If you've been putting off visiting the doctor, the balance of your pre-tax medical savings account may have you scrambling to make an appointment. But the rush may not be necessary because I learned you could have more time to spend your money than you think.
Louis McDermott with the Washington State Health Care Authority says only Flex Spending Accounts have the "use-it-or-lose-it" policy. But the deadline may not be the end of the year. The government offers a grace period and it's up to your employer to honor it.
"You have until March 15 to utilize the funds. So basically, your date of service, when you actually have the service and pay for the item, can be up until March 15 and then you have an additional two weeks to get all your receipts and documentation," explained McDermott.
Just last week the IRS announced another option for Flex Accounts. Businesses can choose to let employees roll over $500 per year, but they have to decide between the options.
"If somebody had a $1,000 in their FSA by January, they could still spend it if they were within the grace period. If they were in the rollover, that grace period is eliminated. You basically have a year to spend and then up to $500 will roll over," said McDermott.
Check with your employer to see how they’re handling changes because the rollover option could be made available for the 2013 plan year. And you don't want to feel rushed when making a decision about your healthcare.