10 Ways To Spend Down Your Flex Account
Flex accounts have been a blessing for many based on their medical conditions. In every household, there is at least one individual with regular medical expenses. Yes, one can get the best health care plan, but it wouldn’t cover all of your medical expenses. This is where flex accounts come in and save you from additional taxes.
Generally, the money is your FSA is only available for a year. It means no matter how much money you have left in by the end of the year; it will go away (to the government).
So the question is, what do you do with the excess money? Well, it is simple – spend it and don’t panic! Most employers provide their employees with a grace period of around two months in the following year to spend the money and provide the documentation.
So if you are looking for ways to spend the extra amount in your flex account, then you have landed at the right spot. Today we will discuss ten ways to spend your flex funds at the end of the year. So let us go ahead and jump right into it.
Review Your Receipts
Before you ahead and shop, the first thing you should do is recheck your medical receipts. You might be shocked to find out how much you spent on out-of-pocket expenses during the year. So get your medical bills, checkbook, and credit card statement and start recalculating it all. Add every medical expense that qualifies and submit the eligible receipts to your employer.
Call For Documentation
While you are reviewing your receipts, the major issue you will have to go through is figuring out which medical expenses, medications, and services qualify for FSA. Not to worry, because you are not alone. Around 80% of the households find it difficult to identify their FSA purchases.
So the best thing to do here is to get help. If you know someone who knows about the FSA, most likely your co-worker, then ask them for help. If not, then you can always consult with your health insurance provider or your employer. They will provide you with a list of all the eligible expenses.
Restock the first-aid kit
If you don’t have a first aid kit with you at home, office, car, or investment home, simply ask a doctor to write you a prescription for the basic necessities. A doctor will be more than happy to help you out because we all should have first-aid kits to avoid unnecessary trips to the hospital.
In case you already have a first-aid kit, make sure to check it out. Look for items that need to be restocked and any additional ones that you might need to add to your box, such as cartoon bandages that your kids enjoy.
Get a blood pressure monitor
If anyone in your family has a history of high blood pressure, investing in a blood-pressure monitor should be a priority for you. They are expensive; thus, one might avoid getting them, but why not spend it to increase your medical inventory if you have the excess money? You can get one for around $25 to $100.
Buy standby accessories
When it comes to medical bills, you will be surprised to find out how fast they add up. So when you have extra FSA funds to spent, one of the best ways to do so is to buy extra standby accessories. Set up an appointment with the ophthalmologist; in most cases, it is not covered by insurance.
Other than that, invest in a back-up pair of eyeglasses, contact lenses, or both! If you have other needs, such as the need for a hearing aid, then get extra batteries, a telephone, or some other medical equipment or accessories that you or your family members might need.
The air around us is getting polluted every day. With that happening, almost one individual in a household suffers from asthma or other breathing problems. So invest in extra inhalers, because you can never have too many of them.
Furthermore, with the allergy season coming next year, you might want to stock up on allergy medications, air filters, humidifiers, or other air cleaning products. If you have allergies, you should consult with your doctor and get a prescription for additional medication, emergency shots, etc.
See the dentist
Is your next dentist appointment due next year? Well, you should move it up if your healthcare plan does not cover it. The baby boomers should get their fillings checked before they begin to crack. Also, it might be time to get those cavities checked before they lead to a root canal or crown next year. Your FSA plan isn’t going to cover that!
Also, make sure to check the list provided by your insurance provider or employer to find out which dental expenses are eligible for FSA. Major cosmetic dental procedures and teeth whitening expenses are, for sure, not a part of it. So be vigilant in what you choose to get done.
Get your flu shots
As a working individual, you might not have enough time on your hands to get regular flu shots. Plus, if you are healthy, you might believe that you don’t need one, but viruses never fail to amaze us. So visit your doctor and check if you have missed any routine immunizations or flu vaccines. If yes, then get them done as they might be all that you need to reach your FSA limit.
Gym memberships and health clubs are the first things that come to mind when talking about wellness programs. But unfortunately, they do qualify for FSA. But other wellness expenses do qualify for FSA reimbursement when recommended by a doctor.
So if you are on a journey to lose weight, get a doctor’s letter of medical necessity to purchase a weight-loss program, invest in weight loss equipment, get over-the-counter drugs, and other required accessories.
Other than that, individuals with drug problems or smoking issues can qualify for rehabilitation programs, nicotine patches, and other recovery items prescribed by the doctor. Luckily, you can also get a massage using your FSA funds to relieve muscle pain or to alleviate muscle strain.
Yes, it is one of the major things that homeowners forget about when reviewing their FSA documentation. The miles that you covered while making trips to the doctors and pharmacies definitely qualify for the FSA reimbursement. Check what the medical mileage rates are for the year and count them in.
According to a report, around 35 million Americans have FSA accounts. Their employers deduct a portion from their paycheck to add it to their FSA-healthcare account monthly. The major benefit of FSA is that one doesn’t have to pay tax on that amount, which is considered as savings.
So instead of panicking about your money going to waste, try spending it as much as possible. It isn’t going to waste even if you don’t use it all because you will still be coming out ahead financially due to the substantial tax savings. Just relax, put things into perspective, and start spending!