Ways To Spend Your Health Care Flexible Spending Account Balance

By glblguy

Medicine bottle and pills
Photo by ppdigital

The end of the year is coming up soon, and if you have a balance remaining in your Flexible Spending Account, you need to spend it by December 31st or you’ll loose the remaining balance. Here are a just a few ways to spend that money!

Get a Physical

Most health insurance plans pay for one yearly physical but it never hurts to get more than one especially if your other one was early in the year. Use your Flexible Spending Account balance to pay for that extra physical.

Eye Glasses

I don’t have a left over balance this year, but in prior years I used my balance to either get a new set of lenses or a new pair of glasses. My vision plan pays for one pair of glasses per year, but I’ve always found it beneficial to have a spare pair or two around. I also wear prescription sunglasses which aren’t covered by my vision plan. I’ve used my Flexible Spending Account balance to purchase these too. If you wear classes or contacts, use that remaining balance to purchase new one’s or some spares!

Stock Up On Over The Counter Medication

I’m surprised by the number of people who don’t know this, but your Flexible Spending Account can be used to pay for over the counter medicine. If you use particular over the counter medicines, use your balance to stock up on those medicines. Medicines that are handy to have around include: Advilicon, Tylenolicon, Pepcidicon, Mylantaicon, Cortaidicon, iconNeosporinicon, and Benadrylicon. I would encourage you to look for generic products as well so you get more for your money.

Make sure you check your plan to be sure what is covered. Drugstore.com offers a list of products that are FSA eligibleicon. For example, vitamins aren’t covered unless prescribed by a doctor. Also, be careful to not stock up on so much that you won’t use it all before it expires.

Family Planning

The cold winter months are here and couples will be snuggling up next to their warm fires. You can use that Flexible Spending Account money to purchase birth control pills, condoms, iconand spermicidesicon. If you aren’t wanting to get pregnant this winter, go ahead and stock up.

How do you spend that remaining balance? Add your spending strategies in the comments below!

14 Responses (including trackbacks) to “Ways To Spend Your Health Care Flexible Spending Account Balance”

  1. Randall Says:

    HA! I loved the snuggling up/get birth control statement!!

    I’m taking the plunge and getting Lasik (I’ll blog on that later to let everyone know how it went) but the reason for this is that I got a deal so I didn’t have to set up a Flex Spending Account next year to pay for it.

    I got about $450 knocked off and 0% interest for a year from the co. in place of FlexSpend. It’s a win-win for me. ~$450 was the amount I’d save in taxes anyway and I don’t have the hassle of pulling money from the flex account each month, and they get their money now.

  2. Lynnae @ Being Frugal Says:

    Great ideas. We spent our whole FSA in January on braces for my daughter and physical therapy on my husband’s finger. (He broke it a year ago on Thanksgiving, and needed surgery and the whole works).

    But if we had anything left in the FSA, those would be great ideas. :)

  3. Justin Says:

    We are allowed to spend until March for our FSA for the prior year. It can depend on the company.

    That said, we usually exhaust ours well before the end of the year for the past few years, with doctor and hospital visits high for us recently.

  4. glblguy Says:

    @Justin – are you sure? In general you have until March to submit expenses, but you can only expense items from this year.

  5. Justin Says:

    Ah, looks like I misremembered the specifics, Claims will be honored for services received from the date of your reduction agreement through December 31 of the Plan year or the grace period of January and February following the end of the plan year.
    I.e. I can file for services rendered in Jan. and Feb. One year I did have to stockpile a bunch of stuff in Jan. and Feb. to make sure we’d get the full reimbursement.

  6. glblguy Says:

    @Justin – That’s nice you get a grace period. We don’t, hard stop on 12/31.

  7. paidtwice Says:

    ours is august to august. weird, huh?

    The plug for birth control at the end amused me greatly. I almost fell off my chair. :)

  8. glblguy Says:

    @paidtwice – Well, it’s a good way to spend the money and people don’t generally think about it…well at least being able to expense it.

    Sure hope it didn’t offend anyone…I’m real comfortable with that topic and as a result sometimes make people a little uncomfortable :-)

  9. paidtwice Says:

    Didn’t offend me! *Did* amuse me. I like the unexpected sometimes :)

  10. plonkee Says:

    Don’t forget that if you have a lot left over this year, you might want to adjust your withholding for next year.

    And there’s nothing wrong with suggesting birth control. How many kids did you say you had again ;) ?

  11. glblguy Says:

    @plonkee – I’m not saying ;-) Good point about adjusting for next year! Thanks!