Refresher: What Is a Flexible Spending Account?
When you opt into a health care Flexible Spending Account (FSA) as part of your benefits package, your employer will direct a portion of your pre-tax dollars into a fund you can draw from to pay for qualified medical, dental, and vision expenses. At the beginning of the plan year, you choose how much money you want to allocate to your FSA based on how much you think you’ll spend on eligible expenses. Then, you have the rest of that year to use the funds. Just be sure to use all the money in the account, because it doesn’t roll over year to year like a health savings account.
What Can You Spend Your FSA Pre-Tax Dollars On?
There are two types of FSAs that serve specific needs: health care and dependent care. In this case, we are focusing on eligible health care items and services you can cover with your FSA pre-tax dollars. The number of eligible expenses you can pay for using your FSA is well into the hundreds! To make it easier for you, we’ve compiled a list of the most common categories of FSA-qualified expenses, like prescription medications, annual flu shots, eye exams and glasses, dental care, and holistic health services (in certain situations). You can keep this list on hand to help you figure out how to make the most of your tax-free money.
If you’re thinking you might pay for those personal fitness training sessions or that expensive skin rejuvenation treatment with your FSA funds, keep in mind that there are limits on what qualifies as a health care cost. We tell you what expenses generally don’t qualify in our FSA eligible items list, too!
Pro Tip: Keep a List of FSA-Eligible Expenses on Hand
Our FSA Eligible Expenses list is a free resource that can come in handy when you are not sure if you can use your FSA dollars to pay for an appointment, product, or other service. Download it to save on your phone, or print a copy of it that you can keep somewhere safe like inside your wallet, so you have it to reference when you need it! Whatever form suits your style, this list of FSA eligible expenses should help you to get the most bang out of those tax-free bucks.