For many FSA holders, December 31 is the last day they are allowed to spend their funds on eligible expenses – or risk forfeiting their account balance. This is referred to as the use-it-or-lose-it rule. But some FSA account holders may have a bit more time. In 2013, the US Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Services made FSAs a bit more flexible. Under these regulations, employers could consider a menu of FSA options to extend past the year-end deadline, giving employees additional time and flexibility.
It’s important to remember that employers are not required to offer any of these options. However, the options are designed to give FSA account holders more time and flexibility in how to use their accounts to help meet their changing health needs.
Stay in control of your FSA dollars with the following spending tips:
- Know what is eligible: Make sure to check your plan guidelines regarding which products and services are FSA-eligible. There are thousands of products you can purchase using your FSA dollars, along with paying co-pays, deductibles and co-insurance for different medical services.
- Keep track of your account balance: If you have the option to use an account tracker or calculator, take advantage of it! This way you’ll use all of your available FSA dollars before deadlines arrive.
- Use your FSA debit card: If your employer offers an FSA debit card, use it! FSA money is then automatically deducted from your account so you don’t have to wait to be reimbursed for any out-of-pocket expenses you incur.
Keep in mind that every FSA plan is different. Typically an FSA will cover vision expenses like prescription eyeglasses, contact lenses, prescription sunglasses, routine eye exams, and copayments and deductibles. Understand your plan, read your FSA guidelines and speak with your employer so you know what’s covered.
Our Optical Boutiques offer a variety of high fashion and budget eyewear from leading design studios. Our experienced certified opticians will help you choose the best frames to fit your lifestyle. We offer state of the art progressive multifocal lenses, high index ‘thin’ lenses, and a variety of options for sports, hobbies, and computer use. Our Optical Boutiques also have a large selection of frames for newborns, toddlers and school age children. We select our frames carefully to appeal to a broad range of tastes, always at affordable prices.
The Illinois Eye Center Optical Boutiques, with locations in Washington and Peoria, are open Monday thru Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, and on Saturdays (Peoria location only) from 8:00 am to 11:00 am. No appointment is necessary!