Author Topic: What to Spend FSA Money On?  (Read 5106 times)

LadyStache

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 230
What to Spend FSA Money On?
« on: February 24, 2015, 12:24:03 PM »
I overestimated how much money I would need in my FSA account last year. I have about $300 "extra" that I need to spend before March 15. What should I spend it on?

I was thinking about getting a pair of prescription sunglasses, but my eye doctor is booked until April, so that's out. I've already been to the dentist and my PCP and I'm fully stocked on my prescription medication. I have to figure out the travel reimbursement amount and submit that, although I doubt it will add up to much. Should I just buy a REALLY nice first aid kit?

johnny847

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3190
    • My Blog
Re: What to Spend FSA Money On?
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2015, 12:32:24 PM »
I did a quick search but I couldn't find the rules on this - can you just withdraw the money with a penalty? I mean, say the penalty is 15%. If the "best" thing you can think of that is a qualified expense is something that you don't value at it's face value, but you actually value at less than 85% of its face value, then you should just take a withdrawal and pay the penalty.

SomedayStache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 805
  • Live Long and Prosper
Re: What to Spend FSA Money On?
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2015, 12:37:50 PM »
I just spent $400 on a breastpump from Target.

I'm a red panda

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8202
  • Location: United States
Re: What to Spend FSA Money On?
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2015, 12:38:25 PM »
I didn't think you could withdraw an FSA, I thought they were use it or lose it.  Though I think now you can carry over $500.

I also don't know if you can buy a first aid kit anymore- I thought over the counter stuff was now only with doctor's prescription (because I USED to go stock up on band-aids, pepto, advil, etc.)


Do you have a current glasses prescription? Because if you do, you could always go get the prescription sunglasses elsewhere.

Or, if the money is really use it or lose it- how about a different optometrist? I've been pretty happy with Walmart, quite honestly.

You could go get acupuncture or see a chiropracter.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2015, 12:42:08 PM by iowajes »

SomedayStache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 805
  • Live Long and Prosper
Re: What to Spend FSA Money On?
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2015, 12:46:55 PM »
My FSA allows things like bandaids, sunscreen, splints, crutches without a prescription.  It's the OTC medicine that now requires a prescription (Tylenol, creams, etc).  Condoms are allowed - but spermicide is not.

Interesting note for my specific FSA is that while multivitamins in general are not allowed.  Vitamins to treat a specific condition are.  I was able to stock up on a year's worth of prenatal vitamins.  I didn't need a doctor's prescription - and I'm not even pregnant.  Prenatal vitamins are just like regular women's vitamins - only with a few additional things (folic acid for example).

johnny847

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3190
    • My Blog
Re: What to Spend FSA Money On?
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2015, 12:48:56 PM »
Though I think now you can carry over $500.
The law now says that it is permissible for employers (or is it an FSA administrator? whatever) to allow their employees to carryover up to $500. But, it is not a requirement of FSAs.

SomedayStache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 805
  • Live Long and Prosper
Re: What to Spend FSA Money On?
« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2015, 12:51:46 PM »
For the FSAFEDs program the $500 carryover will take effect for 2015 (so you can carry over $500 into 2016).  It didn't effect the 2014 FSA program...but the 2014 FSA gives you up to mid-March to spend your money.  With the new $500 carryover that grace period is eliminated. Check your own plan for details.

LadyStache

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 230
Re: What to Spend FSA Money On?
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2015, 01:15:53 PM »
Just finished calculating the mileage. It ended up being a lot more than I thought (around $70). That should bring the amount remaining in my account down to about $230.

The FSA is use it or lose it. The balance carries over until March 15 and then whatever is not spent gets lost forever.

I don't have a current glasses prescription -- I had LASIK a few years back. My vision isn't exactly 20/20 so I'm sure I could get a prescription for sunglasses if I asked, but I don't currently wear glasses or contacts. I really like my eye doctor so I'm really hesitant about seeing someone else. Also, my LASIK has a lifetime guarantee (if you need a correction later on, they will do it free of charge) as long as you get an annual eye exam with an affiliated doctor, so the list of alternates is pretty small.

bugbaby

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 387
Re: What to Spend FSA Money On?
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2015, 01:34:08 PM »
You can get eye prescriptions anywhere.. I was in same situation and went to Walmart and am very satisfied. Also it can cover skin or other cosmetic type procedures etc,

Gimesalot

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 665
Re: What to Spend FSA Money On?
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2015, 12:03:58 PM »
I looked through the list and saw these potential expenses:

glasses
Over the counter supplies
pre-natal vitamins
counseling/ therapy
Massage Therapy
Nutritionist visits
Orthopedic shoes

mandy_2002

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 291
Re: What to Spend FSA Money On?
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2015, 12:58:44 PM »
If your Lasik requires a yearly exam, and you can't get into your doctor until April, does that mean that you're voiding your "warranty" or that you have been to the doctor in the last year?  If you've seen your optometrist in the last 365 days, they should have a prescription on file for you, and you can get a copy of it.  My doctor measures that stuff even if you don't need it.

Supporting insoles for shoes are also covered if you have any need for them, including non-personalized versions from a department/drug store.

epipenguin

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 124
Re: What to Spend FSA Money On?
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2015, 01:04:42 PM »
I looked through the list and saw these potential expenses:

glasses
Over the counter supplies
pre-natal vitamins
counseling/ therapy
Massage Therapy
Nutritionist visits
Orthopedic shoes

Acupuncture is another one - I used FSA money on that before I switched over to an HSA.

clarkm04

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 180
Re: What to Spend FSA Money On?
« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2015, 01:09:14 PM »
FSA is either $500 carryover from year to year OR use it or lose it by end of March of new year.

Before the $500 dollar rule went into effect, I asked our benefits person about it and she indicated we'd be staying with the use or lose it since you can carry your whole balance over to the new year and use all of it.

I'd prefer the $500 carry over, but whatever.

My wife has an HSA and limited FSA.  She has a $500 carryover, so we maxed out last year and have that available.


MoneyRx

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 96
  • Location: USA
Re: What to Spend FSA Money On?
« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2015, 01:29:35 PM »
Go to your pharmacy and buy diabetic test strips, these can be purchased without a prescription and from what I see are still eligble to be purchased with FSA without a prescription. Sell them on craigslist or ebay for essentially face value (There is a huge secondary market for these). The money is back in your hands.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2015, 01:31:11 PM by MoneyRx »