If you have insurance through your employer, you may have a FSA, or a Flexible Spending Account, or a FSA option.
A flexible spending account is one that you can put money into from your paychecks before taxes. You can then use this money to pay for certain out-of-pocket medical and dental health care costs, like prescriptions, over-the-counter cold medicine, or even kinds of therapy like acupuncture.
With a FSA, you save all of the taxes you would’ve paid on that money by using it for your health care.
It used to be that you had to use all the money you put into that account within the same calendar year, or you would lose it. But as of 2014, the government has made ways to make sure that doesn’t happen.
Your employer can offer you one of two options:
- They can give you what’s called a grace period, which gives you up to two and a half months to use up the money that’s left.
- They can let you roll over up to $500 per year to use in the next year.
Your company can only give you one of these options. They’re not required to offer either though, so make sure you talk to them or review their policies when considering an FSA for 2015.
Note: FSAs aren’t to be confused with HSAs, or Health Savings Accounts, which are offered with high deductible insurance plans to help you afford your out-of-pocket costs.
HSAs are also an account that you can put money into, tax-free, for health care costs. Your employers can add to them too, but they roll over each year automatically. With an HSA, after you turn 65, you can also take out money for things other than medical costs without paying a tax. This means that they are a good way to save for your future.
Here are some things you can buy with your FSA:
Find even more products you can buy with your FSA at the FSA Store.