Healthcare Flexible Spending Account – Don’t Lose Your Money, Spend Them By Dec 31st (or March 15th)

Funds in your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) must be used by December 31st in most cases, though some employers allow you to spend the funds until March 15th or allow you to roll over $610 into the next year. If you have unused funds, you can purchase eligible medical products or schedule medical appointments and procedures before December 31st.

FSAs are not as popular as they used to be. In recent years, Health Spending Accounts (HSA) are more common as many people have a high deductible health plan (HDHP). FSA is owned by the employer whereas the HSAs are owned by you. Funds in the HSA rollover from year to year. HSAs also have higher contribution limits. But FSAs still make sense under certain circumstances – for example, you don’t have a high deductible health insurance plan but instead, have a PPO plan that’s not HDHP.

The easiest way to exhaust your FSA funds before the deadline is to go to the Amazon FSA store and look for items that qualify for FSA and will be useful to you and your family.

What’s covered

  • Health Insurance co-pays and deductibles
  • Prescription medications
  • Eye care products (prescription eyeglasses, reading glasses, eye drops, contact lenses, LASIK procedures)
  • Feminine hygiene products (tampons, liners, pads, menstrual cups, itch creams, and suppositories)
  • Family planning products (condoms, prenatal vitamins, morning-after pill, pregnancy tests, fertility treatments, sperm test kits, breastfeeding supplies)
  • Emergency kits – bandages, gauze, tape, aspirin/Tylenol, allergy medicine, antibacterial ointments, pain relievers
  • Fitness classes – Though fitness devices and workout machines are covered, some items may require a letter of medical necessity (LMN) from your doctor
  • COVID-19 supplies – masks, hand sanitizers, tissues, and gloves to protect against COVID-19
  • Wheelchairs and other mobility devices such as walkers and canes
  • Sunscreens and sunblocks
  • Mental wellness – psychiatric therapy and prescriptions for mental health conditions
  • Dental expenses for cleanings, sealants, fillings, orthodontic expenses
  • Treatment for smoking cessation such as nicotine gum, inhalers, and nasal sprays
  • Weight loss programs if they are deemed medically necessary by a physician
  • Allergy testing
  • Acupuncture – visits to a chiropractor or an osteopath
  • Expenses for service animals such as training, food, and veterinary care

Full list of FSA-eligible items

Here are a couple of useful websites that have a list of FSA-eligible items

Who’s covered

Any eligible product you buy for yourself, your spouse, or dependents is covered.

  • Yourself
  • Your spouse
  • Your dependents claimed on your tax return
  • Your child who is under age 27 at the end of the tax year

Quick ideas to spend your FSA funds

Amazon has a dedicated page with FSA-eligible items. You can search by category and quickly find enough useful items to exhaust your FSA funds.

FSA administrators have a lot of power. Read the details before big purchases

FSA administrators will ask for a receipt showing the date of purchase, the item purchased, and the amount spent on the purchase. So ensure that you get a receipt with the details. Many merchants also mark the FSA-eligible items on the receipt.

HSA Administrator has a big say in whether border-line items get reimbursed. It can be a hassle to buy something, submit receipts to your HSA administrator, and find out that the items you purchased are not eligible for FSA spending. Please check with your administrator before making big purchases. Any unused funds go to the employer.

Bottom Line

Funds in your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) must be spent by December 31st. Some employers may provide a grace period until March 15th to exhaust your funds. Amazon has an FSA store where you can purchase FSA items to use up your funds.  There are many resources (listed above) that provide a comprehensive list of FSA items to give you ideas to spend your FSA funds.

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