We have just 4 short weeks to go before the end of 2021 – which could be a blessing. Before you ring in the new year, you may need to go on a healthcare shopping spree. There are a lot of people who have not used their Flexible Spending Account (FSA) funds this year. In fact, it’s estimated that people have 30-35 percent more in their accounts at this time of year than normal. Whether you have an FSA with use-it-or-lose-it or $550 carryover, you may need to find ways to spend down your balance. After all, you don’t want those benefit dollars to go waste.
Here’s a list of creative ways to spend your use-it-or-lose-it FSA dollars before year end. And this year, you have more options than in years past, thanks to an expansion on eligible expenses.
Creative Uses for Use-it-or-Lose-it FSA Dollars
1. Family planning
There are many over-the-counter family planning items (including contraceptives) and medical procedures that are eligible for purchase with your FSA. Condoms, foams, pregnancy test kits, and ovulation test kits, are some FSA-eligible items. Fertility treatments are also covered by an FSA.
2. Visit the dentist
Regular dental treatments and most non-cosmetic procedures are FSA eligible. You can pay for cleanings, fillings, retainers, sealants, crowns, braces, dentures, gum recession treatments, and many other dental procedures.
3. Do you see what I see?
If not, it’s probably a good time to get your eyes checked. You can pay for eye exams and prescription glasses and contacts with your FSA.
Here’s another important eyecare expense that you can cover with your FSA – prescription sunglasses. You can also buy reading glasses and contact lens solution with your benefit dollars.
4. Restock your medicine cabinet
First aid supplies, such as bandages, hot and cold packs, heating pads, nasal sprays, and thermometers, are just a few of the supplies that are commonly found in medicine cabinets.
In 2020, over-the-counter medications were re-approved as eligible expenses with the passage of the CARES Act. Stop by your local pharmacy or shop online to replace and refill the items with your use-it-or-lose-it FSA money.
5. Feminine hygiene products
Another set of eligible expenses included in the CARES Act billed passed in March are feminine hygiene care products. More specifically, menstrual care items such as tampons, pads, panty liners, cups, and other items can now be bought with an FSA.
6. Skin care
Skin care is an important part of overall health and well-being. An FSA can be used to cover medical treatments and some over-the-counter items. Skin care treatments that can alleviate a medical condition can be covered with an FSA, such as:
- Dermatologist – Standard visits to a dermatologist
- Acne – Pimples and bumps caused by oily skin and dead skin cells
- Eczema – Itchy skin inflammation
- Psoriasis – Itchy, flaky dry patches caused by skin buildup
- Rosacea – Condition that causes red bumps on your face
Keep in mind, your benefits administrator may need a letter of medical necessity (LMN) to approve certain treatments. Some physicians may also prescribe prescription medications.
OTC items that can help you take care of your skin include sunscreen, acne washes, and at-home acne treatment (such as light therapy).
7. Allergy and sinus remedies
If you have allergies or wind up with a nasty cold, it can be a rough go of it. Items such as neti pots, nasal irrigation products, prescription and OTC allergy medications, decongestants, and facemasks can be purchased with an FSA.
Don’t let your healthcare benefit dollars expire! Whether you shop in-store or online, these are just a handful ideas for your use-it-or-lose-it FSA spending.