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Flexible Spending Account

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Using FSA

Eligible products can be paid for at checkout in store or online using your FSA card. FSA Rx products are also available for purchase with a prescription. Contact your healthcare provider for a full list of eligible products.


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Flexible Spending Account Q&A

Even if you have health insurance, not all of your medical expenses are likely to be covered by your plan. With a flexible spending account or FSA, you can save money on eligible medical-related purchases, services and procedures that you would ordinarily have to pay for out of pocket. Read on for answers to your questions about FSA plans.

What Is a Flexible Spending Account?

A flexible spending account or FSA is a benefit account that allows you to set aside money to cover eligible medical expenses. The money is deducted from your paycheck before taxes are assessed. As a result, many people save up to 30% on medical costs covered by the plan.

You can use funds in an FSA to cover the cost of medical, dental and vision co-pays, coinsurance, deductibles and exams. FSA funds can also pay for physical therapy, chiropractic care, acupuncture, prescription drugs and many over-the-counter healthcare items like medications, bandages, home health monitors and activity trackers. Money in your FSA account can be used to cover healthcare costs for you, your spouse and any dependents that you claim on your federal tax return.

How to Use a Flexible Spending Account

Once you have signed up for a flexible spending account through your employer, using your FSA is simple. FSA payments are reimbursements. This means that you pay for the medical expense out of pocket and then receive the money back from your plan. Typically, you must complete a paper or online form to request a reimbursement and provide receipts or a bill as proof of payment. You can usually elect to have the reimbursements sent back to you in the form of a direct deposit into your bank account or as a paper check.

How Do Flexible Spending Accounts Work?

Flexible spending accounts are offered through employers, and many companies that offer health insurance make these accounts available to their employees. If your employer offers an FSA, you can elect to have a set dollar amount withheld from your check during each pay period. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) places a limit on the amount of money that you can place in an FSA account every year. For 2017, the limit was $2600 per person per year per employer. Up to $500 can be rolled over into your FSA for the following year.

Every pay period, your employer will deduct the amount that you specify from your check and place it in an FSA before taxes are deducted from your check. The total amount of money that you allot for the year becomes available on the very first day of your plan year, which is usually the first of the year. In other words, if you choose to put $1000 in your FSA during the year, and your plan year starts in January, you could use all $1000 to cover an unexpected medical expense from January 1.

For additional information about Flexible Spending Accounts, please contact your health care provider.

References:

"Health Care FSA," FSA FEDS. U.S. Office of Personnel Management. Web. 18 Jul. 2017. https://www.fsafeds.com/support/faq/hcfsa

"Eligible Health Care FSA (HC FSA) Expenses," FSA FEDS. U.S. Office of Personnel Management. Web. 18 Jul. 2017. https://www.fsafeds.com/explore/hcfsa/expenses

"Key Dates & Deadlines," FSA FEDS. U.S. Office of Personnel Management. Web. 18 Jul. 2017. https://www.fsafeds.com/support/faq/calendar/500

"Using a Flexible Spending Account (FSA)," HealthCare.gov. U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Web. 18 Jul. 2017. https://www.healthcare.gov/have-job-based-coverage/flexible-spending-accounts/

* If using an FSA debit card for payments, FSA-eligible products must be ordered no later than December 29, 2017 for FSA funds expiring December 31, 2017. Payment is not charged until orders have shipped.

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