We are approaching the end of the calendar year and while to most that means preparing for the holidays, for those with Flex Spending Accounts (FSA) it also means looking for creative and clever ways to use up your remaining account balance before you lose it.
What is an FSA
A Flex Spending Account, or FSA, is an account typically provided by your employer that allows you to deposit pre-tax funds to an account that may be used for out of pocket medical expenses including everything from surgeries, to yoga mats, to hand sanitizer.
What is the Difference Between a FSA and HSA?
An FSA is similar to an HSA (Health Savings Account) in that it is an account to be used for medical expenses, however there are a few important differences to take note of. The most notable difference is that unlike HSA funds, your FSA will not roll over from year to year - at least not all of it. Your employer may provide you with one of two options:
- Roll over up to $500 per year, or
- Provide a grace period of up to two months
Other differences between HSA and FSA accounts include differences in contribution limits, qualifications, account ownership, and withdrawal penalties, among other things.
What Can I Purchase With My FSA
As we mentioned, FSA is generally used for paying for various out of pocket health care expenses.
Unless you have a few doctor's appointments to schedule for the remainder of the year, you may be left wondering what other things you can spend with your FSA balance. You might actually be surprised to know that you can use your FSA for more things than just doctor's appointment and medical devices.
Here are some useful and creative ways to spend your FSA:
Personal Protective Equipment
Heading into flu season, especially during the coronavirus pandemic, making sure you are stocked up on all of your personal protective equipment to continue to keep yourself, your family, and loved ones safe. Here are the Personal Protective Equipment you can purchase with your FSA:
Aside from using a face mask and social distancing, keeping your hands clean is another vital step in making sure you are not contracting or spreading the virus. While hand washing reigns supreme, having hand sanitizer on you for those times when hand washing isn't an option is always a good idea.
Get it here for $9.95.
A great option for gyms, business, and other health care providers, disinfecting alcohol spray helps to ensure you are keeping community services clean and safe for your customers and clients.
Get it here for $9.95.
Similar to the alcohol spray, disinfecting alcohol wipes are a great way to keep your work space, phone, car, or any frequently used item clean at all times.
Get them here for $5.95.
Take temperature with ease with this simple to use non-contact thermometer. This infrared thermometer provides a contact free, accurate reading within seconds making taking the temperature of little ones a breeze.
Get it here for $39.95.
Keep your hands clean with powder and latex free nitrile gloves that won’t leave behind a residue and help reduce your risk of contamination.
Get them here for $25.00.
An integral part of maintaining your personal health is practicing a certain level of fitness. No matter what your level or preferred exercise method is, there are fitness essentials that everyone can benefit from. Here are some of the fitness equipment you can purchase with your FSA:
From yoga to cooling down after an intense workout, a comfortable yoga mat that protects your joints is something everyone could use. This PVC-free yoga mat comes in two sizes and is anti-stretch.
Get yours here for $37.95
An excellent tool for both strength training and physical therapy. This set comes complete with 5 different resistance band levels conveniently packed in an easy to carry drawstring bag. Ideal for targeting arms, legs, glutes, core, abs, back, and more.
Get the set here for $9.95
Perfect for stretching, strength training, ab workouts, and more, an exercise ball is a great addition to any home gym. Available in 5 difference sizes to accommodate any body size, this exercise ball comes with a helpful guide outlining over 20 different exercises.
Get it here for $23.99
Great for cardio and endurance training, a jump rope is a must have piece of fitness equipment. Not only is it small and compact for use just about anywhere, jump rope workouts are great for any fitness level.
Get one here for $15.95
Suspension training has been gaining in popularity over the past few years as it provides a fantastic body weight strength training workout from just about anywhere. This TRX set includes both a wall and door anchor to use at home or on the go.
Get it here for $219.00
Whether you are looking for recovery tools from exercise or injury, there are plenty of options on the market to help you get back to feeling your best. Here are some helpful muscle recovery products you can purchase with your FSA:
Body Pro Massage Gun
With a 115 degree grib for an easier reach and weighing in at only 2 lbs with 5 speeds and 4 interchangeable heads, this percussion massage gun is the ticket to relieving sore muscles quickly and efficiently.
Get it here for $169.00.
A proven effective method for providing target cold therapy for areas of injury, these moldable, gel filled cold packs won't freeze solid and can maintain up to 30 minutes of cold therapy. Available in 4 difference sizes to fit different areas of the body.
Get it here for $16.00
Moist Heating Pad
A great solution to treating pain associated with arthritis, muscle spasms, and tension these digital moist heating pads provide intense moist heat to relieve tension and stress within the muscles. This moist heating pad is available in 3 different sizes and features digital controls and a temperature range from 113-166 degrees.
Get it here for $59.99
Biofreeze gel provides effective temporary relief from sore muscles and joints, sprains, strains, and bruises in areas such as the feet, back wrist, neck, shoulders, and more.
Get it here starting at $10.95
Designed to be used by anyone, foam rollers help to relieve tight muscles, work out knots and encourage range of motion and functionality. This foam roller is designed with a specific pattern to increase blood and oxygen flow to promote muscle repair.
Get it here for $37.95
Can I Purchase These Same Items with My HSA?
Yes, you can! Your HSA allows you access to the exact same purchase options that your FSA will. For a full list of items and services you can pay for with your HSA, click here.