10 Tips to Use Up Your Flexible Spending Account

There are two kinds of flexible spending accounts or FSA: one for health and medical expenses and another for dependent care expense – this means you are facing a use-it-or-lose-it scenario at the end of the year.

If you own both kinds of FSAs, take note that you can only spend each fund in its category. As such, planning is required to use up all your funds and get the most out of what you pay for. Start by contacting your FSA firm and ask how much is left on your account. Now spend this money on qualified medical expenses before it is gone forever. Below are some helpful ideas to get you started. 

1. Take an eye exam. Schedule your annual eye exam before the year ends to use up your FSA. Call ahead to secure an appointment – it is a busy time.

2. Buy prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses. A new pair can freshen your look! If you wear contact lenses, get a few months’s worth, plus plenty of lens fluid, to utilize your balance. Don’t forget to score prescription sunglasses!

3. Get dental treatments. Stop putting off your trip to the dentist! Now is the best time to have your dental exam, filling, or root canal done. Take note that cosmetic procedures, like teeth whitening, are not covered by FSA.

4. Visit your chiropractor. Show your body some love and let the magical hands of your chiropractor straighten your spine and loosen your muscles. Pick the right chiropractor though. Some ask for prepayments but only treatments you have already received are eligible for reimbursement.

5. Purchase baby supplies. Are you pregnant and planning to nurse? You have the best incentive to shop for a breast pump and other supplies now.  You can also spend FSA funds on a dependent who needs one.

6. Top up your supply of birth control pills. Call your doctor and ask for a prescription for a 90-day supply.

7. Support your dependents. If you have FSA dependent care, you can reimburse the expenses related to the care of a qualified dependent.

8. Get your diabetic supplies. Diabetes is not a cheap disease. Stock up on blood sugar monitors, test strips, and any other diagnostic testing supply. Any test product used for health problems other than diabetes is eligible, too.

9. Freshen up your first aid kit. You can never have too much Band-aids, wraps, and splints at home, especially if you live with children.

10. Have more sunscreen. Summer or not, sunscreen is essential to every good skincare routine. Refresh your stock to end the year right and use up your remaining FSA balance.

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MJ Usner