Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs)
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By In Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)

Abroad and Injured? Your HSA Works for That!

I’ve occasionally posted “death of a thousand cuts” updates about the quiet desperation of navigating our health care system. Well, as one of my more troll-y friends pointed out, one experience isn’t exactly science but a recent experience with big, bad socialized medicine was almost pleasant.

On our blowout summer vacation for the whole family, my mother-in-law injured her heel from too much exploring on ancient Roman roads of solid marble. Luckily, we had an Italian friend who got her to a doctor to ensure it wasn’t more than just swelling. The doctor, not accustomed to billing for visits, didn’t charge my mother-in-law for checking her foot and then gave her crutches to rent for €1.50 (~$1.75) per day. We ended up buying them outright for €$20. She also got prescription-strength ibuprofen for a steal. All in all, my MIL’s costs were less than $30. Zoinks!

But the cost itself isn’t the reason for this post. What came to mind was that, had it been me, my wife or one of our children, we could have used our tax-free HSA funds to pay any bills that were incurred. That’s right, you can use your HSA — or FSA — funds for medical expenses pretty much anywhere on the planet. The two important rules are whatever product or service you’re getting has to be

  1. On the approved list of HSA/FSA products/services. That’s the U.S. list. Duh.
  2. Legal both in the U.S. and in the country where you’re receiving the service.
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By In Around the Web, Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), Health Financial Accounts, Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)

Yep, Amazon Has an HSA Store

Last week, I wrote about the best places to buy things with your HSA/FSA funds if you want/need to use that money rather than just maxing out your account and investing the money — or, alternately, you don’t have access to an HSA but do have an FSA and want to ensure you use all of the funds as wisely as you can. Welp, I found out today that Amazon now has an HSA/FSA store, which means they have a place where you can enter your debit card number and then shop exclusively for items that are account-eligible and still apply your Prime account for free delivery.

Giddyup!

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By In Do the Math, Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs)

As the Grace Period Deadline Approaches, Remember: FSA Funds are ‘Use-It-or-Lose-It’

As of this posting, there are seven days left in the most common “grace period” for using your 2018 FSA funds — that’s March 15, 2019. For those who don’t have a health savings account (HSA) but do have a flexible spending account (FSA) tied to their health insurance, you hopefully know that if you don’t spend your tax-deferred contribution by the end of the year or, if you’re lucky, the end of the “grace period” for the year, those funds are gone. They’re not gone gone, like totally disappeared. They’ve just been reclaimed by your employer and are no longer available to you.

So…in the short run, use those funds! And in the long run, make sure you’re calculating properly what you may or may not use in a given year. More details after the break.

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