By Brian Acton
Flexible spending accounts (FSAs) are employer-sponsored savings accounts that let you save part of your income to use for medical expenses tax-free. You can use FSAs as a supplement to medical insurance and pay for common costs like copays and prescription drugs.
But FSAs can be used for a lot more than hospital stays, doctor visits, and prescriptions. Depending on your plan, you may be able to use your FSA for a much wider range of products and services.
Here are six unexpected things you can purchase with an FSA.
- Massage Therapy
Aching for a good massage? You may be able to use your FSA dollars to pay for your next massage appointment. Just be sure to check with your FSA administrator. The plan may require you to get a referral or letter of medical necessity (LOMN) from your physician first. While general tension and stress relief aren’t considered legitimate reasons, you could get a LOMN for back pain, arthritis, anxiety, pain management, and more.
- Eye Care Products
You can use your FSA to pay for glasses, contact lenses, and optometrist visits, all of which can be quite expensive. You may even be able to use your FSA for laser vision correction surgery! Common eye products, such as contact lens solution, reading glasses, eye drops, and eye compress heat packs may also be FSA eligible.
- First Aid Kits and General Health Supplies
Are you looking to put together a general first aid kit or stock your medicine cabinet? FSAs cover prepared first aid kits, as well as supplies including bandages, Band-Aids, disinfectant, thermometers, rubbing alcohol, over-the-counter medications and more. Some of these items may require a prescription, so check your FSA plan before you head to the pharmacy.
- Cervical Pillows
If used to serve a legitimate medical purpose - such as providing lumbar support, relieving sleep apnea, or alleviating back pain - cervical pillows are FSA eligible. You will probably need a LMON from a physician, but you can use that letter to get a pillow for your specific needs.
- Support Belts and Wraps
Does a specific area of your body need a support product, such as a back support belt, an ankle brace, or a cervical collar? Support belts, braces, wraps, and more can be purchased with your FSA, often without a prescription.
- Foot Care Products
Some foot care products, including shoe inserts and foot massagers, are FSA eligible. Treat your feet!
In ClosingEvery FSA plan has specific rules and guidelines, and they don’t all cover the same products and services. Some eligible expenses require a doctor’s referral, prescription, or LMON from a physician. Before you make any new purchases with your FSA, check the list of eligible products. Even if you don’t plan on making any purchases in the immediate future, starting your research now can’t hurt; if you need to load up on supplies before your funds expire at the end of the year, you’ll be ready!