When you decide to participate in a health care FSA, you must decide how much to set aside to pay for a year's worth of eligible expenses and notify your employer of your choices.
Your contribution amount is automatically deducted from your paycheck and deposited into your FSA. You can then use these funds to pay for your portion of covered care costs throughout the year.
Health care FSAs can be used for eligible medical/dental expenses, including:
- Chiropractic treatment
- Contact lenses/saline solution
- Dental work/orthodontia
- Doctors' fees
- Eye exams
- Hearing aids
- Hearing exams
- Laboratory fees
- LASIK surgery
- Mental health treatment
- Prescribed medications
Distributions from FSAs for over-the-counter medicines (other than insulin) are not permitted, unless the purchase is for a prescription.
Your employer sets the limits for how much you can contribute to your account. Check with your employer for the specifics of your plan.
When setting up your contribution amount, you should take the time to consider how much you expect to spend on health care over the next year and how much of it you would like taken out of your paycheck.
In October 2013, the U.S. Department of the Treasury modified its FSA "use it or lose it" rule. Your employer may allow you to roll over up to $500 of unused FSA funds. Check with your employer to determine the details of your plan.
These accounts are separate from Health Care FSAs and are used to pay for qualified child care expenses for your dependent children. These include:
- Day care center or nursery school care, as long as the center complies with all state and local laws
- Adult day care center costs for adult dependents
- Costs for an in-home babysitter (does not apply to care provided by someone you claim as a dependent)
Before and after-school wraparound programs (educational costs for programs like kindergarten or private school are not reimbursable)
Like a health care FSA, your employer sets the limits for how much you can contribute to your account.
You cannot "carry over" your balance from year to year, and you cannot keep any remaining funds. If you have funds left in your account at the end of the plan year, you will lose that money.
For specific information about your FSA, check your subscriber certificate or speak with your employer.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts works with several companies to administer FSAs. If your employer offers you access to an HRA, you can follow the links below to get more information or sign into your account. If you are unsure which administrator you have, check with your employer.