Friday, September 18, 2015

FSAs: Clean Them Out

This post is a follow up to my FSA Use It or Lose It Maybe post. As we all know by now, the "use it or lose it" provision of an FSA applies if you voluntarily terminate (quit) your employment, or are terminated without cause (i.e., laid off).

Earlier this year, my company announced the planned acquisition of a competitor. At the same time they announced millions of dollars in "identified synergies" related to the acquisition. I took this to mean that layoffs would be coming. I decided to be proactive about my career, and sought a (better) opportunity with another employer.

One thing that I did before leaving my old employer was to "clean out" my flexible spending account (FSA). If you are in a similar situation, you may want to do the same so that you don't leave any money on the table. Note that whatever FSA money you don't use, your old employer gets to keep. I wasn't about to leave a single penny to my old employer.

Here is a list of FSA eligible medical items that DO NOT require a Doctor's Prescription:

  • Athletic Braces & Supports
  • Bandages
  • Baby Sunscreen
  • Baby Thermometers
  • Breast Pumps and Accessories
  • Blood Glucose Monitors & Test Strips
  • Blood Pressure Monitors
  • Children's First Aid
  • Children's Sunscreen
  • Condoms
  • Contact Lens Solution
  • Denture Cream and Cleansers
  • Diabetes Care Accessories
  • Eye Glass & Lens Accessories
  • First Aid Kits
  • First Aid Treatments and Supplies
  • Glucosamine Supplements
  • Glucose Tablets
  • Hearing Aid Batteries
  • Home Medical Equipment
  • Heating Pads and Wraps
  • Hot and Cold Packs
  • Incontinence Products
  • Lip Balm
  • Medical Monitoring and Testing Devices
  • Motion Sickness Aids
  • Nasal Spray
  • Orthopedic and Surgical Supports
  • Pregnancy and Fertility Tests
  • Prenatal Vitamins
  • Reading Glasses and Magnifiers
  • Shoe Insoles and Inserts
  • Sunscreen
  • Thermometers
  • Vaporizers and Inhalers
  • Walking Aids
  • Wheelchairs and Accessories

Note: I don't warrant the accuracy or completeness of this list as I just copied it from somewhere on the Internet.

Epilogue: Two weeks after I parted ways with my old employer, They laid off 180 people. While I am pretty certain that I wouldn't have been laid off, I think that another of my co-workers would have been if I did not already leave. In that case, I would have been expected to do his job in addition to my own...