A Flexible Spending Account is a tax-advantaged medical reimbursement account offered by some employers to give their employees extra tax savings. However, in order to get those tax savings, you agree to use up the funds in your account by a certain date or forfeit the funds. For most accounts, the “use it or lose it” date is December 31. (Some larger employers allow for a grace period into the following calendar year.)
So you probably only have a few weeks left to use up the money left in your Flexible Spending Account. Here are some easy ways to do so:
Refill prescriptions. Refill any prescriptions that you can, rather than waiting until the new year. Very few medications have such a short shelf life that you can’t hold onto them until you need them.
Buy some new glasses and/or contact lenses. If you’ve been wanting a new pair of glasses, a pair of prescription sunglasses, or extra pairs of contact lenses, now is a great time to purchase them.
Contact lens solution. Have you ever checked the expiration date on your contact lens solution? Most seem to be good for at least a year beyond the purchase date. Why not stock up while you have some money to burn?
Go to physical therapy. If you have any nagging conditions that could benefit from physical therapy, ask your doctor for a prescription, and squeeze as many sessions as possible into the rest of this year.
Get some acupuncture. Another way to treat those nagging conditions is through acupuncture, which is reimbursable through your Flexible Spending Account.
Custom orthotics. Many people need custom orthotics for their feet, but many also avoid getting them because they can be quite expensive. However, they can be a great way to use up what’s left in your Flexible Spending Account.
Elective but necessary dental work. Cosmetic procedures are not reimbursable, but it’s a good time to do any work that your dentist says you need soon, even if not immediately (such as replacing old fillings). He or she may need to provide a statement of medical necessity to justify the work to the administrator of your Flexible Spending Account.
See a therapist. If you’ve been hesitant to see a therapist because of the cost, you can use the money left in your Flexible Spending Account to see if it would be a worthwhile expense.
Remove lead-based paint. If you have lead-based paint in your home, now might be a good time to have it removed.
You’ll want to verify that these expenses will be reimbursed by your particular Flexible Spending Account and its administrator. And make your appointments as soon as possible, since healthcare providers take time off at the holidays too!