FSAs Can Save You Money on Back-to-School Expenses

NTEU is reminding our members that you can save money on back-to-school expenses by using your flexible spending account (FSA).

FSAs allow employees to set aside money from their paychecks before it is taxed to pay for out-of-pocket medical and dependent care expenses. Annual savings could reach into the thousands of dollars, depending on an employee’s tax bracket and the amount of money set aside.

Whether your child is in a classroom or learning remotely, many childcare-related expenses are eligible for reimbursement from your Health Care FSA (HCFSA). Eligible medical services include physical exams, vaccinations, and dental and vision exams. There is a long list of products covered by FSAs, including first-aid kits, reading glasses, contact lenses, over-the-counter medication and certain sunscreens.

Federal employees enrolled in a Dependent Care FSA (DCFSA) can also save money this fall on before- and after-school care, babysitting and nanny expenses. Enrollees can also change their DCFSA if their childcare provider needs to be updated. Find out which expenses you are eligible for with FSA’s eligible expenses list.

Enrollees should also keep in mind changes announced in July to the grace period and carryover amounts for certain FSAs in response to the coronavirus crisis. You can learn more here:

If you are not currently enrolled in a FSA, you will have a chance to participate next year during the Federal Benefits Open Season, which runs from Nov. 9 to Dec. 14.