Deadline for Flex Spending Account May Be Approaching
Rules are Changing in 2011
The end of the year is here and the holidays may have your days filled with shopping and baking, but don’t forget about important end of the year deadlines. For those who have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) through your employer, make sure you’ve used all the money before the use-or-lose deadline. Each plan is different so check with your employer for deadlines and approved expenses.
For the remaining unused funds, you can spend the rest on qualified health care items like Tylenol, Advil, and over the counter cough medication like Delsym and Robitussin. Covered FSA medical expenses also include items like contact lens solution and eye care drops. If you have no immediate health needs, it’s always a good idea to stock up on emergency, medical kit type supplies like Band-Aids, and gauze.
However, the rules are changing in 2011 and according to the IRS, the cost of an over-the-counter medicine or drug cannot be reimbursed from the account unless a prescription is obtained. The change does not affect insulin, even if purchased without a prescription, or other health care expenses such as medical devices, eye glasses, contact lenses, co-pays and deductibles. The new standard applies only to purchases made on or after Jan. 1, 2011, so claims for medicines or drugs purchased without a prescription in 2010 can still be reimbursed in 2011, if allowed by the employer’s plan.