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Tips and tricks to use up your FSA contributions by year-end

using FSA dollars by year end
December 22, 2015

By Pam Leibfried

If your 2015 Flexible Spending Account (FSA) contribution was way off and you have a lot of money left in your FSA, you should check in with your HR team or your benefits provider for these key pieces of information:

  • How much, if any, of your 2015 FSA contribution can be rolled over to next year? The IRS now allows the rollover of a portion of an FSA into the next calendar year, but it only applies to some FSAs, so you need to check to see if your company’s FSAs allow a partial rollover or not. 
  • What is the deadline for when your 2015 FSA dollars must be spent?
  • What is the deadline for submitting those eligible expenses for reimbursement?  
  • What medical expense does your FSA reimburse?  If you have an FSA and an HSA, your FSA may reimburse you only for dental and vision expenses, not all medical expenses (you are expected to use your HSA dollars for your regular medical expenses). 

How to spend your remaining FSA funds

If you’re looking for ways to spend the remainder of your FSA funds, below are some ideas to consider, depending on how much money you have left and the type of expenses your FSA covers: 

  • Eyeglasses: it never hurts to have a backup pair in case your main pair breaks 
  • Prescription sunglasses
  • Extra pair(s) of contacts 
  • Dental exam or any dental work that you’ve been putting off 
  • Physical therapy for a recurring problem that you’ve not treated (back pain, carpal tunnel, etc.)
  • Acupuncture. If you’ve never tried it, it can be a nice supplement to other care you’re currently receiving. Sessions typically range from $60-100.
  • Massage can also be a nice way to spend some remaining dollars. But do check with your benefits provider and the place where you are looking to have your session; sometimes you must get it done through a chiropractor for it to be reimbursable
  • Bone density scan: if you are a woman of a certain age or have been on a medication that can affect your bones, talk to your doctor about getting a bone density scan before the end of the year 
  • Cancer screenings: If your doctor has mentioned that you are at the age where you should start getting colonoscopies or if you’ve been meaning to get a skin-cancer screening but haven’t yet done so, maybe they can work you in before the end of the year. 
  • Arch supports or orthotics for plantar fasciitis or heel spurs
  • Wrist splints for carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Compression sleeves or gauntlets for lymphedema or other conditions 
  • LASIK surgery. LASIK can run upwards of $1,500-2,000. So if you’ve severely overshot, it can be a great way to both use your FSA dollars and improve your eye sight!