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What To Buy With FSA Money

By David Krug David Krug is the CEO & President of Bankovia. He's a lifelong expat who has lived in the Philippines, Mexico, Thailand, and Colombia. When he's not reading about cryptocurrencies, he's researching the latest personal finance software. 6 minute read

The majority of your health care FSA balance often has to be spent before the end of the year. For example, if your maximum annual contribution is $2,750, you can only roll over $550 into the next year.

Due to a change in federal law, however, companies now have the option of letting employees roll over any unused FSA monies into the next year. However, businesses are not obligated to implement this change, and many have yet to do so.

You better get out there and spend your health care FSA money before the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve. Fortunately, a flexible spending account may cover a wide range of medical and preventative care costs.

Approved Items and FSA-Eligible Expenses

You should know that some medical costs are also covered by a flexible spending account. In contrast, funds in a health savings account can accumulate tax-free and without limit. Because of this, if you may choose between an FSA and an HSA, you should always go with the FSA.

Spending down your FSA account shouldn’t be difficult, but you should go quickly. Under current legislation, these are the most frequently claimed FSA costs.

  1. Eye Care & Eyewear

If vision care isn’t covered by your health plan, using your FSA to pay for exams and glasses may be your best bet. Get an updated prescription by scheduling an eye checkup.

Then, get some fresh contact lenses, prescription sunglasses, or both to rock this year.
However, it is no excuse to go out and buy the most expensive glasses possible. Affordable and fashionable eyewear is available at internet stores like GlassesUSA.com.

GlassesUSA.com sells children’s and adult’s eyeglasses and contact lenses, as well as non-prescription lenses, sunglasses, and eyewear accessories. The store also offers a wide variety of specialized eyewear, including clip-on and polarized sunglasses, bifocals, and multifocals.

GlassesUSA.com provides frame size and a virtual try-on service to help you choose the perfect pair of glasses before you buy. You might also take a fun questionnaire to see which frame will best suit you.

  1. Over-the-Counter Medication

Because of federal COVID relief legislation, many more drugs are now covered by FSAs. It seems like everything in the pharmaceutical section is eligible for reimbursement this year.

  • Nasal sprays for the common cold, allergies, and congestion
  • Ibuprofen and acetaminophen are pain medications and fever reducers available without a prescription.
  • Oral allergy treatment
  • Acid reflux medicines
  • Medicine for coughs and colds, including cough syrup
  • Flu medicines
  • Anti-nausea medicine
  • Laxatives
  • Creams and other topical ointments that relieve itching
  1. First-Aid Supplies

In addition, many common first aid items available without a prescription can be reimbursed from your FSA. These are the things that are included:

  • First-aid kits for the house and automobile
  • Accessories for first aid, such as finger splints and slings
  • Thermometers
  • Supplies for wound care, such as sterile bandages, gauze, and tape.
  • Antibacterial and antiseptic remedy
  • Masks and gloves for medical use
  1. Travel Accessories

You may get money back from your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) for some of the things that are always in your travel kit. Travel materials that can be purchased with your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) are not limited to motion sickness medicine (anti-nausea pills), which fall under the category of over-the-counter drugs.

  • Sunscreen
  • Sleep masks
  • Neck pillows
  • Wrist-support devices
  • Motion-sickness bands
  • Heating and cooling pads
  1. Medical Alternatives

Acupuncture, chiropractic care, and therapeutic massage are all examples of alternative medical practices that may not be covered by an FSA according to the policies of some companies.

However, if your employer permits it, your FSA options expand even more. Make sure your desired treatment provider takes FSA money by checking the alternative medicine guidelines of your company.

  1. Baby Supplies

Buying baby supplies is a quick way to use up your FSA funds if you have very young children. Disposable diapers and baby wipes, two of the most ubiquitous infant items, do not qualify. However, there are a plethora of others that do.

  • Diaper rash ointment
  • Nursing pads
  • Teething medication
  • Breast milk storage bags
  • Ear drops
  • Baby sunscreen
  1. Dental Procedures

The majority of dental care treatments, including those used to prevent or cure illness, qualify for FSA reimbursement. All necessary examinations, x-rays, and preventative care, such as regular dental cleanings, are included in this.

  1. Skin Care

Skin care products make up a sizable portion of the list of qualifying FSA purchases, and they include a wide variety of over-the-counter remedies for your face and lips.

  • Therapeutic lip balm
  • Acne cleansers and lotions
  • Eye lotions and treatments for dry eye relief
  • Medicated face wipes and cleansers
  • Moisturizing lotion

Products like anti-itch cream, rash cream, and wart treatments, which are more frequently associated with over-the-counter medicine, also fall into this category.

  1. Foot Care

Products for the feet share certain similarities with skin care items, OTC drugs, and first aid kits, all of which can be purchased with FSA funds. However, their sole function is to pamper your feet. Inclusion on the list is contingent upon

  • Pharmaceutical foot powder
  • For an athlete’s foot, topical lotions and ointments are used.
  • Epsom salts used for foot soaks.
  • Orthopedic footbeds
  • Arch brace bands
  • Heel cups
  • Sole pads
  • Foot sleeves
  • Toe pillows (toe straighteners)
  • The maize and callus planes
  1. Sleep Aids

Prescription sleep aids are not covered by FSAs. Antihistamines (allergy drugs) and melatonin are two examples of OTC sleep aids that qualify. A doctor’s letter of justification may be needed to use your FSA.

Sleep aids that aren’t prescribed by a doctor might sometimes be paid for out of a flexible spending account.

  1. Feminine Hygiene Products

As a large and frequently used FSA reimbursement area, feminine hygiene products are very common. Products like these are eligible for purchase with FSA funds.

  • Tampons
  • Pads for menstruation
  • Cups for menstruation
  • Medication to prevent chafing
  • Itching relief drugs
  • Vaginal suppositories with medication
  • Medicated wipes and pads
  • Gels with antifungal properties
  • Medication for urinary health
  • Menstrual pain relievers
  1. Products and Services for Family Planning

One of the most inclusive FSA reimbursement categories is “family planning.” To begin, it discusses several different methods of contraception:

  • Condoms
  • Spermicidal creams
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Contraceptive patches
  • Vaginal birth control rings
  • Intrauterine devices (IUDs)

In addition to the aforementioned family planning goods, the following are also eligible for reimbursement from your FSA:

  • Prenatal testing
  • Tests for hormones and ovulation
  • Pregnancy testing
  • Egg donor fees
  • Treatments for infertility, such as in vitro fertilization
  • Surrogacy costs
  • Fees for short-term egg and embryo storage
  • Replacement hormone treatment

Finally, several items and services associated with pregnancy are covered by FSAs:

  • Checkups and ultrasounds are part of prenatal treatment.
  • Baby movement detectors
  • Doula and midwife services that are medically certified
  • Vitamins for pregnancy
  • Classes on childbirth and infant care
  • Wraps and bands for the abdomen
  1. Medical Supplies & Equipment

Reimbursement from an FSA can be obtained for a wide variety of medically necessary durable goods and supplementary items. Equipment for both short-term ailments, like postpartum nursing, and long-term, persistent diseases, like diabetes, fall under this category.

  1. Screenings for Preventive Care

If you don’t have health insurance, your FSA plan may help you pay less for medical treatment. Checkups, medications (including co-pays for insured individuals), lab work, and blood testing are all examples of common medical costs that can be paid for with an FSA.

  1. Products for Quitting Smoking

No FSA can coerce you into giving up cigarettes. However, it can provide a financial cushion for when the time comes.

Prescription drugs, nicotine patches, and nicotine gums are examples of smoking cessation items that may be reimbursed by an FSA. However, electronic cigarettes (nicotine vaporizers) are not.

  1. Vaccinations

Vaccinations and immunizations are examples of preventative care that are often covered by flexible spending accounts.

This entails the routine administration of vaccines to protect children from diseases such as measles, mumps, whooping cough, tetanus, and diphtheria. The yearly flu shot and the COVID-19 vaccine are only two examples of the periodic immunizations that are covered. It includes any recommended or needed immunizations or other preventative measures for overseas travel.

  1. Co-pays and Deductibles for Health Insurance

Unfortunately, your health insurance premiums are not covered by your FSA. Those costs must be covered separately, either by cash or by regular payroll deductions.

However, FSAs can be used to pay for some health insurance costs, including deductibles and copayments for certain procedures. Prescriptions, doctor’s appointments, and hospital stays are all examples.

There is still time to submit an FSA claim if you expect to submit a health insurance claim for services rendered prior to the end of the calendar year.

Bottom Line

You may spend your tax-free FSA funds on everything from trendy eyeglasses and critical dental work to baby essentials and home medical equipment.

However, it is helpful to know which costs cannot be reimbursed from an FSA. Moreover, there are cases where the exceptions make no sense at all. Some healthcare costs are covered by FSAs, such as deductibles and copayments, but premiums are not.

Health reimbursement accounts and regular health insurance, including less expensive choices like high-deductible health plans, both cover many typical medical costs that are not eligible for reimbursement under an FSA plan.

But if you get going on it right away, you shouldn’t have any difficulty using up your FSA before the deadline, even if it means storing up for the future year.

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