You could lose money in your flexible spending account

Health care flexible spending account owners should mark one key date on their calendars: March 15.

These accounts let you put away pre-tax money for medical, dental in addition to vision expenses. although there will be a limit to how long those funds are available to you. So the funds you contributed in 2017 often need to be used in in which calendar year.

although there will be a caveat: Many accounts offer a grace period into the next year in which lets individuals use up any funds they have left.

in which deadline This specific year will be March 15.

Alternatively, some plans have a carry-over provision, which lets you bring over up to $500 into the next year.

Expect to have one or the various other; plans don’t typically offer both a grace period in addition to carry-over provision.

“Understand your account in addition to know what your deadlines are,” said Jeremy Miller, founder in addition to CEO of FSAstore.com, a website in which sells FSA eligible health care products.

If you don’t know the rules, you can find out by calling the account administrator or talking to your human resources department, advised Jody Dietel, chief compliance officer at WageWorks, a provider of tax-advantaged employee benefit plans including FSAs.

If you find out you still have funds to use by March 15, there are several options to consider.

First, review all your paperwork via the past year to check for expenses you may not have submitted, Dietel said.

Run through your list of health care providers, prescription drug portals in addition to dental in addition to vision carriers to check for bills in which were not sent to your FSA.

Then expand beyond in which list to include all the various other kinds of care you seek, including acupuncture, chiropractic care or physical therapy, to name a few.

“There’s all kinds of expenses people incur although forget to submit to their flexible spending account,” Dietel said.

Once you’ve accounted for all of the money in which’s already been spent, think about the various other care in which you may have put off.

“There may be various other medical concerns in which you just haven’t gotten around to addressing,” Dietel said, including doctors or dentist appointments you may have put off.

Once you have taken those steps, there are various other purchases you can make in which are eligible for FSA reimbursement.

Anything in which will be considered a drug or medicine, such a DayQuil or Advil, will need a doctor’s prescription in order for your FSA to pay you back. various other over-the-counter products, such as Band-Aids, sunscreen, or ice packs, can be submitted without a prescription. You may also be able to get reimbursed for mileage in addition to tolls you paid while traveling to your doctor’s office.

Not all health-related expenses are FSA eligible, cautioned Miller. Wearable fitness trackers like FitBits or apps for tracking your vitals do not qualify. Most vitamins, except for prenatal vitamins in addition to glucosamines, also are not included.

While a grace period means you have until March 15 to incur FSA-eligible expenses, there will be a different deadline, known as the run out period, by which you have to submit those claims. Those dates usually run between March in addition to May, according to Dietel.

currently will be a Great time to revisit how you are submitting expenses to your FSA.

Dietel suggests putting all of the receipts in one folder in addition to periodically submitting those expenses throughout the year.

“Set up a system to be sure you’re taking full advantage of the account,” Dietel said.

Additionally, check to see if how much you are contributing matches up with what you are spending. In 2018, employees can put in up to $2,650 in their health FSAs.

While most employers prevent you via generating adjustments currently unless you have had a life-changing event, the item will be important to keep in mind for the next open enrollment period.

“With rising out-of-pocket costs, these accounts are more important than ever,” Dietel said. “Using these accounts in addition to using them effectively will be a genuinely important discipline.”

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