With only one month to go before the end of the year, it’s time to take a look at those remaining funds in your FSA account. An FSA, or Flexible Spending Account, is a pre-tax account that can be used for certain out-of-pocket health care costs. 

FSA balances typically expire at the end of the calendar year, but you might be able to roll over some funds into the next year depending on your employer.

“The maximum amount you can roll over also changes every year and is determined by the IRS — for 2023, the limit is $610,” explains Charlene Rhinehart, certified public accountant and personal finance editor at health care company GoodRx.

Even with this maximum set, your employer may choose to only let you roll over a lesser amount. 

“Some plans might offer a grace period instead of allowing you to roll over funds, giving you extra time — usually 2.5 months — to spend what’s left in your account,” Rhinehart says, advising people to speak with their employer’s benefits manager to confirm what options may apply to you.

According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute’s FSA database, 26% of plans give a grace period, 42% let people roll over a certain amount and 33% lose it at the end of the year.

What can I spend my FSA on?

If you’re looking to use up your remaining FSA balance, here are some products, classes and programs you can spend it on — just keep your receipts when you pay for items out of pocket, Rhinehart says. 

“You’ll need to provide them to your plan administrator to request reimbursement for your qualified expense,” she explains.

Skincare: Over-the-counter acne treatments, broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF 15+, and hair regrowth medications are eligible. Botox for treatment of a medical condition may be eligible, but requires a letter of medical necessity signed by your doctor along with a detailed receipt, according to the Federal Flexible Spending Account Program website.

More details on eligible items and supporting documents can be found on the IRS and other websites.

Eye, ear and teeth care: In addition to eye exams and surgery, eyeglasses, contact lenses and supplies are also eligible. You can even purchases supplies such as contact lenses solutions, eye glass repair kits and lens wipes. 

For your teeth, orthodontia such as braces and retainers as well as mail-order clear dental aligners like Invisalign are eligible. So are supplies such as teeth grinding prevention devices and over-the-counter toothache reliever.

Eligible ear care items include both over-the-counter and prescribed hearing aids and batteries as well as over-the-counter ear drops.

Medicine cabinet essentials: Use your FSA balance to stock your medicine cabinet for the new year — items such as bandages, hand sanitizer and face masks are eligible. So are many over-the-counter medications, including:

  • Allergy and sinus medicine
  • Cold and flu medicine 
  • Cough drops, sore throat lozenges and cough syrup
  • Antacids 
  • Aspirin or other pain relievers
  • Antibiotic ointment 
  • First aid kits and emergency medical kits

Immunizations such as flu shots are also eligible. So is COVID testing, both in-person and at-home.

Health tools: Have any health and wellness devices you need to replace or want to upgrade? Some eligible options include blood pressure monitors, thermometers and even CPAP machines and supplies.

Menstrual products: Menstrual care products are eligible, including pads, tampons, cups and period underwear.

Professional services: You may have all your essential doctor and dental visits done for the year, but are there other services that could be beneficial? Physical therapy, massage therapy, chiropractor and acupuncture visits are also FSA eligible. 

Pregnancy and family care: If you’re pregnant or trying to conceive there are plenty of options you can purchase with your FSA account, from pregnancy tests to prenatal vitamins to breastfeeding and childbirth classes. 

Not looking to get pregnant? Over-the-counter contraceptives like condoms as well as birth control pills (both over-the-counter and prescription) are FSA eligible. 

Addiction treatment: A number of treatment programs are also FSA eligible, including alcoholism and drug addiction treatment as well as smoking cessation programs, drugs and patches. 

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