Health care is talked about all the time in the media. People are curious about coverage, costs associated with care, and the options out there for their families. A Flexible Spending Account (FSA) is a type of employee benefit plan that more than 30 million Americans rely on to cover their health care. One of the big pluses of an FSA is the ability to put aside pre-tax money on qualified health expenses such as products, and visits of health care providers. Since the money is tax-free, you can save up to 40% of each dollar you put into the plan. Having a child with special needs and my own medical issues, this saves our family quite a bit of money each year.
You sign up for an FSA once a year if your employer offers it. Each year before you sign up, you should calculate your flex spending eligible expenses. New plans starting in 2013 have a maximum limit of $2,500 per person. I keep a spreadsheet of our medical expenses throughout the year, so it’s very easy to see which are repeatable, so I know how much I need to set aside during our open enrollment. We use this at our Primary Care, Specialists, Eye Doctor, Dentist, and Pharmacy.
Research shows that Americans lose hundreds of millions of dollars by not using their flexible spending account funds by specific deadlines. Many plan years end on December 31, but some plans have grace periods that extend coverage up to 2 ½ months. March 15 is a major upcoming FSA deadline. We used all of ours up last year, so I knew to allot extra dollars into our FSA for this year. We do use some items featured at the FSA store throughout the month though, such as Simply Saline, Aquaphor, and others, so I am excited to purchase some of those using our FSA Credit Card and save myself a trip to the big box store.
If you have an FSA, you still have time to check if you have the grace period and use your 2012 FSA funds by March 15. If you’re new to FSAs, you might be wondering what you can spend your FSA on.
Sunscreen, breast pumps, blood pressure monitors, contact lens solution and hot-and-cold packs are just a sample of popular FSA eligible products.
FSAstore.com was created to make it simple for consumers to use their FSAs. The site exclusively sells FSA-eligible products, which eliminates any guesswork of figuring out what is reimbursable under an FSA. Don’t lose your pre-tax money and find thousands of FSA-eligible products at FSA Store.
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Disclosure: This post is brought to you by FSAstore.com.