If you used a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) last year, there are some FSA deadlines you need to know about. While the end of the plan year has passed for most people, you may still have the option to take advantage of any unused benefit dollars.
For most American workers, December 31 marks the end of their plan year for employer-sponsored benefits. FSA participants are especially vulnerable to this deadline. However, hope may not be lost if you have unspent funds in your account. Depending on your company’s plan setup, you may still have time to spend those dollars and file a claim for the previous year with the following FSA deadlines.
If your company offers a grace period on your FSA, this is great news! Grace period extends your plan year by up to two and a half months, allowing you to exhaust your balance on eligible FSA expenses.
It’s important to note that the length of the grace period varies by company. Some may allow the full two and half months, while others may only allow 30 days. Be sure to check with your HR department or benefits administrator.
Check out these 9 FSA expenses you may not know about.
While a grace period lengthens your plan year and gives you a chance to use up those FSA dollars, an FSA run-out period allows you extra time to file for last year’s expenses.
In short, a run out period is a predetermined amount of time (generally set by your company) that allows you to get reimbursed after the plan year ends. Most run-out periods are 90 days, and it starts the day after your plan year ends.
For example, you may have gone to the ER in May, but forgot to submit a claim for reimbursement before the December 31 end date. As long as you have your itemized receipts, you can submit a claim during the run out period. Check your plan documents so you can be certain of when your run out period begins and ends.
As with all of your healthcare expenses, you should keep your receipts – particularly when it comes to filing a claim during the run out period. Your administrator will be looking for the following information from the documents you provide:
Keep track of your FSA deadlines! It could make a world of difference for your healthcare budget and taking full advantage of your tax-free benefits.
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