фото Nick Hillier на Unsplash

Each December growing up, my dad would round up my sister and me and take us to the optometrist. He had FSA money to burn, and usually that meant an eye exam for me (my vision was fine until the last year or so of high school) and new glasses and contacts for my sister, whether she really needed them or not. Better to have an extra pair than to lose the money.

But if you have extra cash in your flexible spending accounts, there are plenty of non-optical ways to spend it. First, check with your employer and see if your company either a) allows you to roll over up to $500 into your 2018 account, or b) offers a grace period of two-and-a-half months to spend down the account in 2018. The IRS instituted these policies in 2013 and many employers have adopted one or the other. Check with your insurer to see if you have any out-of-pocket expenses that could be covered with FSA dollars.

As you work through open enrollment for 2018, note that the IRS is allowing employees to contribute $2,650 to health FSAs in 2018, a slight increase from this year. You put this money away pre-tax, meaning if you’re in the 30% tax bracket and contribute the full amount, you’ll save $795 in taxes. (Not to be confused with health spending accounts—HSAs—which you can roll over at the end of the year and even invest, but are associated with high-deductible health plans.)

If you still have some funds leftover, here are some ways to spend them beyond a new pair of Warby Parkers:

  • Acupuncture treatments
  • Allergy medication (over-the-counter and prescription)
  • Aspirin and other over-the-counter pain relievers
  • Blood pressure monitors
  • Breast pumps
  • Breastfeeding classes
  • Childbirth classes
  • Chiropractic care
  • Condoms and other contraceptives
  • Contact lenses
  • Cough drops and syrup
  • Diabetic monitors, test kits, strips and supplies
  • Eye exams
  • Eyeglasses
  • Fertility monitors
  • Fertility treatments
  • First aid kits
  • Flu shots
  • Hearing aids and batteries
  • Infertility treatments
  • Insulin
  • Lasik
  • Mileage for travel to and from health care appointments
  • Night guards
  • Physical therapy
  • Pregnancy tests
  • Prescription drugs
  • Prescription sunglasses
  • Over-the-counter reading glasses
  • Smoking cessation programs
  • Sunscreen (with SPF 15 or higher)
  • терапия
  • Walking aids like canes, walkers and crutches

You can also use the funds to pay for copays, coinsurance payments and deductibles throughout the year. Note that some medications require a prescription or note from your doctor, while others can be purchased over-the-counter. Here’s a more comprehensive list that specifies those requirements, and here’s an online shop that sells FSA-eligible items.

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