The clock is ticking on 2017! Have you spent all of your pre-tax FSA dollars? If you still have a balance, here are six suggestions for end-of-year FSA spending.
If you participate in a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), you might be wondering how you’re going to spend those pre-tax dollars. With three months remaining in 2017, it is especially crucial for FSA participants who have ‘use it or lose it’ plan types; those who have the $500 rollover option may be thinking about this as well.
Of course, you can’t spend your FSA funds on just anything; the IRS has an approved list of FSA eligible expenses. With that in mind, here are six ideas for using your FSA funds before the end of the plan year.
6 End-of-Year FSA Spending Ideas
- Go high tech: With your FSA, you can replace your home healthcare gadgets. This includes thermometers, blood pressure readers, acne treatments, and pain relief devices, among other gear. Check out FSA Store for ideas on high tech devices that are FSA eligible.
- Treat Fall allergies: According to ACAAI, there are four contributors to fall allergies. Ragweed (hay fever), warm weather, leaves, and school allergens (chalk, mold, etc.) all can cause breathing problems for people. If you suffer with fall allergies, you can treat the symptoms with antihistamines, saline sprays, neti pots, and vaporizers, all of which are FSA-eligible.
- Stop smoking: Did your new year’s resolution include quitting smoking? If so, it’s never too late. Smoking cessation classes are FSA-eligible, as are some medicines, like nicotine gum (prescription required).
- Protect your skin. Believe it or not, sunscreen (which is FSA-eligible) is not just a summertime accessory. Ultraviolet (UV) rays do not take a break during the cooler months. If you spend a lot of time in the outdoors during the fall and winter, dermatologists recommend wearing sunscreen to protect your skin.
- Take care of your eyes. Many eye care related expenses are FSA-eligible. You can pay for eye exams, prescription glasses or contact lenses, and vision correction surgery; contact lens solution is also an eligible expense.
- Improve your home. If you or a dependent is disabled, home improvements (known as capital expenses) that accommodate the disability qualify as FSA-eligible expenses. Modifications include changing door hardware, modifying electrical outlets, widening doorways, installing hand rails in bathrooms, and other alterations. Review the IRS guidelines and use their worksheet to help you calculate reimbursement amounts for such costs.
These are just six suggestions for end-of-year FSA spending that can help you get the most out of your pre-tax set aside funds. There are thousands of ways to spend your FSA dollars. With open enrollment season now going on for many companies, consider your expenses for this year in order to help you plan for next year.
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