3 Replies Latest reply on Oct 5, 2015 1:36 PM by Chrysalis

    Use or lose Healthcare FSA?


      This falls under the "good news/bad news" category. We have been very successful reducing our healthcare costs this year. Most especially, getting a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan in addition to my husband's continuing BCBS plan reduced our drug costs by more than half. Also, we have not had any medical emergencies or major dental expenses. That's the good news.


      The bad news is that we now have $1,300 left in our FSA to use by or before December 31. What I would most like to do is to transfer the remaining funds to a health care savings account of some sort that we can use when we retire. Is there any way to do that? If not, how do you suggest that we spend down this money before the end of the year?

        • Re: Use or lose Healthcare FSA?

          I don't think you can withdraw money from a FSA without tax penalty.  You could use it to purchase expensive perscription eyeglasses, or other optional health-related goods or services.  We have an HSA which we are not forced to spend each year, but you need a high deductible plan in order to open one of those.  I think the F in FSA should stand for Forced and not Flexible.  Congratulations on your good health! 

          • Re: Use or lose Healthcare FSA?

            I would look at the things you normally buy on the FSA and see if there is anything you could buy before the end or the year.


            - eye glasses and eye exams if your prescriptions are not up to date.  Prescription sunglasses for driving.

            - dental exams and any dental work which might have been put off - sometimes a dentist will say that a filling needs to be replaced but not right away?  Teeth whitening, etc might also be a possibility, but I would check to see if the FSA will cover it first.  Devices to keep people from grinding teeth at night - these are expensive and not always covered by insurance.

            - any over the counter medications which are not covered.

            - if anybody needs something like an epi-pen - these are quite expensive and not always fully covered.

            - medical devices which may not be fully covered - walkers, wheel chairs, c pap machines, orthopedic shoes, etc.

              • Re: Use or lose Healthcare FSA?

                Thank you for the suggestions! I did get my eyes checked and got new glasses. My husband will be getting checked next month. I also got my doctor to give me a 1-year prescription for each of my most common OTC medications like baby aspirin, Omega 3 and contact lens cleaner; if you have a prescription you can charge it to FBRA. I will also be stocking up on diabetes test strips.


                Happily, I found out that in recent years the IRS changed the rules such that some companies can now allow you to carry over $500 to the next calendar year. Other companies allow you to spend you FSA until the middle of the following March. My husband's company does the $500 option, so that will help a lot. too.


                Keep those suggestions coming, folks!