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Use it or lose it

It’s important to understand that in most cases flexible spending accounts (FSAs) do have a “use it or lose it” rule. That means you would lose any money left in your account at the end of the plan year. See the information below on how to help manage your FSA funds.

  • We understand you may be unable to spend FSA funds as initially intended, for example, due to the number of specialty health clinic closings, such as optometry, dental and chiropractic care, and childcare facility closures due to COVID-19. At this time there is no new or altered IRS guidance related to changes in FSA regulations as a result of COVID-19; however, Optum Bank is monitoring the situation closely. Please continue to check back on optumbank.com for the latest developments and up-to-date information on regulation changes related to health care spending and savings accounts.

    If your childcare needs have changed, there are options to modify, suspend or add a dependent care FSA election:

    Suspend your election: If your daycare has closed and is not billing you for services, you may consider suspending your election. Should you choose to do this you may re‐elect once your daycare services resume.

    Modify your election:

    • You may increase or decrease your election if your daycare provider has adjusted their fee schedule during this time.
    • If a child is switched from a paid provider to “free care” (i.e. neighbor or relative) or no care. An election change should be permissible whenever there is a change in provider.

    Add an election: Should your family needs require that you seek new provider services that have a cost, you may add an election. For example, you could consider hiring a babysitter to care for your children while you are working in your home. This will qualify so long as the babysitter is over the age of 19 and is not your spouse, the parent of the child, or anyone you can claim as a dependent on your tax returns.

    OR
  • Most FSA funds usually expire at the end of the plan year, however you should check with your employer to confirm if they offer a 'grace period'.

    You may also check if you're eligible for a 'carry over' amount. This could be up to $500 from the previous plan year that may be available to you this year. Be sure to check your plan documents to see if this is an option for you or confirm with your employer.

    OR
  • It’s a fast and convenient way to pay for eligible medical expenses without submitting paper claim forms. Use your  Optum Bank payment Mastercard® at the pharmacy, pay at the doctor’s office or write your payment card number on your provider bill. Just remember to keep your receipt, because transactions may have to be validated or substantiated per IRS guidelines.

    OR
  • To get claims approved, you’ll need to submit receipts for your FSA-eligible expenses that are incurred throughout the year. Watch the quick tutorial on how to upload receipts for information on steps or read below for details.

    OR
  • Learn how to file a flexible spending account (FSA) claim by watching this short video or follow the steps below:

    1. Sign in to your account.
    2. Select “File a Claim” under “I want to…”      
    3. Select “Reimbursement” as the expense type.
    4. Follow prompts to provide the four details below, then upload your receipt(s).

    Receipts must include these details:

    • Amount
    • Date of purchase
    • Eligible item or service
    • Provider or merchant name
    OR

Looking for more information?

Learn how you can better use your FSA year-round.

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Resources to maximize your FSA funds

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QME Tool
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Unsure of what expenses qualify? 

Use the Qualified Medical Expenses search tool to check if an expense qualifies to use your FSA funds on.

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Looking to learn more? 

Sign in to view the latest Optum Bank Academy courses designed to help you maximize your FSA benefits.

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Related Educational Resources

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Limited purpose FSA

See how a limited purpose FSA works through watching this video.

Dependent care FSA

Learn about the purpose of a dependent care FSA by watching a short video.

What is an FSA?

Watch a short video on health care flexible spending accounts (FSAs) and how they work.