5 Smart uses for your flex-spending account

A flexible spending account offered through your employer, and administered by your payroll service, is a great fringe benefit that lets you pay medical and child-care expenses with pre-tax dollars.

Make sure you take full advantage of it when deciding how much to contribute — because the amount you can set aside for health-care expenses is now limited to $2,500, a rule change from the health-care law that took effect in 2013.

Another big change now permits some employers to allow employees to carry over $500 from one year to the next, although not all plans have made this change.

Here are 5 suggestions for using up your balance of available funds:

  1. Prescription eyeglasses – use the pre-tax dollars from you FSA to cover the cost of quality frames, even if you don’t have a vision plan with your employer.
  2. Orthodontics – flex plans can be used to cover the cost of braces for yourself or your kids.
  3. Weight-loss programs – if prescribed by a doctor to treat obesity, the cost of this program can be reimbursed through your FSA.
  4. Lasik and laser eye surgery
  5. Also remember that the cost of all prescribed drugs can be reimbursed through your FSA.

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