Written by Mary Massirer
December 10, 2021
Public School Employees should check with your district regarding FSAs
The end of the year typically brings holiday parties, shopping, cooking, a vast to-do list, and sometimes, stress. Remembering to use your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) funds is probably not on the top of that to-do list but it should be. Why? FSA funds over $550 do not roll over year to year. To guarantee that you do not lose your hard-earned money, make sure your FSA balance does not exceed $550 on December 31st, 2021. Keep reading to learn how you could utilize an FSA in the future.
So, Why Won’t My Funds Rollover?
FSAs operate differently than Health Savings Accounts (HSA). Both accounts allow you to contribute pre-tax money to be used towards eligible medical expenses not covered by your health plan.
The differing factor with FSAs is that they are provided to you through your employer (so for state employees, the State of Arkansas.) As a result, those funds are only available to you if you are employed by the State.
While these stipulations may seem inconvenient, an FSA still allows you to the opportunity to save money. In fact, on average, FSA participants have reported saving up to 40% a year on out-of-pocket expenses. Ultimately, your FSA can help you fund anything from mundane experiences to out-of-the-blue moments.
As bonus, FSAs are great for those with specific needs such as working parents and those with more extensive dental and vision expenses. These three FSAs can help you with these costs.
- Dependent Care FSA (also known as DCAP): This option allows you to use funds on childcare for children under the age of 12 and/or qualifying adults.
- Medical FSA: This is the traditional FSA account that allows you to use funds on medical expenses.
- Limited Purpose FSA: This option allows you to set aside money for dental or vision expenses and can be paired with an HSA.
What Can I Spend my Remaining Funds On?
There is a wide range of items you can spend your remaining FSA funds on, so let’s dig in!
Cold and Flu Medications
– Fever reducers/pain relievers
– Cough drops
– Nasal Spray
– Nasal Rinsing
– Steam inhaler/humidifier
Family Planning/After Birth
– Birth classes
– Breast pump
– Baby monitors
– Diaper rash ointment (with prescription)
– Nursing pads
– Teething medication (with prescription)
– Pre-natal vitamins
– Post-delivery wraps
– Prescription medications
– Psychiatric care
– Counseling (if used to treat a current illness and not just overall mental health)
– Kinesiology tape
– Abdominal support/rib belts
– Orthopedic/surgical support
– Elastic bandages
– Knee/ankle/wrist brace
– Dermatology visits
– Acne treatments
– Prescription retinoids
– Medicated face cream
– Medicated lip balms
– Scar treatment
– Heat patches
– Arthritis gloves
– Foot pain relief mat
– Pain relief neck pillow
– Pain medication
There are hundreds of additional items that you can use your FSA funds on by visiting the provider’s website. When the clock strikes midnight on January 1st, 2021, make sure your FSA funds are not above $550!