Flex-Plan Money: Use It or Lose It

Here are 24 ways to spend the cash in your FSA before March 15.

If your employer gives you until March 15 to use money in your health-care flexible spending account, you have just a few days left to spend the money or lose it. That's right -- your employer will keep what you don't use.

The money in an FSA can be used for most medical expenses that your health insurance doesn't cover. If you act before the March 15 deadline, you could have a large pot of money you can tap for big-ticket items, such as laser eye surgery or dental work. You can combine what's left from your 2009 FSA contributions with the amount you've earmarked for 2010. See Tax-Free Money for Big Medical Expenses to find out how this works.

Below you'll find a list of 24 expenses FSA money can be used to cover:

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1. Dental work

2. Orthodontia

3. Medically necessary prescriptions

4. Over-the-counter drugs

5. Eyeglasses

6. Contact lenses

7. Prescription sunglasses

8. Laser eye surgery

9. Psychotherapy, psychiatry, psychology

10. Drug and alcohol treatment

11. Massage therapy to treat an injury

12. Physical therapy

13. Speech therapy

14. Out-of-pocket expenses for fertility treatments

15. Chiropractic care

16. Doctor-recommended weight-loss programs

17. Hearing aids and batteries

18. Medical equipment, such as wheelchairs, crutches or oxygen equipment

19. Assistance for the disabled, including guides, Braille books, seeing-eye or hearing-trained animals, note takers, etc.

20. Birth control pills, devices and procedures

21. Acupuncture or related procedures to treat a medical condition

22. Smoking cessation programs and prescriptions

23. Medically necessary cosmetic surgery

24. Vaccinations

Cameron Huddleston
Former Online Editor, Kiplinger.com

Award-winning journalist, speaker, family finance expert, and author of Mom and Dad, We Need to Talk.

Cameron Huddleston wrote the daily "Kip Tips" column for Kiplinger.com. She joined Kiplinger in 2001 after graduating from American University with an MA in economic journalism.