How to Be Smart About FSA Spending

We think it’s pretty obvious, but we LOVE Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs). Whether you’re an employer or a plan participant, we have the resources you need to succeed.

Throughout the year we deliberately write about helping employees understand the plans that their employers have selected for them. With roughly 160 Flexible Spending Account (FSA)-related blogs on our site concentrating on eligibility, spending options, plan strategy, savings, and more…we cover it all!

Let’s say it together:?“Every dollar has a job.”

FSAs are usually funded from your paycheck. If your employer offers an FSA, you’ll get the option to sign-up during open enrollment. You can typically elect an annual amount to contribute, which your employer will then distribute over each paycheck. You could also consider a per-paycheck contribution that fits within your monthly budget.

Spend those hard-earned FSA dollars productively and sensibly.

With roughly 7 months of FSA dollars left, there are plenty of FSA and Dependent Care FSA (DCFSA)-eligible ways for you to create a healthy and happy summer for your kids, and help you save cash along the way.
  • Make doctor’s appointments now for you and your family.
    You can use your FSA for copays or prescription costs.
  • If you’re back to work, check out day camps for children under 13.
    Day camps can include anything from sports camps to STEM camps. You might be able to use your dependent care flexible spending account to pay for it. Depending on your tax bracket, you could save 20% or more on summer camp expenses since you do not have to pay taxes on DCFSA-eligible expenses.
    There are a few rules for using DCFSA funds to pay for day camps so review your plan highlights or call our Participant Services crew.

*Consideration: Kids under 13 years old are eligible and the parent needs to be working full-time, in school full-time, or trying to find a job. In other words, stay-at-home parents can’t use a DCFSA to pay for day camps.

  • Put your benefit dollars to GOOD use!
    With many eligible items available, you’ll be prepared for whatever comes your way during the summer. Interested in shopping online? No problem! Visit our partner, the FSA Store. As a bonus, with every Caring Mill™, GoodSense®, and Cardinal Health® purchase, a portion is donated to the Children’s Health Fund to support children in need of health care. Shop now!
    Remember you can use your Beniversal debit card online and in-store at pharmacies and other approved retailers. And if you’re traveling, don’t leave home without it!

Pro Tip: Keep your receipts, paperwork, and other related documentation. You may need them to file a claim for reimbursement.

Trust us. Don’t wait until December to spend your funds. You won’t be a happy camper.

Unlike an HSA, you cannot carry over all of your balance indefinitely. So, it’s essential to be careful about how much you choose to contribute to this account during the open enrollment period.

Spending deadlines for FSAs vary, (depending on how your plan is set up). Employers have three options for spending deadlines.  All expenses must be incurred by either:

  1. December 31st

  2. December 31st, but users can roll up to $500 into the next year’s FSA

  3. March 15th

In case you missed it: last year the CARES Act enabled FSA funds to be used on over-the-counter medications, so start spending now to avoid the last-minute December spend-a-thon.

Are those spring allergies hitting you hard? ? Now is a great time to get started on your FSA spending and grab some much-needed relief!

Interested in learning more about FSAs? Check out our other blogs here!