It’s that time of year again, when individuals are focused on using up remaining Healthcare Flexible Spending Account (FSA) funds. We know it’s a topic on the minds of many individuals as our customer service lines have been abuzz with related questions. For those of you we haven’t yet spoken with, we thought you might appreciate the following recommendations to help you make the most of your tax-free dollars.
- How much longer do I have to use my funds?
This timing is easy to check. First, your account lists your “use from” date range, which is the time period during which you can incur eligible medical, dental or vision expenses under your current plan year. Check the end date listed to determine the last date on which you may incur eligible expenses for the plan year. Second, the “claim by” date is also listed on your account, which is the last date you can submit claims for payment of eligible expenses that you have incurred during the plan year. You can find these important dates by logging into your account at www.wageworks.com and checking your healthcare FSA box on your dashboard.
- Do I have a grace period?
Healthcare FSA with Grace Period is a type of Healthcare FSA that may be selected by your employer. If your employer has selected this type of Healthcare FSA, you may have up to 2½ months after the end of a plan year in which to file a claim and spend any funds remaining in your account at the end of a plan year. To find out if you have a Healthcare FSA with Grace Period, log into your WageWorks account or ask your employer.
- Can I carry over any unused funds?
Last year, the IRS changed its FSA “use it or lose it” policy, allowing up to $500 of unused FSA funds to be carried over to the next plan year. It’s important to note that IRS rules do not allow a Healthcare FSA plan to have both a grace period and carryover, so your organization’s plan would not offer both features. If your employer chooses to allow carryover in a Healthcare FSA, you will see the note “Up to $500 Carryover” in the FSA box on your account dashboard.
- What can I purchase with my FSA?
A lot of different things, you would be surprised. Your Healthcare FSA covers hundreds of eligible healthcare expenses, like copayments for doctor visits, prescription drugs, and new eyeglasses or contact lenses. Here's a handy list of eligible expenses to review, download, or print out for future reference. Please keep in mind that IRS rules determine what expenses are eligible, and some expenses require a doctor's note or prescription to be eligible for reimbursement under your Healthcare FSA.
- Did I miss something during the year?
Is it possible that you incurred expenses in this plan year that were not paid for with FSA funds? If you think this might be the case, ask your physician’s office for a list of payments made, the pharmacy for a list of prescription purchases or track down other routine expenses made throughout the year. Once you have a receipt, you can submit a claim by the “claim by” date and be reimbursed from your FSA.
Your Healthcare FSA should deliver serious savings. Hopefully, these recommendations will help you reap remaining savings this plan year and get you off to a great start in the coming year. If you have additional questions or comments, we invite you to like or follow us on Facebook or Twitter and reach out to our customer service representatives there.