How not to wait until December to use your FSA

POSTED ON 
February 11, 2019

Year after year I find myself waiting until approximately December 15 to spend my Flexible Spending Account (FSA). At times, I remember to use it to pay for co-pays at the doctor’s office or other medical bills, but it’s usually not top of mind. You too? Let’s change that this year.

So... what’s an FSA, you might ask? In a nutshell, it’s sponsored by your employer (it’s offered as part of your benefits package) and it’s an account you put money into to pay for certain types of out-of-pocket healthcare costs. Why do people like FSAs so much? The money you put into the account is pre-tax — so you never pay money on the healthcare costs that you put against your FSA. What’s good to know? Most employers have a “spend it or lose it” policy which forces employees to spend what’s in their FSA by December 31. Some employers extend this deadline until mid-March OR they let you carry over funds into the following year. Check with Human Resources. Just don’t confuse your FSA with an HSA — that’s a different beast! Give this article a read for a comparison of the two.

Now, back to what your FSA can cover. We rounded up a few resources to make the process a bit clearer and called out some of the items/services we’re particularly excited to see included. Have you used your FSA for anything unique or unexpected? Let us know!

  • The FSA Store (yes, that exists) lists items that are FSA-eligible — and notes which require a prescription and which do not.
  • No prescription needed: Sunscreen, lip balm, heating pads, first aid kit supplies, shoe inserts.  
  • Get a prescription first: Acne treatments, children’s cold medications, sleep aids, allergy meds, Midol.
  • Although from 2016, this article shares creative ways to spend your FSA money. Think:  eyeglasses/contacts, acupuncture, condoms, etc.

  • CNBC poses some helpful considerations as you look to spend your FSA. Need a medical procedure? Haven’t been to the dentist in a while? These are good opportunities to use it!


Read more bite-sized brilliance on our LinkedIn and Twitter.

Becky Sennett
SENIOR CLIENT STRATEGIST

You might also like

Making Summer Memories: Insights from ALI’s Strategic Internal Communications Conference

A few weeks ago, I traveled to Boston for what is truly one of my favorite events of the year – ALI’s Strategic Internal Communications Conference. I’ve joked that it’s sort of like summer camp for internal communicators, but it’s not far from the truth! It’s an opportunity to reunite with colleagues, friends and partners for three days of workshops, presentations, networking, and even some karaoke.

Read more
Email isn't evil

I was at a conference recently where one of the speakers made a bold statement. She said, “Email isn’t evil!” My first reaction was skepticism. What world does this woman live in?! But I kept listening because it really challenged my thinking, and I left with my own bold statement. So, here it goes: Email isn’t evil if it’s used the right way. 

Read more
Damn, You're good!

 For anyone who follows our blog, I hope you’ve picked up on the fact that we have a pretty spectacular culture here at Brilliant Ink. I am so thankful every day to work with such a brilliant, caring and thoughtful group of people. We aren’t just colleagues, we’re a wolfpack (more on that in a future post!) that looks out for each other, challenges one another, and celebrates our collective and individual successes. 

Read more