A flexible spending account (FSA) is a special account offered by your employer. With an FSA, you decide how much money to contribute at the beginning of each plan year. Then use the account to pay for qualified medical or dependent care expenses on a tax-free basis throughout the year.
Your employer provides and owns your FSA. Only you and your employer can contribute funds, up to the maximum amount allowed by the IRS ($2,650 for 2018). Unlike health savings accounts, FSAs are “use it or lose it” accounts, meaning your employer can keep any money not used by the end of your plan year.
A healthcare FSA covers medical, dental, and vision expenses that you would otherwise pay for out of pocket, such as:
Your employer may limit the expenses your plan reimburses. Please contact your human resources office for more information.
Employers may also offer a dependent care FSA. Funds in this account pay for the costs of child or elderly care. Typical expenses under this account include:
Expenses must be for dependents under the age of 13, or those physically or mentally incapable of caring for themselves.
There are 2 ways to use your FSA to pay for eligible healthcare expenses:
Manage your flexible spending account online