Five Basic Questions to Ensure Your Receipt Is Accepted

Ensure Your Receipt Is Accepted

Congratulations on enrolling in a Flexible Spending Account (FSA)! The key to a smooth reimbursement process lies in understanding the crucial elements of proper expense documentation and ensuring your receipt answers 5 fundamental questions. Let’s explore these questions and discover where to find the necessary information.

The Handling of Unresolved Expenses

A month into your FSA plan year, you encounter an eligible dental expense, you use your benefits card, and submit the credit card receipts promptly. Yet, a second notice arrives, indicating that your expense has not been cleared. Frustration might mount as you wonder why your valid expense is being challenged. The reality is that standard credit card receipts often lack the details needed to verify eligibility.

The 4W’s and an H: Your Documentation Lifesaver

When submitting documentation, always remember the 4W’s and an H – Who, Where, What, When, and How Much. Answering these questions ensures your documentation contains the necessary information to prove eligibility.

Five Basic Questions for Receipt Acceptance

1. Who is the expense for?

Your receipt should clearly indicate the recipient of the eligible service or item. This is crucial for associating the transaction with the right individual, especially for medical expenses or services involving specific individuals.

2. Where was the service provided?

Location matters. Confirming that services were provided through a licensed practitioner or facility adds credibility to the expense. Verification ensures services meet necessary standards and regulations.

3. What service/item was provided?

Specify the nature of the service or item. Clearly outline what was provided and cross-reference it against IRS eligibility criteria. Certain expenses may require additional documentation, such as a letter of medical necessity, to confirm eligibility.

4. When did the service take place?

Timing is crucial for expense documentation. The date of service determines the plan year the expense applies to. Meeting employer-set deadlines for service provision and expense submission is essential for reimbursement.

5. How much is the service/item?

Understanding the financial aspect is fundamental. Your receipt should indicate the amount you were responsible for.

Where to Find the Information

Now, you might be wondering where to find all this information. It’s easier than you think!


Health care providers commonly provide itemized bills, detailing the services and costs incurred.


If the expense went through your insurance, an Explanation of Benefits (EOB) from your insurance company provides the same detailed information.

Finding FSA Expense Documentation

Health care providers and insurance companies are obligated to provide these documents. If you haven’t received them, check your online account records or request a copy. By ensuring your documentation covers the 4W’s and an H, you’re set for a smoother FSA reimbursement process. Don’t let frustration linger—demystify the process, obtain the right documents, and pave the way for hassle-free expense acceptance.