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Be a Wise Healthcare Consumer

buying glassesRemember, if you still have a UT FLEX Health Care Reimbursement Account (HCRA) balance from the 2017 – 2018 plan year, the grace period for using those funds ends on November 15, 2018 and all claims must be submitted by November 30, 2018.

Here are a few lesser known uses for your HCRA money, just in case you’re still struggling to exhaust your account.

  • Prescription sunglasses.
  • Foot care like massaging gel shoe inserts, arch braces, toe cushions, and callus trimmers.
  • Any travel for medical care you did last year.
  • Sinus rinse.
  • Sunscreen.
  • Acupuncture treatments.
  • Qualified service animals, such as a guide dog, including food and grooming costs.

You can spend your FSA money on medical expenses for your spouse, children or any other qualifying dependent you claim on your taxes. If you have grown children on your health insurance plan but don’t claim them as dependents, you can still spend FSA money on their medical expenses if they were no older than 26 at the end of the plan year, August 31.

To learn what’s allowed visit FSAstore.com. Some over the counter products require a prescription in order to be eligible, so you may have to make an appointment with your doctor first. The FSA store tells you which over-the-counter items require a prescription, and you can use your UT FLEX Debit Card on the site.

The IRS has a list of approved medical expenses you can check out for more details. It includes most expenses related to medical care, with the notable exceptions of health insurance premiums and over-the-counter medication.

Despite any hassle of having to spend this extra money, HCRAs are generally a good way to avoid paying taxes on medical costs. Utilizing the HCRA with UT FLEX and knowing how to use all of your money makes you a wiser healthcare consumer.