28 Things to Buy with Your FSA Before You Have to Forfeit the Funds
If you set up an FSA contribution for 2020 (i.e. pre-pandemic), there’s a chance you can get an extension beyond the typical grace period, which ends March 15. (Yep, due to COVID-19, the IRS has provided a temporary special rule that allows employees the option to rollover all unused FSA funds from 2020 into 2021 and, in some cases, 2022.) Still, any extension depends on your employer—check with your HR department to find out more—which means you could still be subject to the expiration date imposed under normal circumstances. If that’s the case for you, we’ve rounded up the best ways to use (vs. lose) your remaining FSA balance.
First Aid Essentials
Anyone else run out and re-stock their first aid kit at the start of the pandemic? Just us? All those must-haves in your medicine cabinet (band-aids, thermometers, even a ready-to-go pre-packed first-aid kit) are FSA-eligible, which means you can buy them now so you’re fully prepared for when you need them.
Pre-COVID-19, you needed a prescription in order to get OTC medication reimbursed. But, thanks to the CARES Act, that requirement has been waived for OTC medication (everything from pain relievers to anti-inflammatories) bought between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2021.
Anything Related to Menstrual Care
Birth control is FSA-eligible (in some cases, with a prescription so check with your doc), but as of January 1, 2020, so are menstrual care products—things like pads, tampons, cups, even period-proof underwear.
That Owlet baby monitor you’ve been eyeing? That’s on the FSA-eligible list. So are breast pumps, diaper cream—even the FridaBaby snot sucker. (If that’s not an essential, we don’t know what is.)
Tools for Dental Hygiene
Anything you have to shell out to get your teeth cleaned (say, a copay) or the cost of that add-on fluoride treatment is something you can pay for with FSA cash you set aside. Same goes for a night guard and any orthodontic work (like braces for your kids or Invisalign).
Get the goods: EnCore custom dental guard ($129)
That eye exam you’ve been putting off? You can pay for it with any FSA dollars you’ve set aside. Other vision-related expenses that count: Prescription eyeglasses (or sunglasses), contacts, contact lens solution, eyewear repair kits and Lasik.
So, you had to delay your 2020 family reunion in the Bahamas. The good news is that the compression socks and travel pillows you had on your shopping list, no matter when you finally get around to rescheduling your trip. (They’re also FSA-approved.)