What's a flexible spending account and can I use it to help cover the cost of vein treatment?
A flexible spending account (FSA) is a special account that you can put money into and then use to pay for eligible out-of-pocket health-related expenses. You do not need to pay taxes on the funds you contribute to your FSA, which is what makes it an attractive option for many Americans. (See more information about how FSA’s work in this document released by the IRS)
FSAs can be used to pay for certain medical and health-related expenses, including co-pays and deductibles, for you, your spouse and your dependents. It is a flexible and often beneficial way of helping to cover costs of necessary health care services or products that may not have full coverage under a health insurance plan.
In most cases, varicose vein treatment is considered an FSA-eligible expense. This applies to medical services of a vein specialist and products.
FSA-eligible vein care services may include co-insurance costs for medical exams and medically-necessary treatments such as varicose vein treatment. FSA-eligible vein care products include compression socks and hosiery.
But there’s a catch…
Generally, the money you’ve contributed to your FSA must be used within the plan year. Depending on your employer, there may be exceptions to this. Some FSA users may be able to carry over up to $500 to use in the following year and/or may be given a “grace period” of up to two additional months to use the money in an FSA before it expires, and a new plan year begins.
The fact remains: Flexible spending accounts can be a wonderful way to help save money by paying for eligible expenses with income that is untaxed.
Use it or lose it – most FSA plans are valid from January 1 – December 31. The end of the year is a great time to use any remaining balance in your FSA towards eligible expenses like varicose vein treatment!