, you'll need to rest and properly take care of the sore muscles.
Luckily, your FSA can help! You can treat muscle aches with hot/cold therapy and quickly handle all types of pain!
Shop for Hot/Cold Therapy at FSA Store
ShopTheraPearlfor awide selection of hot/cold therapy products to quickly dull any aches and get back into your exercise routine.
March 15. Why is this particular date important? Well, if you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) and your plan year ran until December 31, 2014, you might still be able to use your 2014 money for a variety of FSA-eligible expenses.
FSA rules have changed a bit since 2013. The U.S. Treasury Department made some changes to the “Use it or Lose it” rule, which allowed employers to give people more options to spend down and use their FSA.
FSA plans could have:
1. A Grace Period - a two-and-a-half-month extension to use your remaining FSA dollars from 2014. In this case, you would have a March 15 deadline if your plan has the Grace Period extension.
2. A Carryover - allowing you to roll over up to $500 in remaining FSA money for use in the new plan year.
*Note: Your Plan cannot offer both extensions. It will either have a Grace Period or a Carryover, or neither (though this is rare).
Think you have this extension? Check in with your FSA administrator, and shop our selection of FSA eligible products!