Many residents have what are known as pre-tax "Flex Spending Accounts (FSA)." Many Flex Spending accounts expire December 31. The funds in FSAs do not roll over to the next calendar year. What you don't use by year's end, you lose.
An FSA, also called a flex plan or reimbursement account, is an employer-sponsored benefit that allows you to pay for eligible medical expenses on a pre-tax basis. It's used if you expect to incur medical expenses that won't be reimbursed by your regular health insurance plan.
Some companies offer a grace period of March 31 to use the FSAs, but even so, the over-the-counter (OTC) drug cut off is December 31 as big changes take effect January 1, according to FSAFEDS.com.
The new legislation removes OTC drugs from FSAs as of January 1.
With only a few days left in the year to use your FSA, it's a good time to stock up on items for your medicine cabinet you could use over the next six months.
If you don't want to go to the store and try to figure out which items are included in your FSA, shop online stores specifically stocked with FSA approved items.
Some current eligible expenses include:
- Adoption (certain rules apply)
- Artificial limbs and teeth
- Blood sugar test strips and kits
- Co-insurance, co-payments, deductibles
- Eye exams/eye glasses
- Hearing aids/batteries
- Laser eye surgery
- Liquid bandage
- Over-the-counter medicines
- Pain relievers
- Pre-natal expenses
- Smoking cessation programs
- Sunscreen SPF 30 or higher