How FSAs work
During open enrollment period ( usually November 1-December 15th), you choose how much you want to contribute to your FSA. The maximum amount for 2019 is $2,700 so you can only do that much. You typically cannot make changes to the amount after the enrollment period unless you have a qualifying event.
The money you contribute to your FSA is tax-free- which means it is taken out of your paycheck throughout the 2019. You should spend down all the money in your FSA before the end of the year or you will lose it.
What can you buy with FSA your money?
The most common way that people spend their gathered FSA money is on out-of-pocket medical expenses, such as co-pays and prescriptions. Most people don’t know this, but you can actually also use FSA money on other health care products and services, from bandages to acupuncture services. This also means that you can use this money to get your dental work and cleanings done before the end of the year.
FYI- here are examples of other things you can spend FSA money on before the end of the year:
- Birth Control (get a 3 month prescription)
- Chiropractor or Acupuncture
- Band-aids, Thermometers, Ice packs
- Fertility testing kits
- Hearing aids
- Family or Individual therapy
- Weight-loss programs
What’s not included?
You can’t pay for most insurance premiums using FSA money. This includes life insurance, disability insurance and health insurance premiums.
Here are some things you’ll have to pay for out-of-pocket:
- Cosmetic surgery
- Dancing lessons
- Teeth whitening
- Gym memberships