Workers Push to Use FSA Funds Before New Year

The last-minute rush is on to use any remaining balance in Flexible Spending Accounts – the tax-free money many workers set aside each year to help with certain medical and dental expenses.

"It helps us pay for things that we are needing," said Bella Gonzales, of Dallas, who used money in her account to take her 5-year-old son to the doctor for an ear infection.

"My husband and I, we just try to make sure we use it, otherwise we lose it," said Gonzales.

Some companies do offer a grace period, but most FSAs must be used before the end of each calendar year.

For 2015, FSAs can have as much as $2,550 in them.

"Toward the end of the year, everybody has balances sometimes remaining on those flexible spending accounts," said Walgreens store manager Jeremy Moore. "They have to come inside and make those purchases for the items. That way, they don't lose that money."

Prescription drugs are covered, along with many other items found in neighborhood drug stores.

"Even everyday bandages, so if you need to stock up on your first aid kits, this is the time to do it," said Moore.

Eye doctors see many more patients toward the end of the year, because eye exams along with contacts and eyeglasses are eligible expenses.

"We'll get calls, especially next week, the last week of the year, right after Christmas," said Dr. Allen Safir, at Doctor Eyecare in Dallas.

"Especially on the 31st, it's a very busy day," said Safir. "It's pretty much industry standard."

An online store, FSAstore.com, offers a long list of eligible items.

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