How to Best Use Your Health Insurance Flex spends Before They Run Out

Use Your Health Insurance Flex spends

The end of the year is coming upon us, meaning that those who have a flexible savings account for their health coverage will need to make sure the amount that remains is spent. What happens if you have some left over and there is no foreseeable medical costs coming up over the next couple weeks? While there are some limitations and restrictions, now is the time to invest in other areas of your health that you may have neglected such as your vision.

What is a Flexible Spending Account (FSA)?

A Flexible Spending Account is a special account one puts money into to pay for out-of-pocket medical costs that aren’t covered by insurance. The money in an FSA is exempt from taxes, but the money that remains in the account by the new year will be lost.  Typical FSA accounts allow for a maximum amount of $2,500 to be deposited by an employee. Some employers offer FSA to employees as a form of health insurance. Some employers extend the grace period for up to 2.5 months after the end of the year or they allow employees to carry over a maximum of $500 from the previous year.

Here are some areas you can consider to park your money in through the end of the year:

1) Dental Care: While most preventative and restorative dental services are covered with insurance, you can use the left-over FSA money with cosmetic dental procedures, such as teeth whitening, that is not covered by insurance. 2) Standard medicines: Now is the time to stock up on frequently used over-the-counter medications that are FSA approved. To find out which medications are FSA eligible, you can check out the FSA store. 3) Try out some alternative treatments: Take a visit to the chiropractor, acupuncturist, nutritionist or join a wellness class. The FSA funds can be used towards these costs if the service isn’t covered by your insurance. 4) Update your first aid kits (or put some together.): Most of the components of a first aid kit, including bandages, joint braces and anti-bacterial cream are FSA eligible. 5) Manage your diabetes: FSA funds have been approved to be used to purchase both insulin and blood sugar testing kits. 6) Vision Care: You can use your left-over FSA money towards eyeglasses, contact lenses, contact lens solution and even Lasik surgery. 7) Prepare for an upcoming trip: If you still have a big chunk of change left in your FSA account after medical expenses are settled, why not splurge and use the money on something fun such as sunscreen or prescription sunglasses for a tropical cruise you have planned. 9) Treat yourself: There’s nothing wrong with pampering yourself. You can use the FSA funds to buy therapeutic bath salts, heat packs and eye and face masks. At Signature Eye Care, we have a variety of eye glasses and sunglasses available for all face shapes, styles and personalities. Start the new year with a new pair of stylish, elegant glasses. Contact us today to set up a vision exam or to browse our inventory of glasses.