Is your healthcare versatile spending account balance burning a gap in your pocket? Don’t rush to spend it simply but.
The accounts, often called FSAs, permit you to put aside pre-tax revenue to spend on certified medical purchases. That contains physician’s payments, co-pays and prescriptions — in addition to numerous over-the-counter drugs and different health-adjacent merchandise and tools. (An FSA is completely different from a health savings account, or HSA. If you have a type of, the balance can be rolled over to the following year.)
The most quantity you may put aside for an FSA in 2021 was $2,750. Most years, you can solely roll over a few of that balance to the next year. (The present authorized restrict is $550, although your plan might need a decrease restrict.) If you didn’t find yourself having many medical payments that year, December generally winds up being a hustle to spend the remaining. Workers who overlook wind up forfeiting an estimated $400 million a year collectively.
But this year, issues are completely different. Congress modified the foundations for 2020 and 2021 below the belief that some folks might have skipped or delayed healthcare visits on account of the pandemic. If your workplace opted in, you might be able to roll over everything of your remaining balance to 2022. Contact your advantages supplier or human resources division and ask whether or not your employer is taking part.
If they aren’t, there are many methods to make use of up your FSA balance. Pharmacies like CVS and Rite-Aid permit you to make use of your FSA card identical to a debit card. Swipe your FSA card first at checkout and fee for all eligible items (see under for concepts on these) will undergo. You can additionally use your card to purchase eligible items on-line. Lots of websites have a web page devoted to coated provides, together with Amazon, Target, Costco, CVS, Rite-Aid, Walgreens and Wal-Mart. There’s additionally FSAStore.com, which — as you might need guessed from the title — solely sells FSA-eligible issues.
Here are a few of the items you won’t have realized have been FSA-eligible, in case you want buying inspiration:
COVID provides: Masks, hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, thermometers, pulse oximeters, at-home COVID assessments — these are all FSA-eligible. Stock up on speedy assessments now and be prepared for the vacations.
First-aid kits: You ought to have one for your house and one in your automobile. (P.S. Have you signed up for our e-newsletter on earthquake preparedness? There’s a complete part on what to have on hand in case of emergencies.) If you have already got a package that you’ve had an event to crack open, your FSA can cover issues like bandages and first-aid ointment to replenish it.
Prescription glasses, contacts and eye care: If you’re due for a watch examination, you can now do these on-line (and can most likely additionally pay for that with your FSA). Once you have an up-to-date prescription, most websites ought to let you use your FSA to pay for your new contacts or specs, together with hip spots like Warby Parker and See Eyewear. If you don’t want new eyewear, you can use your FSA for issues like contact answer, lens wipes and eye rewetting drops.
Menstrual provides: Thanks to the 2020 CARES Act, pads, tampons and different interval merchandise are actually eligible for FSA spending. If you are feeling beneficiant, you would possibly take into account shopping for some and donating them to one of many many organizations that provide menstrual supplies to folks in want.
Family planning items: Condoms and emergency contraception each qualify.
Over-the-counter drugs and monitoring tools: Stock up on ibuprofen, acetaminophen, sure nutritional vitamins and dietary supplements, antacids, ache aid gels and pads, and different OTC therapies for when you aren’t feeling so scorching. You can additionally use your FSA for blood stress displays and numerous diabetes care provides.
Baby, being pregnant and postpartum provides: Expecting a brand new healthcare dependent in 2022? FSAs cover a large number of breast pumps and breastfeeding provides, advisable postpartum care items, and even some fancy elective child provides just like the Owlet monitoring system.
Sunscreen and skincare: Many pimples therapies and eczema lotions can be bought with your FSA. And though it’s darkish at 5 p.m. proper now, the solar will return. Be ready.
Massagers: If you’ve been eyeing a massaging wand, system or automobile seat, that is your likelihood.
Mobility aids: Canes, transport chairs and wheelchairs are all eligible.
Home drug assessments and smoking cessation aids: If more healthy residing is your 2022 decision, you can expend this year’s FSA balance to get a head begin.