Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Reader Email - Surplus Flexible Spending Account Money

Reader Katy writes...

Dear Annalisa,

Last year, while I was pregnant, I renewed our section 125 flexible spending account (FSA) where you can put money away pre-tax for health care expenses.  Thinking about the delivery costs, I tried to estimate how much we would need --  and my estimate was way high.  Now, I am trying to use up the last $300-400 of money left in the account (since it is a use it or lose it policy).
Anyways, the reason I am telling you this is to pick your brain on any good medical OTC supplies.  I think I have stocked up well on baby medicine, however, I am looking to get my first aid kits stocked up - meaning bandaids, ace wraps, gauze strips, hot/cold packs, etc.  I am just trying to see what you suggest I do to get the most bang for my buck on this stuff.  So, just wanted to know your thoughts and anything that you know concerning first aid stuff on sale that might be coming down the pipeline.  

Any advice you have is more than welcome.  If all comes to naught, I think I will just go to Walmart with coupons and stock up.

This is a great question, Katy, I'm glad you asked!  I don't know of any specific first aid sales happening soon -- so I would say your logic is good -- try either Walmart (with coupons) or Rite Aid (with coupons & $5/20 RAQ).

A lot of people don't know what items qualify to be purchased with FSA money.  Certain online retailers, like drugstore.com, will label items on their site as eligible or ineligible -- which can be very helpful.  Many drugstores and superstores label items on your receipt as well, so you can notice during your regular shopping transactions which items qualify. 
Here is a list of items that qualify to be purchased with FSA money:
  • First aid kits & supplies
  • Contact lens solution
  • Thermometers
  • Heating Pads
  • Allergy medicines
  • Acid Reflux medicines
  • Healing lotions
  • Braces, supports, splints, Ace bandages
  • Pain relief products -- Tylenol, Advil, etc
  • Pregnancy Tests
  • Condoms
  • Eyeglasses

Here's an article with more ideas, for anyone who's interested!


Abe and Lisa said...

I heard you can also pay for lasik on an FSA! I would love to get that done!

abi said...

I wanted to share this tip too... If your Dr. will write you a prescription, you can use your FSA money for pretty much anything. I bought a spendy name brand vacuum with a prescription (medical reason for need, allergies) during my first pregnancy with my FSA bucks. : )

Annalisa said...

Wow, thanks for the tip, abi!

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