You have until December 31st to spend your elections to your Flexible Spending Plan (FSA).You have until March 31st to submit receipts for reimbursements though. If you’re unfamiliar with an FSA, it’s a pretax spending plan for medical expenses like doctor visits, medicines, eyecare and other items. If your employer offers the program, I suggest looking into it, especially if you have kids!
We elected $1000 for this year, and while we weren’t sure we would use it all, I’m glad we did. Between two herniated disks for me (and the rehab/chiropractor visits) and a recently broken finger for Stacie (2 days before Christmas), plus contacts for Stacie and regular doctor visits for both of us, we’ve used up all but $25.33 as of today. I’ll be heading to the local Rite Aid or CVS to stock up on items like:
- Band-aids – not just for injuries. As a guy, they’re good for protecting certain parts of my chest anatomy while running longer distances (you guy runners know what I mean). And I plan on running more in the new year.
- Medical tape – with Stacie’s broken finger still healing, we have to keep it in a splint which requires that pricey medical tape.
- Pain meds – while I don’t tend to take pain medication as it never seems to help me, it’s good to have some ibuprofen around to reduce swelling from injuries, and to help the wife through her “friend’s visits”.
- Antacids – While neither of us get acid reflux or heartburn often, when it strikes, I want to be prepared with Pepto Bismol or Alkaseltzer.
That’ll probably take up the rest of my $25. Here are some more FSA spending ideas from Jim at BfFP.
As a note, we only elected $900 for next year, hoping that we’ll be less accident- and injury-prone in 2009. What are your plans for your FSA in 2009? How did you do in 2008?