Help me spend my FSA/Health money - Fast!
December 18, 2016 11:37 AM   Subscribe

I had a Health flexible spending account for the first time this year and I have 2 weeks left to spend the rest of the money or I lose it - $355 to be exact. I could buy lots of pair of reading glasses but am looking for recommendations of other items that are covered for FSA that I might not be aware of. Thanks!
posted by mulcahy to Health & Fitness (20 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
Custom-molded nightguard for teeth grinding.
posted by Ms Vegetable at 11:40 AM on December 18, 2016


Just a few random thoughts:

Are there any regular prescription refills you can bring forward a little bit?
Prescription sunglasses?
Stock up on disposable contacts?
Massage?
Any age-related health screenings? Like, have you had a skin exam recently?
Know any poor, elderly types who could use some qualifying assistive devices? Or even things like a supply of test strips for a diabetic?
Personal trainer sessions?
Tooth whitening?
posted by LastOfHisKind at 11:47 AM on December 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


First aid kits
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 11:49 AM on December 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


Acupuncture!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:49 AM on December 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


Go crazy at the FSA Store. I got basically a lifetime supply of orthotic inserts, a new nightguard, and tons of random first-aid stuff. You'll be able to spend even more on some medications if you can get your doctor to write a prescription for, like, Claritin and then you can use your FSA on that...

Also check your plan and see if you can use your FSA for things like a massage or a chiropracter or "wellness" things like that.
posted by TwoStride at 11:51 AM on December 18, 2016 [4 favorites]


Check with your local planned parenthood to see if they would take a condoms donation, purchased with your FSA dollars.
posted by batter_my_heart at 11:52 AM on December 18, 2016 [9 favorites]


Sunscreen with SPF over 15 is FSA-eligible. If you've been eyeing some higher-end stuff, or haven't found a sunscreen that you like, now's your chance to splash out or get a bunch of different ones to try!
posted by taupe at 12:05 PM on December 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


You're not likely to get caught, but it's illegal to purchase things for other people with your FSA money.

I've used FSA money for some of the things other people have mentioned: ridiculously expensive sunscreen (but make sure it's marketed as sunscreen, rather than makeup with sun protection), prescription sunglasses, shoe inserts. (They don't have to be fancy orthotics. You can just get those gel inserts for your shoes.) I got a first-aid kit for home and one for my car. You could get a home blood pressure monitor if you feel the need to monitor your blood pressure. If you don't have a heating pad or an ice pack, you could get those.

I mostly spend mine on ridiculously-expensive high-fashion glasses. I'm pretty sure that the ridiculous high-fashion glasses store in my town stays afloat purely on FSA money.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 12:26 PM on December 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


Birth control should that be a thing for you.
posted by Bella Donna at 12:48 PM on December 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


I got an egg crate foam mattress topper one year. We use it on the fold out couch.
posted by gingerbeer at 12:49 PM on December 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


Some things that a relative gets with a prescription: Acetaminophen, Ibuprofen, and electrolyte fluids.

ArbitraryAndCapricious: "You're not likely to get caught, but it's illegal to purchase things for other people with your FSA money. "

However note that things like first aid supplies expire and if you buy a new first aid kit for car and home every year you can donate the technically used but like brand new units from last year.

Also note that once you've bought one large metal first aid kit you can get just the refills for less money than the whole kit.
posted by Mitheral at 12:52 PM on December 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


My plan allows FSA spend for "health club" and massages with a doctors note.
posted by artificialard at 1:00 PM on December 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


Battle Creek heating pads, (e.g., this) are magnificent and FSA eligible.
posted by un petit cadeau at 1:00 PM on December 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


You know that the first $500 rolls over, right?
posted by serelliya at 2:09 PM on December 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


You know that the first $500 rolls over, right?

Not all FSA plans offer this option, though - it's up to the employer whether to offer carryovers. The employer also gets to choose the amount that can be carried over into the next plan year - $500 is just the maximum that can be carried over.
posted by un petit cadeau at 2:17 PM on December 18, 2016 [3 favorites]


Not all FSA plans offer this option, though - it's up to the employer whether to offer carryovers.

The other option employers can adopt is a grace period. This would let you spend remaining funds during the first 2.5 months of the next calendar year.

Plans can offer either the carryover or a grace period, but not both, or they can offer neither.
If you are unsure which (if either) option is available in your employer's plan, ask your Human Resources department.
posted by Snerd at 2:23 PM on December 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


Someone mentioned teeth whitening, but regular dental work would be a great way to use FSA funds as well.
posted by merejane at 9:43 PM on December 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


Colon cancer screening, mammogram, other electronic screenings.
A bit late in the year, but skin lesion removals /screenings, such as moles.
posted by TrishaU at 12:16 AM on December 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


Along the lines of the heating pads, ThermaCare heat wraps are super useful for sore muscles, menstrual cramps, etc.
posted by radioamy at 10:48 AM on December 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


Part of the problem is that most available appointments are 4+ weeks out. Prescriptions are regulated and I have never been able to get any in advance.

But the FSA store link given by TwoStride will probably take care of the whole thing. The bed warmer is calling to me; the heat wraps, insoles and sunscreen are also on my list.

THANKS!!
posted by mulcahy at 5:29 PM on December 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


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