How to Spend Your FSA Dollars Before They Expire - Inside Rx
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Prescription Savings

How to Spend Your FSA Dollars Before They Expire

11/30/2021

An FSA is an account developed to enable employees to put aside a portion of their earnings into an IRS-eligible expenses account. The FSA dollars in this account can be used to help cover expenses associated with medicine, vision, and dental services, as well as various other out-of-pocket expenses. The beauty of the FSA plan is that the money you contribute as an employee will always be tax-free.

Did you know you can save on your healthcare costs simply by allocating some of your before-tax earnings to a Healthcare Flexible Spending Account (FSA)?

An FSA is an account developed to enable employees to put aside a portion of their earnings into an IRS-eligible expenses account. The FSA dollars in this account can be used to help cover expenses associated with medicine, vision, and dental services, as well as various other out-of-pocket expenses. The beauty of the FSA plan is that the money you contribute as an employee will always be tax-free.

The drawback, however, is that you may lose the unused money you contributed to the account if you don’t spend it in a given year. But, if you plan ahead and set up your account correctly, you might be permitted to carry over your funds into the following year.

This means it’s a good idea to work out an estimate of your healthcare costs in advance. Get an average estimate of the cost of each doctor visit. Run a calculation on how many times a year you’ll need a prescription filled. This may take a few minutes, but it could very well save you hundreds of dollars in the long run.

With the year coming to an end, it is important to know what you can spend your remaining FSA dollars on before they expire.

What Can I Spend My FSA Dollars On?

When you enroll in an FSA, you may receive a flexible spending card. You can use this during trips to the pharmacy and doctor’s office or when buying from an online seller of FSA-permitted products like prescription eyeglasses.

If you did not receive an FSA card, or you simply don’t have it on hand while making a purchase, you can use a standard debit or credit card and apply for reimbursement from your FSA provider with the receipt.
To get the best idea of what you can spend your FSA money on, pay a visit to FSAstore.com.

There you can find thousands of FSA-qualified products, thus saving you time researching what you’re allowed to buy. You may be surprised how many healthcare products and services you’re eligible to purchase: everything from vitamins and sunscreen to defibrillators.

FSA-Eligible Purchases

1. Fitness classes

There are a number of health products and services you can get with your FSA money, even fitness instruction. In addition to fitness programs, you can use the funds towards fitness trackers, like Fitbit, home gym equipment, or qualified gym memberships.

Keep in mind you may be asked to provide a Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN) from your healthcare provider, so check the qualifications of your FSA plan beforehand.

2. Emergency kits

Another possible use for your FSA account is emergency healthcare kits for your home, vehicle, or place of work. These kits can include medicines like aspirin, allergy medication, masks, surgical gloves, and prescriptions.

3. Personal protective equipment of Covid-19

The IRS has declared that medical equipment like hand sanitizer, face masks, gloves, or other items meant to prevent the spread of Covid-19 are eligible for FSA funds.

Since this medical equipment lasts for years, stocking up is a smart way to employ soon-to-lose money.

Bottom Line

The FSA program can be a great way to use your pre-tax earnings to get the biggest healthcare bang for your bucks. But to ensure that happens, it pays to estimate your healthcare costs before committing to a plan.

If you have extra FSA dollars in your account within a given year, you can apply it toward numerous healthcare-related expenses. You can find many of these eligible products at a glance at a website like FSAstore.com.

In most cases, prescription medications are covered, though those prescriptions may be significantly reduced with a prescription savings card, which may lower prescription drug prices more than your insurance plan.

A prescription discount card, like the one offered by Inside Rx, may save users up to 80% on both brand name and generic prescription medications. This is especially helpful if your FSA money has already been used up.

You can search your medication to compare prices at pharmacies near you. Then, instantly download your unique savings card, download the Inside Rx mobile app or by texting, emailing or printing the card. Show your card to the pharmacist at checkout to see if you can save!

By reducing costs wherever possible, you’ll have more money down the road for the inevitable demands on your health.

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