FSA — Account use and eligibility

Learn details of how to maximize your FSA

Updated over a week ago

Your Healthcare Flexible Spending Account (FSA) covers hundreds of eligible healthcare expenses, like co-payments for doctor visits, prescription drugs, and new eyeglasses or contact lenses.

Read on to find out about eligible expenses, or jump to a section with these links:

Is my Healthcare FSA contribution limit each year per account or per spouse?

Your Healthcare FSA contribution limit is per account, meaning both spouses can contribute the IRS pre-tax limit in a given year. For example, if both you and your spouse have a Healthcare FSA account, you could each choose to use them, contributing funds into your separate accounts. Or one spouse could use their account contributing up to the maximum contribution limit. Either way, your total contributions must not exceed the IRS limit for that particular year.

How can I avoid losing my FSA funds at the end of the year?

Your flexible spending account (FSA) has an annual deadline to spend your funds. Any funds in your account at the end of the plan year (in excess of the carryover amount, if your plan includes one) will be forfeited to your employer.

If you are looking for ways to spend down your healthcare FSA, you might consider:

  • Visiting your doctor during the FSA plan year for preventive visits.

  • Updating your first-aid supplies.

  • Researching the eligible medical expense list for items you may need.

  • Shopping for FSA-approved items online, such as at FSAStore.com.

  • Requesting reimbursement for:

    • Mileage and travel incurred for medical purpose.

    • Other expenses from the plan year that have not been reimbursed (including expenses for your tax dependents)

    • Purchasing certain OTC items (after confirming they are eligible under your plan) such as:

      • Sunscreen with SPF over 15

      • Diabetic equipment

      • Glasses and contact lens care supplies

Please note: Buying more OTC products than necessary could be considered stockpiling, which is against Internal Revenue Service rules.

HealthEquity and the FSA Store are separate, unaffiliated companies and are not responsible for each other’s policies or services.

It is the members’ responsibility to ensure eligibility requirements as well as if they are eligible for the expenses submitted.

HealthEquity does not provide legal, tax or financial advice.

What happens to my Healthcare FSA funds when I leave my employer? 

Unused Flexible Spending Account (FSA) funds are generally forfeited if you leave your employer.

  • When you leave your employer, the Claim by Date for your account will be updated based on your plan rules.

  • If you have a claim that has not yet been reimbursed, you have up to the claim by date of your account to submit your request for reimbursement.

  • Please note that the expense must have been incurred while you were still employed (your service, such as a doctor's visit or a filled prescription, was received before your spend by date).

  • Unclaimed funds are forfeited back to your employer after the end of the plan. 

  • If you have a Healthcare card,* your card will turn off on your termination date with your employer.  

To locate your Claim By Date, go to your account dashboard, and select your current plan from the tabs on the left. Your plan dates will be listed there.

If you have additional questions about your plan, your employer can provide you with additional details and potential coverage options.

*Your HealthEquity® Visa® Healthcare Card can be used at participating merchants who sell eligible healthcare products or services everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted. Your HealthEquity Visa Healthcare Card is issued by The Bancorp Bank pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. The Bancorp Bank; Member FDIC.

Can I change my FSA election amount?

Election changes to an FSA can only occur under special circumstances.

You can only change the amount you contribute to your Healthcare Flexible Spending Account (FSA) if you meet one of these special circumstances determined by the IRS:  

  • A change in marital status (such as marriage, divorce, or death of your spouse)  

  • A change in the number of your dependents (such as the birth or adoption of a child, or death of a dependent)  

  • A change in employment status of you, your spouse, or your dependent  

  • An event that causes your dependent to satisfy or cease to satisfy an eligibility requirement for a particular benefit  

 If you believe you qualify for a change of your election, please contact your employer.   

To make sure you’re contributing the right amount to your Healthcare FSA—neither too much, nor too little—we recommend that you carefully estimate your healthcare expenses prior to your company’s next Open Enrollment period, at which time you can adjust your election amount for the next plan year.  

Check with your employer to see if they have decided to update your healthcare FSA plan based on recent COVID relief legislation.

What are eligible expenses? 

Your Healthcare Flexible Spending Account (FSA) covers hundreds of eligible healthcare expenses. You can easily type in search items, like doctor's visits, pain relievers, face masks, insulin testing supplies, and braces/orthodontia to see if they’re eligible to use your funds on.

Search the list of eligible expenses to review, download, or print out for future reference.


Please keep in mind that IRS rules and your employer determine which expenses are eligible, and some expenses require a doctor's note or prescription to be eligible for reimbursement under your Healthcare FSA. 

Note: FSA funds cannot be used to cover health insurance premiums through COBRA.

What is a letter of medical necessity? 

A letter of medical necessity (LMN) is the same as a doctor's statement. It's a letter written by your doctor, verifying that the product/service you are buying with your Healthcare Flexible Spending Account (FSA) is for a diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of a disease. This letter is required by the IRS for certain eligible expenses.  

Review the eligible expenses list to see if you need a letter of medical necessity (LMN) for a particular type of expense or read this article for more details on LMNs.

Where do I find my FSA balance?

 You may check card and account balances by logging into your account and it will be shown on the main dashboard. 

How can I add a dependent to my account?

Note that if your account is new and your dependents are already listed, they have been imported from your health plan automatically and do not need to be added again.

  1. From the login dashboard, select Dependents & Authorized users from the Manage Account section. From other pages, select My Account and select Add / Edit Individuals.

  2. Select Add Individual

  3. In the Add Individual window, enter your dependent’s information and check the box next to Dependent to designate the individual as a dependent on your account, then select the dependent’s gender.

  4. Click Save to save your changes. Your dependent will now appear in your Dependents / Authorized Individuals table.

Pease note the following:

  • For some types of reimbursement accounts, changes or updates to your dependents must be submitted through your health plan or employer. You will not be able to add or change them manually.

  • Dependents may not be added for some types of incentive accounts or employer-defined reimbursement accounts.

Can I edit or remove a dependent in my account?

1. From the log in dashboard, select Dependents & Authorized users from the Manage Account section. From other pages, select My Account and select Add / Edit Individuals.

2. Locate the individual in the list you’d like to edit or remove and click the pencil icon in the table row to edit.

3. In the Edit Individual window, make your desired changes, or uncheck the box next to Dependent to remove the individual as a dependent. You may also remove all designations and remove an individual from the list entirely by clicking the trash icon for that individual in the Add / Edit Individuals list.

Note: This will not add or change your dependent’s information with your health plan or employer. You will need to contact them directly to change the information they have on file.

Did this answer your question?