You bought new eyeglasses, squeaked in a dental appointment and stocked up on over-the-counter drugs. But if there’s still money in your flexible spending account (FSA), you better spend those pretax dollars quickly before they disappear on March 15.
That’s why we’ve rounded up a quick and easy list of products available in the FSA Store, which offers more than 4,000 items that are guaranteed FSA eligible or your money back.
If you’re not sure exactly what an FSA is and why it’s important that you spend your pretax dollars, we’ve got you covered with a quick guide.
What is an FSA?
A flexible spending account (FSA) is offered through many employer benefit plans and allows you to set aside pretax money for eligible health care-related, out-of-pocket expenses for you, your spouse and dependents.
How does an FSA work?
With each paycheck you receive, a certain amount of money is put aside before taxes. This pretax money is for FSA spending, and is meant to be used on eligible health care expenses throughout the year. While the specific amount differs depending on your tax bracket, there are calculators available to help you estimate your savings amount.
Why do I have to spend my FSA dollars before a certain date?
Most FSA participants are part of a “use it or lose it” plan, which states that all the money left in your account by the end of the year must be forfeited. The unused amount left in your account can’t be paid out to you in any other way, and you can’t transfer money to any other FSA. So it’s important to keep in mind the annual December 31 cutoff date.
The good news is that many employers provide a grace period of up to two and a half months into the new year for you to use the money, giving you until March 15 to spend it all. But you’ll want to check with your employer, because grace periods can be shorter.
What can I purchase with my FSA dollars?
Common purchases include everyday health care products like bandages, thermometers and glasses. Everything from medical expenses that aren’t covered by a health plan (like deductibles and co-pays to dependent day care) to over-the-counter medication can also be eligible.
The downside is that the specifics of what you can spend your FSA dollars on depend on the plan your employer has in place. The upside? You can skip the extensive research by shopping at the FSA Store.
So rather than watch that hard-earned money simply go kaput, we’ve rounded up more than 30 ways to spend your dollars at the FSA Store.
Band-Aid Bandages With Neosporin Antibiotic Ointment, Assorted Sizes, 20-Count ($4.99; fsastore.com)
Everyone needs a Band-Aid every once in a while, and these help expedite the healing process since they have Neosporin already on the pad.
Benadryl 14-Milliliter Itch Relief Stick ($3.99; fsastore.com)
Bug bites are right around the corner, so stock up on Benadryl Itch Relief Sticks so you can have an itch-free summer.
Bug Bite Thing ($10; fsastore.com)
Aquaphor Healing Ointment Jar, 14-Ounce ($26.99; fsastore.com)
This nongreasy and soothing ointment from Aquaphor helps treat and protect against dry skin.
The Doctor’s NightGuard Advanced Comfort Dental Protector ($24.99; fsastore.com)
There are many people who grind their teeth at night. But with many mouthguards so expensive, this one allows you to help protect your teeth for less than $25.
Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash With Salicylic Acid, 6-Ounce ($8.99; fsastore.com)
Revamp your daily face routine with this dermatologist-recommended acne wash from Neutrogena.
TheraPearl Hot or Cold Therapy Eye Mask ($9.99; fsastore.com)
Pop this in the freezer or the microwave to help reduce nasal congestion and relieve soreness.
Adventure Medical First Aid Canteen ($16.99; fsastore.com)
Keep this handy kit in your car or hiking/camping pack to treat everything from cuts and blisters to insect bites and headaches. Packed in a BPA-free water bottle, it comes with a whistle, wipes, bandages, gauze, moleskin, pain medication and more.
Brush on Block Facial Mineral Sunscreen Powder, SPF 30 ($32; fsastore.com)
This transluscent sunscreen powder is portable enough to throw in your purse and comes with a brush for easy application. Plus, it’s paraben-, PABA- and phthalate-free.
TheraBand Pain Relief Foot Roller ($9.99; fsastore.com)
Treat yourself to a nightly foot massage with this small roller designed to stretch the plantar fascia and soothe tired, achy feet. Want extra relief? Pop it in the freezer for cooling pain relief.
Caring Mill Travel First Aid Kit ($11.99; fsastore.com)
This kit holds a whopping 35 items, including bandages, an ice pack, safety pins, small scissors and more.
Sejoy Infrared Forehead Thermometer ($98.99; fsastore.com)
Check your temperature quickly and accurately with this infrared no-contact thermometer. With readings in just three seconds and the ability to store up to 10 previous readings, this thermometer is handy to keep by your side.
Ultimate Foot Circulator With Remote ($219.99; fsastore.com)
This device uses electrical muscle stimulation to relax stiff muscles, help increase blood circulation and help reduce swollen feet and ankles.
Welly Bravery Badges Colorwash Assorted Flex Fabric Bandages, 48-Count ($9.99; fsastore.com)
These premium, flexible bandages protect your small cuts and scrapes, plus they come in bold tie-dye patterns and colors.
Supergoop! Handscreen, SPF 40 ($38; fsastore.com)
Protect and hydrate dry hands with this SPF 40 moisturizing cream.
Kanjo Memory Foam Accupressure Neck Pillow ($39.99; fsastore.com)
Shoulder pain? Neck pain? Headaches? Target them all with this high-density foam core neck pillow designed to mold to the area where you need relief.
Vicks Personal Steam Inhaler ($44.99; fsastore.com)
When cold and flu season hits, it hits hard. So be prepared with this handy nasal inhaler to help alleviate congestion, dryness and other symptoms.
Boogie Wipes Natural Saline, 90-Count ($11.99; fsastore.com)
For little ones with runny or stuffy noses, these gentle saline wipes are the perfect solution for quick, effective cleanup. The hypoallergenic wipes have natural saline and moisturizing vitamin E and aloe to prevent any dry noses.
Recoup Cryosphere Therapy Ball ($49.95; fsastore.com)
Freeze this go-to gadget for two hours for an icy roller massage of any sore muscle group.
KT Tape Performance+ Blister Prevention Patch ($9.99; fsastore.com)
New shoes? No problem! Whether you’re breaking in a new pair of cross-trainers or stilettos, these synthetic strips help keep blisters and chafing at bay.
Battle Creek Back Pain Kit With Moist Heat and Cold Therapy ($115.49; fsastore.com)
This back pain kit includes two inserts: one that can be microwaved for heat therapy and another that can be thrown in the fridge for cold therapy. A soft fleece lining and a wide elastic strap ensure it’s easy and comfortable to wear.
Thermal-Aid Zoo Blue Bear ($19.99; fsastore.com)
This adorable plush teddy bear can be microwaved to create a warm compress or put in the freezer to help soothe your child’s latest bump or scratch.
ClearEar Oto-Tip Soft Spiral Earwax Cleaner ($49.99; fsastore.com)
Developed by the Stanford BioDesign program, this handheld device is safe for ages 3 and up and gently cleans ears, eliminating the need for cotton swabs.
Posture Pump Back Pump Elliptical Back Rocker, Model 2000 ($149; fsastore.com)
Help relieve back pain and discomfort with this gadget that uses a dual inflation mechanism to lift, stretch and separate joints in your spine.
MyPurMist Free Cordless Ultrapure Steam Inhaler ($149.95; fsastore.com)
This cordless steam inhaler can help alleviate symptoms of the common cold, including congestion, sinus infections and more. The handheld device spreads steam right to your nose, throat and mouth for instant relief, plus a medical-grade HEPA filter ensures the steam is germ-free, allergen-free and pollutant-free.
Caring Mill Instant Ear Thermometer ($29.99; fsastore.com)
This instant thermometer provides a stable, heat interference-free reading in just one second. It has a wide measurement range from 32 degrees to 212 degrees Fahrenheit, and a beeping, color-coded alert makes sure you know when the temperature is higher than 99.5 degrees.