Have you used your flexible spending account money this year? These accounts, also known as FSAs, are common benefits offered by many employers. With an FSA, you designate a certain amount of money to the account at the beginning of each year, up to a certain maximum, usually no more than $5,000. The money comes out of your annual salary, and you pay it back throughout the year in equal payroll deductions on each paycheck. This is pre-tax money, and it is yours to spend on any approved medical expense. You receive the money you designate all at once at the beginning of the year, usually on a dedicated debit card, though some employers still use the reimbursement model.
How to Use Your Flexible Spending Account?
FSA accounts are used to pay medical expenses not usually covered by health insurance. Examples of common uses of FSA money include:
- Dental expenses
- Optometrist and ophthalmologist expenses
- Co-pays at your medical providers’ offices
- Over-the counter-medications
- Drugstore medical supplies, such as contact lens solution, bandages, pain-relieving cream, antiseptic ointment, rubbing alcohol, and peroxide
- Some fertility expenses, such as testing
- LASIK surgery
There are other expenses you can pay for with your FSA, as well as things you cannot use it for paying. When you sign up for this optional benefit with your employer, you will be given a list of the things you can and cannot pay for with your FSA funds.
Use Your FSA Expenses Now
The thing about FSA money is that you have to use the amount you designate each year during the year you designate it. It does not roll over. If you don’t use it before the end of the year, you will lose it. Since it’s your money, and you have already paid for putting it on your debit card through payroll deductions, you may as well use it, otherwise it is just like throwing money away, and you certainly don’t want to do that.
With the end of the year coming up, now is the time to use your remaining FSA funds. Many people forget they even have them. This is your reminder, and to let you know to use that money now, so it isn’t wasted. Flexible spending accounts are wonderful and useful benefits, but only if you use them.
Meet With Our Local Portland Optometrist to Get More Information About FSA
Contact us at (503) 546-4460 to make an appointment for your annual vision exam, to buy new eyeglasses or contacts, or to take care of any other vision need you have that you haven’t taken care of yet this year. You can use your FSA money on your family, too, so bring the kids, and whoever else you have listed as a dependent on your work benefits.