As the year winds down, do you have funds remaining in your flexible spending account for health care? Or have you spent more than you put into the account?
By DIANE STAFFORD
The Kansas City Star
If so, you have company. Only 16 percent of flexible spending account users contribute the right amount, according to the 2012 Aflac WorkForces Report released Tuesday.
If you overestimated your health care spending and still have pre-tax FSA funds remaining, here are some tips from Audrey Boone Tillman, executive vice president of corporate services at Aflac:
• Schedule an annual checkup with your primary care physician, optometrist, dentist, dermatologist, gynecologist or other health care provider you havent seen this year.
• Buy another pair of eyeglasses, prescription sunglasses, contact lenses or other eligible medical aids or devices. Even orthotic shoe inserts might qualify, she notes.
• Buy eligible health care items such a first aid kits; contact lens solution; a thermometer; neck, wrist or joint braces; and pain relievers.
• Check with your employer to learn whether there are other eligible offerings such as massages, acupuncture, Lasik eye surgery or other treatments or procedures.
If youve already spent more on health care expenses than you allocated to your account, Tillman has suggestions for that too:
• Keep receipts for your health care expenses. Your tax adviser might recommend that you can take some 2012 tax deductions for expenses that werent covered by your FSA.
• Knowing what your out-of-pocket health care costs actually were this year can help you do a better job estimating what those expenses might be next year. And remember: The maximum you can put into your FSA has been cut from $5,000 this year to $2,500 next year.
• Make sure you know what FSA options are available to you if youre participating in the open enrollment period at your workplace.