What is a Flexible Spending Account (FSA)?

A Flexible Spending Account is a tax-advantaged financial account that allows an employee to set aside a portion of his or her earnings to pay for medical expenses. This money is not subject to payroll taxes, resulting in substantial savings. The money in this account must be used by a specific date; it varies from Provider to Provider but is often around the end of the first quarter of the following year. Any money not used by this date is lost.

How to use your Flexible Spending Account...

The most important detail is to contact your provider so they can inform you of all the details, only your provider can confirm the expiration dates and reimbursement process that applies to you personally. Here are some general tips on how to make the most of a Flexible Spending Account:

  • Use it or Lose It - make sure you know when your Account will expire and be sure to use all of that money.
  • Be sure to ask for an invoice or receipt - if you have an FSA card these can be used if your provider challenges a purchase and if you do not have an FSA debit card then you will need the receipt to include in your reimbursement request.
  • Both glasses and contact lenses are eligible expenses for Flexible Spending Account Funds. In fact, vision care products are one of the most popular uses for Flexible Spending Account funds because of their high dollar value.
  • Don't wait until the last minute - plan out your purchases, it is better to spend that money earlier in the year on something like a year supply of contact lenses than spending it all in the last day buying all the allergy medicine you can find.

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