Use It or Lose It Time for Your Flexible Spending Account

Eligible expenses cover more than aspirin and allergy meds. Year-end vasectomy anyone?


In July, I encouraged people to start using their flexible spending account funds to avoid the predictable year-end 12 Days of Christmas-style spending spree (three flu shots, two pairs of glasses, and a refill of Metamucil). Chances are you didn't pay attention. So, I combed through the IRS list of eligible expenses to find options you may not have considered (Here's the full IRS list). Check with your employer before proceeding, because companies can edit the list of expenses their employees can claim.

Newly eligible this year: pregnancy test kits, annual check-ups, and full-body scans. Other possibilities:

Acupuncture: Hurt your back schlepping gifts around? Try this alternative to the...

...Chiropractor. This is also covered.

Fertility treatments, including temporary egg storage. (It's probably a little late to arrange for IVF before year-end.)

Vasectomy: Enough, already!

Vasectomy reversal: On second thought...

Christian Science practitioner fees: If this is your preferred medical provider, it's covered.

Lead-based paint removal: To prevent a child who has—or who has had—lead poisoning from eating toxic paint.

Medical conferences for chronic illness: Educate yourself about managing your heart disease or your child's diabetes.

Stop-smoking program: New Year's resolution No. 1

Weight-loss program: New Year's resolution No. 2

Wigs: If you've lost your hair from cancer or other disease.

Don't see anything you need? If you're lucky, your employer will give you an extra 2 1/2 months in 2009 to use up any unspent 2008 FSA contributions. Bosses have that option. That way, you won't have to explain to your kids why they got Clearasil and Claritin in their stockings this year.