In light of rising healthcare costs, it's important to learn to take advantage of the FSA benefits. These days, flexible spending accounts (FSAs) are all the rage. With the COVID-19 pandemic, FSA benefits were expanded, and many products including pain relievers and anti-allergy drugs were included. This move has immensely benefitted people who have been battling high drug prices.
An FSA can lower your tax liability while reducing your expenses. New legislation has made it easier for Americans to increase their FSA purchasing power by loosening up FSA eligibility requirements. As directed by the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act), you will find more items that have been termed eligible for the Federal Supplemental Insurance Program.
In this article, we've listed a few FSA-covered items you can purchase from your FSA savings, along with suggestions on how to take advantage of them. Here’s what we shall come across:
- What is an FSA?
- How do FSA grace periods usually work?
- How do FSA Grace Periods work for 2021 and 2022?
- List of FSA-Eligible Medical Products
- Acne Treatments
- Baby Skin Care
- Blood Pressure Monitors
- Braces and Elastic Supports
- Children’s Health and Wellness Products
- Chronic Pain Relief Products
- Diabetes Care Products
- Digestive Health
- Drug-Free Pain Relief Procedures and Products
- Eczema Care
- Feminine Care
- Hearing Aids and Maintenance Accessories
- Home Health Care
- Mobility Care Products
- Nebulizers and Steam Inhalers
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE kits and accessories)
- Reading Eyewear
- Smoking Cessation
- TENS Therapy
- Grace Period Vs. Carryover Provision
- How Long Do You Have to Spend 2021 FSA Money?
- Can You Use FSA Funds for Prior Year Expenses?
- What Happens to Unused FSA Money?
- What Happens if I spend my FSA on ineligible items?
- How can Deskera Help You?
- Key Takeaways
What is an FSA?
The FSA or the Flexible Spending Account is a health benefit sponsored by employers. It enables the employees to provide pre-tax dollars for the payment of qualified health expenses. With a list of health care products that are FSA-eligible, employees can make the most of their FSA money.
From products ranging from neonatal care, feminine care, and blood pressure monitors, the FSA store clearly introduces the products that the employees can now purchase at discounted rates.
How does FSA work?
Members of the plan can designate or reserve a part of their paycheck for tax-free use of certain medical products and services. FSAs can be used to pay for eye checkups, chiropractic visits, and various massage therapies. For qualifying, these treatments should be medically necessary. You can access a detailed list of qualifying expenses provided by the IRS here.
Your employer can provide details about your plan benefits and the caps applied to these benefits. There is a cap of $2,750 per employer for health FSAs in 2021. Any unused funds can be rolled over into 2022.
How do FSA Grace periods usually work?
In case your FSA still has funds left over from the previous plan year, you are eligible for reimbursement of medical expenses incurred during the current grace period. When the grace period is included, the actual plan year extends to 14 months and 15 days instead of the usual 12 months. Normally, the grace period begins on January 1 and ends on March 15 for calendar year plans. When this span ends, you are likely to lose everything in your account.
When you make a claim, the amounts will be first withdrawn from your previous year’s remaining funds before utilizing the funds from the current year.
How do FSA Grace Periods work for 2021 and 2022?
Assuming your FSA grace period extension is already built into your plan which ends on 31st December, then your deadline will be March 15. Owing to the recent developments initiated by the CAA, employers will now be able to extend the grace period until the end of the year.
If you are unsure about the extension, check with your employer as they have the ultimate authority to extend them. You must know about your FSA deadline beforehand to avoid any commotion or confusion later.
We must also note that all the changes made will revert at the end of 2022. This means that the grace period will get back to 2.5 months as before.
List of FSA-Eligible Medical Products
Visiting the FSA eligible products page will help you with the complete list of products that are FSA eligible. The following sections present the names of 20 FSA-eligible products which we must know about:
Employees can now seek treatment for the common and widespread problems of acne. Acnes are a problem with almost all age groups and trying out new methods to treat them is an option available with FSA now.
Use your FSA funds to eliminate the acne trouble that has been persistent for years. With a wide range of products from skincare routine bundles to the various light therapies, you can now pamper your skin effectively. A whole array of diverse companies present superlative skincare solutions which provide relief to numerous people.
You can find products that work for your complexion, fight patchy skin like sunscreens and moisturizers in this section.
Baby Skin Care
Speaking of skincare, you can now look out for products that soothe a baby’s skin. The FSA-eligible list of products includes items that comfort a baby’s skin, which include rash pastes, kids mineral sunscreen powder, moisturizing creams, and a whole bunch of skin relief ointments.
For employees who are young parents and are seeking to provide a comprehensive skincare regime for their little ones, FSA now enables them to do so. While baby products are deemed as an expensive affair generally, with these subsidized products you can now be sure of the best skincare routine for your bundle of joy!
Blood Pressure Monitors
Participants can now spend their FSA funds on some of the most important health care products. These products are not only expensive but are also extremely crucial for indicating serious health concerns. One of these is the blood pressure monitor.
With the heightened accuracy and an easy to carry and lightweight build, these devices can easily be carried to work, if required. From digital wrist blood pressure monitors to the upper arm pressure monitor, employees can now put stress on the back of their heads. From some blood pressure monitoring devices which cost as low as $29, the employees have a reason to rejoice while their health is being taken care of.
Braces and Elastic Supports
From knee sleeves to knee wraps, the employees can now spend their FSA earnings on buying products that are innovative and unheard of, before. Set aside an amount from which you can try out these belts and braces to support the crucial body parts such as the knees, the back, and even the thumb and wrist.
With an increasing number of joint pain problems, which are often a result of a bad posture at work or an excessive strain on a muscle. Now the employees can focus on their work while these cool gadgets and devices take care of them.
Children’s Health and Wellness Products
While most individuals will agree that a huge part of their savings goes toward the health care and well-being products of their children. Well, the fact is that most of us know that not only are children’s health care products expensive but also that they are essential.
With the FSA money and this list of the eligible products, you can now have these essentials including a Cold, Flu, and Virus defense kit, infrared forehead thermometer, complete baby monitoring system, nasal aspirator, Infrared ear thermometer, and so on.
Chronic Pain Relief products
From muscle pain to fever, all sorts of ailments are now covered under FSA health now. Employees can purchase the kind of drugs or gels they are looking for in their pain. There are deep muscle pain relief devices, fever-reducing liquid gels, and also the roll-ons which are easily carried in a pocket.
The ones who have been suffering from foot ailments can relax and massage their foot with a foot circulator or a pain relief foot roller. For the different types of muscular pain, you can opt for gel pads which are portable and can be carried to the office. The full spine disc rotating hydrator can be extremely beneficial for people returning from a hard day at work.
The workaholics who constantly fight neck pain can relieve themselves using the pain relief neck pillow, acupressure mats, calming heat massaging weighted heating pad.
Diabetes Care Products
Diabetes is a disease that may get difficult to control if not treated in time. Recent research has shown that type 1 Diabetes may prove to be cruel on the pocket as there are various diabetes care kits required by the patient.
An average patient may spend anywhere between $2000 to $2500 out of pocket on these medications. The FSA list presents products that are not only widely known as essential for diabetes care but also cover the products that may not be very frequently used. This includes diabetics’ dry skin relief, alcohol swabs, diabetics ulcer defense. Of course, it certainly includes the routinely required products such as blood glucose test strips and lancets. So, now avail of these products and carry on with your daily activities confidently.
Problems related to digestion are not uncommon across ages these days. Take advantage of FSA Store's deep discounts on digestive health supplies. Free shipping is also available when you shop online. FSA Store offers products that will help you get through the uncomfortable moments a little easier, like these items that help prevent acid reflux and upset stomach.
Effortlessly rid yourself of constipation with the various Laxatives available on the FSA store. Easily find products that dissolve easily in water to encourage frequent bowel movements and soften stools without any unpleasant side effects such as gas, bloating, cramping or urgency. The FSA Store also has stomach relief products like gas relief and antacids.
Drug-Free Pain Relief Products
If you are looking for relieving your pain without taking any medications, you can explore the FSA-eligible naturally pain-relieving products. Moreover, you can treat your knee pain, neck pain, and deep tissues of the body through technologies that help block pain right at the nerve by utilizing electrotherapy.
Moreover, you would not require a prescription for this treatment that lasts for up to 24 hours. The heated foam rollers provide deep penetration pain relief and offer firmness to your muscles. All your routine workout sessions will also offer better results as the muscles will now be more adaptive towards any kind of exercise due to better agility and strength.
To find natural and chemical-free pain relief products, visit FSA Store.
If you seek FSA-eligible relief from Eczema, you have a wide variety of options. Explore a full range of home treatments for eczema to help you manage your condition effectively. You can use it easily, efficiently, and even save time and money.
Atopic dermatitis is a type of eczema that is commonly found. In addition to their itchy, red skin, those with eczema often suffer from allergies or asthma. Each eczema type has a unique set of symptoms and triggers. There are several items that are essential if you have eczema, including products for baby eczema and hand eczema.
Find all the products you need here on the FSA store if you are experiencing eczema pain. You have a wide variety of options if you want to receive FSA-eligible relief from Eczema.
Taking care of your feminine needs is an important part of daily life for every woman. When menstrual cramps and pains strike, carrying pain relievers with you can make your day easier. Invest in period pain relief and menstrual care products that qualify for your FSA benefits.
This is the best place to buy period cramp relief. Menstrual pain relief products are here to help with lower back pain and cramps. Traditional medications could really be advantageous for treating immediate menstrual pain, including back pain, cramps, irritability, gas, bloating, and even water retention.
Pain relief, feminine care products, and other FSA-eligible products can help you make your period a little less uncomfortable.
Hearing Aid and Maintenance Accessories
If you are looking to buy the best hearing aids, then the FSA Store offers a wide variety of hearing aid brands, hearing aid batteries, and rechargeable hearing aid for sale. Also, before purchasing, you can read real hearing aid reviews to see what other users have to say. Hearing aids come in a variety of styles and types, which is why you should do some research before picking the one you think is right.
With the hearing aids that digitally amplify sounds, your hearing will improve dramatically. Because of its wide frequency range, it is suitable for hearing-impaired individuals. Furthermore, it comes with a rechargeable USB feature that is convenient and quick, so that you can enjoy better hearing throughout the day.
Aside from the hearing aid, you may also want to help yourself with the cleaning accessories. These will help you greatly in the cleaning and maintenance of the device. Hearing aids come in a wide price range and you can go for the one that suits your requirement. Some offer special features and therefore, maybe a bit more expensive. FSA Store carries an assortment of hearing aids to fit your lifestyle.
Home Health Care
A home health care kit allows you to receive medical care at home. In the case of a medical emergency, the presence of an organized, well-stocked first aid kit can make all the difference. Make sure your family has a family first aid kit with more than 100 items to help treat minor injuries. Whether you want a small, portable first aid kit for your home or car or to take on a trip, a well-stocked first aid kit can suffice perfectly!!
What should be included in your family's first aid kit depends on the needs of your family. It is always a good idea to carry first aid creams such as hydrocortisone or pain relief cream. With FSA-eligible home health care products, your whole family can be confident about their health and well-being.
Mobility Care Products
Your FSA can assist you in improving your mobility. From wheelchairs to rollators and other accessories needed for safety and comfort, choose from a variety of personal mobility devices eligible for the FSA.
Comfort and added protection are now accessible in the various gel cushions that can be found from the soft gel pouch that adapts to your body, giving you the support you need. There are two covers available: one that is waterproof vinyl and the other soft fabric, and a cover that is both removable and washable. There are wheelchairs you can buy that are powder coated and have silver vein finishes, as well as a durable steel frame.
Your FSA can guide you in boosting your personal mobility.
Nebulizers and Steam Inhalers
FSA-eligible nasal care remedies include nebulizer machines, nasal steam inhalers, and nebulizer masks to help prevent seasonal allergy and sinus infection symptoms. A steam inhalation machine has been used extensively by people suffering from upper respiratory infections and common colds as a home remedy for years.
You can save time and money by inhaling steam at home instead of going to the doctor. Using steam inhalers is becoming increasingly popular because it soothes bronchial problems. You can opt for handheld steam inhalers or cordless mist inhalers which can be used on the go. 92% of users experience relief from this all-natural, drug-free therapy. Inhalers and other products to help with colds and allergies can be found at FSA Store.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE Kit)
If you intend to deal with COVID-19 and other viruses, you can prepare with FSA-approved personal protective equipment (PPE). You should always have hand sanitizers and hand sanitizer wipes on your list of PPE equipment. These tiny hand sanitizers come in handy outdoors, or when soap and water are not available. Like any other medication, sanitizers too have an expiry date and should be used before they expire.
COVID kits can be customized to meet your specific needs. Purchase an infrared no-contact thermometer or a mask and gloves in addition to COVID tests at home. In order to relieve sinus congestion and pressure, try taking liquid medicine that contains pain relievers, cough suppressants, antihistamines, and nasal decongestants. Stay protected from viruses with FSA-eligible personal protective equipment!
You can buy reading glasses online from the FSA Store. It offers a wide variety including women's reading glasses, men's reading glasses, and even blue light reading glasses. All your FSA benefits will be covered for the best reading glasses. It can be challenging to find a good pair of reading glasses. You should ensure they are stylish and durable enough to make them worth the money.
Your doctor can recommend the best strength for your eyes when it comes to reading glasses as well. Blue light filters are effective for treating LED-induced melatonin suppression. You will stay fresh at work, apart from getting a better sleep quality.
Shop a wide selection of computer reading glasses and everyday reading glasses at the FSA Store.
You can use your FSA to purchase FSA-eligible nicotine patches and other products that help you overcome your nicotine habit. Additionally, you'll be able to find nicotine gum and stopping smoking patches to help you control your cravings and quit smoking. To successfully quit smoking, you need the right methods, products, and items.
The store has products that work throughout the day to help users curb their addiction to nicotine. It is basically a patch for quitting smoking. You can also opt for a patch if not a piece of gum or pill.
A nicotine chewing gum is designed to help you stop smoking with each craving you have. In this type of nicotine replacement therapy, cravings and withdrawal symptoms are reduced as the person adjusts to life without smoking. While smoking cessation is of utmost importance, often people need assistance from smoking cessation products in order to succeed. You can find a variety of products at the FSA Store to help you quit successfully.
FSA Store offers tens therapy pain relief. Shop using your benefits and find eligible tens therapy products. TENS therapy is a very common treatment for back pain, and people appreciate its non-drug nature.
TENS is an abbreviation for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. By blocking pain signals from going to the brain, it provides relief from pain. Treatment of acute and chronic pain issues with this therapy is drug-free. Pain is treated with low-voltage electric currents in TENS therapy.
A device delivers the current to nerve endings at or near the site of the pain. The treatment blocks the pain perception. There are electrotherapy pain relief pads that are soft, durable pads that carry out the procedure. Their gentle adhesiveness gently adheres to the skin and contours around all body parts in an instant.
These pre-gelled, self-stick pads can be reused 150 times or up to five months. With the larger pads, pain can be treated more easily. This also eliminates the chances of undertaking multiple sessions for treatment.
Feel like yourself again by shopping with FSA for targeted muscle therapy.
With children at home, it becomes immensely important to have a competent thermometer around; you never know when you will need it. It might be a good idea to consider different types of thermometers, such as touchless thermometers, rectal thermometers, and ear thermometers.
With your FSA benefits, you can purchase some of the best thermometer brands available at this store. The store also has infrared thermometers. With this infrared thermometer, you can take accurate temperature readings in seconds using IR technology. Measurements are dated and time-stamped thereby allowing you to chart your progress.
There are many forehead thermometers that are easy to use, including no-touch thermometers. Moreover, the devices are quick and easy to use, offer accurate readings, and have a large and clearly visible screen. This makes them appropriate for both infants and adults alike.
Shop FSA Store to find thermometers from your favorite brands and save money with your FSA benefits.
Difference between Grace Period and Carryover Provision
Employers can either implement a grace period or a carryover provision for FSAs. However, implementing both of them together is not possible. Carryovers are allowed over a certain amount for the following plan year without restricting you to when it must be used.
In 2021, the amount was $550, and it has increased to $570 in 2022. However, with the options, the annual contribution limit was still $2,750 in 2021 and then rose by $100 in 2022 to $2,850.
Although you can submit reimbursement claims up until March 31 of that year, the deadline to incur eligible expenses is March 15 of the following year. These 16 days are referred to as the run-out period, after which, all unexpended funds are withdrawn.
How Long Do You Have to Spend 2021 FSA Money?
Owing to the COVID-19 relief bill Congress passed in 2020, you may have until December 31, 2022, to spend FSA funds allocated for 2021. The FSA money typically has to be spent by the end of the year or by March 15 of the following year if there is a grace period. Consult your employer to find out if you are covered.
What Happens to Unutilized FSA Money?
Your employer receives the unutilized FSA funds and they are free to use this unused amount. They can also reduce premiums in the next calendar year or they may use the funds to offset administrative overhead for the year. Additionally, the employer can distribute the funds evenly among employees who enroll in an FSA for the next calendar year.
Can You Use FSA Funds for Prior Year Expenses?
No. The expenses must be incurred in the current year. Orthodontics is the only exception where the FSA funds may be used to purchase braces.
What happens if I spend my FSA on ineligible items?
It is always better to fetch a letter from your doctor which introduces you to all the eligible items and products that are FSA-eligible. This letter is called LMN or Letter of Medical Necessity. In case of uncertainty or doubts, you or your employer can seek further suggestions from the doctor to receive a detailed description
COVID times led to many restrictions including shopping. Many people have not been able to spend their FSA dollars. So, now they can carry over any unused FSA funds during COVID-19 to the 2022 plan year through the 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA). The FSA administrator can provide more information about your current plan and the options available.
How can Deskera help You?
Deskera People allows you to conveniently manage leave, attendance, payroll, and other expenses. Generating pay slips for your employees is now easy as the platform also digitizes and automates HR processes.
Here are the key takeaways from the article:
- With the COVID-19 pandemic, FSA benefits were expanded, and many products including pain relievers and anti-allergy drugs were included
- An FSA can lower your tax liability while reducing your expenses
- As directed by the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act), you will find more items that have been termed eligible for the Federal Supplemental Insurance Program
- Visiting the FSA eligible products page will help you with the complete list of products that are FSA eligible
- The article presents the list of some FSA-eligible medical products that find a lot of utility in day-to-day life
- These include acne treatments, baby skincare, blood pressure monitors, thermometers, Eczema care, home health care products
- The FSA-eligible products’ list also comprises products that cover some very serious diseases like diabetes, smoking, chronic pain
- People can also purchase PPE kits which are extremely relevant and useful in today’s times to safeguard themselves from the ongoing pandemic
- For children and kids, there are products to take care of their well-being such as nebulizers and steam inhalers
- Employers can either implement a grace period or a carryover provision for FSAs
- In 2021, the carryover amount was $550, and it has increased to $570 in 2022
- However, with the options, the annual contribution limit was still $2,750 in 2021 and then rose by $100 in 2022 to $2,850
- Although you can submit reimbursement claims up until March 31 of that year, the deadline to incur eligible expenses is March 15 of the following year
- Owing to the COVID-19 relief bill Congress passed in 2020, you may have until December 31, 2022, to spend FSA funds allocated for 2021
- The unused FSA money goes back to the employer and they may also reduce premiums in the next calendar year or they may use the funds to offset administrative overhead for the year