Save your 2015 FSA dollars from the unicorns! Isn’t that where they go when you don’t use them by the deadline this month?
March 15th. Today is the day that 23% of American FSA participants* must use their set aside dollars or (cue dramatic music) lose them forever. There are a growing number of companies who have taken advantage of the carryover option since it became available a couple years ago. If you’re in that group – congrats, but keep reading because these suggestions can apply to you too. The situation just might not be as urgent. For the rest who have coinage rattling around in their accounts, time is on the clock. Ready, set, spend!
I’m guessing you’re tired of buying band-aids and sunscreen, so I’ve searched around for a few items that might be more fun.
- Condoms. Nothing says “let’s have a good time” like a barrier-method prophylactic. Of course, you can also use FSA dollars to purchase any prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) contraceptive.
- Stethoscope. Yes, indeed. Maybe you are into Grey’s Anatomy cosplay or maybe you’d prefer to just play doctor at home. Either way this is eligible under the category of medical monitoring and testing devices. I got mine in magenta, but go ahead and pick your favorite color.
- First Aid Kit. But like a really nice one. This is a great item to build piece-by-piece with eligible items or buy prepackaged. You’ll even find a few items in the prepackaged kits that are typically ineligible (like OTC pain killers). What better thing to get while still dreaming of the upcoming camping and hiking season?
- Stock Your Foot Spa. Think epsom salts, pumice stones (non-medicated callus removers), and shoe inserts. Or a sexy little toe-kini? Your feet will thank you when you’re gellin’ like Magellan.
- Thermal-Aid Zoo Friend. You know how you can use FSA dollars to buy heating and cooling packs for sports injuries or fever reduction? Well, nobody said your heating and cooling packs couldn’t come in the form of a Monkey or Pink Elephant. So cute! And yet so practical.
Other eligible items that I just can’t bring myself to purchase, but you might want: crutches (tempting fate), defibrillator/AED (not trained), and OTC fertility monitors (though I am kinda curious). Full-disclosure: one year I really overestimated my FSA contributions and my family all got nasal strips and cartoon character band-aids in their Christmas stockings. I hope this has given you some inspiration, so you can avoid the same fate.
Check your FSA plan description to make sure you understand what is allowed and what documentation is required. If you are not using an FSA debit card, also make sure to submit claims by March 31st (grace period deadline). And always, always hold on to those receipts!
Note: I receive no compensation for purchases made using the links in this article. I simply picked sites that I thought would be fun and helpful.
*Data of employers opting for carryover vs grace period FSA plans courtesy of WageWorks.