If you use a Groupon for acupuncture services, laser for a nail fungus, dental services or other medical services, you can use that as an FSA expense. “The criteria is if you are receiving medical services,” Luskin said.
Know the limits
There are FSA-eligible items that are often difficult to document, Luskin said. The key is third-party substantiation. Take medical mileage, for example. If you have to fly to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, N.Y. for treatment, then you can use the flight as an FSA expense, because you can document it with your ticket. You also can use $50 a night for lodging for medical reasons. But if you drive yourself to your doctor’s appointment, it’s difficult to substantiate that by a third party, Luskin said.
Know the special circumstances
There are items on some lists that can be FSA-eligible, but only in certain circumstances. For example, if your rheumatoid arthritis is alleviated by swimming, then certain costs of a swimming pool may be eligible. If you have sleep apnea or a bad back, a portion of the costs of a mechanical bed could be eligible. If your adult special-needs daughter is incontinent, diapers might be eligible. “If you have a specialized situation, call your FSA administrator to get answers for your circumstances,” Luskin said.
Know that some items might be FSA eligible for some, and not others. “Sunglasses are not FSA eligible, but if you just had cataract surgery and need optical-quality sunglasses, then it could be FSA eligible,” Luskin said.
Start a system
You don’t need a fancy system to track your FSA expenses, Cassaday said. “It’s called a cigar box; throw them all in there. Just keep them,” she said.
Before the new year starts, look at a list of FSA-eligible items to plan for next year. “There are things on that list you would never think of, but they’ll cost you,” she said.
Start looking at your receipts
When you buy over the counter items that are permissible, look at your receipt:
• CVS and Walgreens put an F next to each item that is FSA eligible;
• Target uses an asterisk (*) to denote FSA eligible items;
• Walmart’s SKU numbers have an “H” in FSA eligible items.
Always look at the bottom of the receipt. Many have a “health items” or “FSA” total. “If you see that on a receipt, attach it to a claim form and send it in,” Luskin said.