If you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), you’re down to the wire on spending time for the year. By virtue of being a “use-it-or-lose-it” account, unused FSA funds run the risk of being forfeited* by you and collected by your employer. At this point, many people feel they over-funded their account and are resigned to the fact that they can’t avoid losing the excess funds. But don’t worry yet. Even if time is short, you may still have time to use your FSA funds. Check out these 4 quick tips to make the most of your FSA.
1) Do your research on eligibility
Whether you’re new to an FSA or you’re a veteran FSA user, it never hurts to do your research on eligibility. For example, did you know that dog food and compression hosiery make it onto the “eligible” list while sunscreen under 15 SPF doesn’t? To make the most of your FSA funds, review which items are eligible or ineligible before making purchases. Start by reviewing these Eligible Products and Services and this list from SIGIS.
2) Check your plan documents
Your employer works with your benefit administrator to create Plan Documents that determine the ins and outs of your FSA. This includes if certain items are eligible or not. Review your Plan Documents prior to shopping so you can make the most of your FSA and make sure you’re staying healthy. BRI participants can check their plan documents by logging into BRiWeb and going to the Documents tab.
3) Visit the FSA Store
The beauty of the FSA Store is that all** the products are eligible. That saves you from having to worry about if your FSA dollars will be accepted at check out. Just go to FSAStore.com, add the items you need to your cart, and pay with your benefits card. You can also pay with a standard credit card and submit a claim for reimbursement. First time FSAStore visitors can use promo code benrfsa to save $10 at checkout.
4) Have receipts ready
The IRS requires administrators like Benefit Resource to verify that 100% of FSA transactions are for eligible medical and dependent care expenses. When an expense can’t be verified automatically at the point of sale, your plan administrator may request a receipt. Having receipts ready helps you make the most of your FSA by staying compliant with IRS regulations. If you’ve made purchases in the past or you’re planning to make purchases, always keep your receipts.
Finish the year strong
Managing a Flexible Spending Account can be stressful, especially when you have excess funds. Thankfully, if you use the four tips above, you’ll improve your chances of putting your funds to good use before the Plan Year ends on December 31. To learn more about how you can save, visit BenefitResource.com. Give yourself a holiday present and make the most of your FSA this year.
*Not all unused funds may be at risk. Your employer may offer a rollover or Extended Grace Period. Consult your plan administrator or Plan Documents for more information. Benefit Resource participants may log into their account on BRiWeb or call Participant Services at 1-800-473-9595.
**Some products at the FSA Store may require a prescription (Rx) or a Letter of Medical Necessity (also referred to as a Certification of Medical Necessity.)