ThreeJars Daily: Surprising Ways To Save With Your Flexible Spending Account

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Surprising Ways To Save With Your Flexible Spending Account

Sure, you can use the funds in your healthcare flexible spending account for doctor visits and dental work. But babysitting? Dance lessons? Believe it. Here are the rules, plus other services and products you can be reimbursed for. Just remember: You need to take advantage now because you lose any money left in your account at year-end.

By Lori Cullen

Babysitting from a relative. Yes, you can pay your mom to babysit while you work, so long as she isn’t a dependent on your taxes.

Sick childcare. Don’t use up vacations days you’re hoarding for that Cancun trip. Call up mom again. It counts!

Dancing or swimming lessons. You can choose any class as long as it’s recommended by a doctor for the treatment of a medical condition.

Alternative treatments and healers. Go ahead. Try acupuncture for treatment of a medical condition. You’ll need a Letter of Medical Necessity from your provider, though. Over-the-counter herbal or homeopathic medicines are eligible, too.

Admission and transportation to a medical conference. Okay, it’s not the Caribbean, but you can save on these costs so long as the conference relates to the chronic illness of yourself, your spouse, or your dependent.

Exercise equipment or program as treatment for a medical condition diagnosed by a licensed health care professional.

Corrective eye surgery like Lasik. Or get a jump-start on summer with prescription sunglasses.

Braces. If you have enough remaining funds, you can pay for these services in full.

Title: Major FSA Change Ahead!

Starting in January, you'll no longer be able to use your Healthcare FSA for over-the-counter medications such as aspirin and cold and allergy medicines unless you have a doctor's prescription. The new rules won't take effect until January 1, 2010, so stock up on these items before December 31.

Lori Cullen publishes Millennial Youth, a youth news magazine in upstate New York, where she lives with her three kids and Jax the cat.


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