You bought new eyeglasses, squeaked in a dental appointment and stocked up on over-the-counter drugs. But if there’s still money in your Flexible Spending Account (FSA), you better spend those pretax dollars quickly before they disappear.
That’s why we’ve rounded up a quick and easy list of products available in the FSA Store, which offers more than 4,000 items that are guaranteed FSA eligible or your money back.
If you’re not sure exactly what an FSA is and why it’s important that you spend your pretax dollars, we’ve got you covered with a quick guide.
A flexible spending account (FSA) is offered through many employer benefit plans, and allows you to set aside pretax money for eligible health care-related, out-of-pocket expenses for you, your spouse and dependents.
With each paycheck you receive, a certain amount of money is put aside before taxes. This pretax money is for FSA spending, and is meant to be used on eligible health care expenses throughout the year. While the specific amount differs depending on your tax bracket, there are calculators available to help you estimate your savings amount.
Most FSA participants are part of a “use it or lose it” plan, which states that all the money left in your account by the end of the year must be forfeited. The unused amount left in your account can’t be paid out to you in any other way, and you can’t transfer money to any other FSA. So it’s important to keep in mind the annual Dec. 31 date.
The good news is that many employers provide a grace period of up to 2 1/2 months into the new year for you to use the money, giving you until March 15 to spend it all. But you’ll want to check with your employer, because grace periods can be shorter.
Common purchases include everyday health care products like bandages, thermometers and glasses. Everything from medical expenses that aren’t covered by a health plan (like deductibles and co-pays to dependent day care) and over-the-counter medication can also be eligible.
The downside is that the specifics of what you can spend your FSA dollars on depend on the plan your employer has in place. The upside? You can skip the extensive research by shopping at the FSA Store.
So rather than watch that hard-earned money simply go kaput, we’ve rounded up 25 ways to spend your dollars at the FSA Store. From sunscreen to massage tools to a treatment for acne, here’s how to end the year on a high — and healthy — note.
Simply Saline Sterile Saline Nasal Mist Extra Strength,1.5 fl oz ($6.79; fsastore.com)
This hypertonic solution helps fix dry sinuses and nasal congestion with one easy spritz. Made from salt and water, this nose spray is a savior during the flu season.
MyPurMist Free Cordless Ultrapure Steam Inhaler ($149.95; fsastore.com)
This cordless steam inhaler can help alleviate symptoms of the common cold including congestion, sinus infections and more. The handheld device spreads steam right to your nose, throat and mouth for instant relief plus a medical-grade HEPA filter ensures the steam is germ-free, allergen-free and pollutant-free.
Boogie Wipes Natural Saline, 90 ct ($9.99; fsastore.com)
For little ones with runny or stuffy noses, these gentle saline wipes are the perfect solution for quick, effective clean-up. The hypoallergenic wipes have natural saline and moisturizing viatmin E and aloe to prevent any dry noses.
Caring Mill Instant Ear Thermometer ($24.99; fsastore.com)
This instant thermometer provides a stable, heat interference free reading in just one second. It has a wide measurement range from 32 degrees to 212 degrees Fahrenheit, and a beeping, color coded alert makes sure you know when the temperature is higher than 99.5 degrees.
Adventure Medical First Aid Canteen ($16.99; fsastore.com)
Keep this handy kit in your car or hiking/camping pack to treat everything from cuts and blisters to insect bites and headaches. Packed in a BPA-free water bottle, it comes with a whistle, wipes, bandages, gauze, moleskin, pain medication and more.
Recoup Cryosphere Therapy Ball ($39.99; fsastore.com)
Freeze this go-to gadget for two hours for an icy roller massage of any sore muscle group.
SoftHeat Electric Heating Wrap, 24” x 54” ($43.99; fsastore.com)
This wrap is 3.5 times larger than the conventional heating pad, built to wrap around multiple parts of your body to relieve muscle pain, stress and tension.
Sun Bum Tinted Lip Balm, SPF 15 ($5.99; fsastore.com)
Get subtle color with sun protection when you swipe on this moisturizing, water-resistant, paraben-free tinted lip balm.
TheraPearl Hot Or Cold Therapy Eye Mask ($9.99; fsastore.com)
Pop this in the freezer or the microwave to help reduce nasal congestion and relieve soreness.
Vicks Personal Steam Inhaler ($52.99; fsastore.com)
When cold and flu season hits, it hits hard. So be prepared with this handy nasal inhaler to help alleviate congestion, dryness and other symptoms.
MedAngel One Wireless Thermometer ($49.99; fsastore.com)
Kick your medication storage into high tech gear with this Bluetooth number that connects to your smartphone and alerts you if your medications (insulin, pen injectors, hormones, etc.) exceed safe levels.
reVive Light Therapy Spot Portable Acne Treatment ($29; fsastore.com)
Treat any acne flare-ups with this noninvasive battery and USB-powered device. Choose from six medical-grade LED lights to help prevent or calm acne. Bonus: It’s portable, so add it to your suitcase for treatment on the go.
MDSolarSciences Mineral Tinted Creme, SPF 30 ($32; fsastore.com)
Who doesn’t love an all-in-one beauty product? This one provides not only sunscreen, but a light matte tint and ProVention-R antioxidants (think green tea, cranberry and pomegranate extracts, plus vitamin C).
KT Tape Performance+ Blister Prevention Patch ($9.99; fsastore.com)
New shoes? No problem! Whether you’re breaking in a new pair of cross-trainers or stilettos, these synthetic strips help keep blisters and chafing at bay.
Supergoop! Handscreen, SPF 40 ($38; fsastore.com)
Protect and hydrate dry hands with this SPF 40 moisturizing cream.
eyeOS Cooper Reading Glasses ($44.99; fsastore.com)
When you need help reading the fine print, reach for these small, but stylish, readers that provide +2.5 magnification.
Brush On Block Facial Mineral Sunscreen Powder, SPF 30 ($32; fsastore.com)
This transluscent sunscreen powder is portable enough to throw in your purse and comes with a brush for easy application. Plus, it’s paraben, PABA and phthalate free.
Thera-Band Pain Relief Foot Roller ($9.99; fsastore.com)
Treat yourself to a nightly foot massage with this small roller designed to stretch the plantar fascia and soothe tired, achy feet. Want extra relief? Pop it in the freezer for cooling pain relief.
Battle Creek Back Pain Kit with Moist Heat and Cold Therapy ($109.99; fsastore.com)
This pack pain kit includes two inserts, one that can be microwaved for heat therapy and another that can be thrown in the fridge for cold therapy. A soft fleece lining and a wide elastic strap ensure it’s easy and comfortable to wear.
Thermal-Aid Zoo Blue Bear ($19.99; fsastore.com)
This adorable, plush teddy bear can be microwaved to create a warm compress or put in the freezer to help soothe your child’s latest bump or scratch.
Avène Mineral High Protection Tinted Compact, SPF 50 ($36; fsastore.com)
This non-greasy, matte cream-to-powder product offers a 100% mineral sunscreen formula that’s also hypoallergenic and water resistant.
Bausch And Lomb Biotrue Multi-Purpose Solution ($21.99; fsastore.com)
Contact lens wearers: Stock up on this lubricating solution that will keep your eyes moist and healthy.
ClearEar OTO-Tip Soft Spiral Earwax Cleaner ($49.99; fsastore.com)
Developed by the Stanford BioDesign program, this hand-held device is safe for ages 3 and up and gently cleans ears, eliminating the need for cotton swabs.
Sunreader Riley in Shiny Black ($14.99; fsastore.com)
Get +1.00 magnification with these sleek shades that use new lens technology to hide the telltale bifocal line.
Dr. Scholl’s Pain Relief Orthotics for Sore Soles ($13.99; fsastore.com)
When you’re on your feet all day, prevent soreness and pain by using these inserts that use shock guard technology with nodules to add relief to each step you take.
Kanjo Memory Foam Accupressure Neck Pillow ($39.99; fsastore.com)
Shoulder pain? Neck pain? Headaches? Target them all with this high-density foam core neck pillow designed to mold to the area where you need relief.
Band-Aid Flexible Fabric Bandages, 100 Count ($6.99; fsastore.com)
A household staple, this pack contains a whopping 100 of the brand’s best-selling flexible fabric bandages.
The Doctor’s NightGuard Advanced Comfort Dental Protector ($21.99; fsastore.com)
There are many people who grind their teeth at night. But with many mouthguards so expensive, this one allows you to help protect your teeth for less than $22.
Caring Mill Travel First Aid Kit ($9.99; fsastore.com)
This kit holds a whopping 35 items, including bandages, an ice pack, safety pins, small scissors and more.
Unisex Knee-High Compression Stockings ($42.95; fsastore.com)
Whether you’re frequently on long flights or spend hours on your feet, these top-rated socks ensure healthy blood flow and less swelling.