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spending

Still Time to Spend Flex Account Funds

Many employees can tap 2010 funds until March 2011 -- but there's a new restriction on how the money can be spent.

It's a new year, but many employees still have access to last year's stash of flexible spending account funds. That's because most employers give employees until March 15, 2011, to use 2010 FSA money to pay out-of-pocket medical expenses. (Some still stick to the old use-it-or-lose it deadline of December 31.)

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You probably know that you can use the money for co-payments and health-insurance deductibles. But there are plenty of other ways you can take advantage of FSA funds -- to pay for your kid's braces, for example. See 7 Smart Ways to Spend Flex Money.

Unfortunately, you can no longer use the pre-tax money in an FSA to pay for over-the-counter drugs (unless you have a doctor's prescription for them). As of January 1, 2011, insulin is the only nonprescription drug that can be paid for with flex-plan money. For more, see New Rules for Flexible Spending Accounts.

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