• Flexible spending accounts: If you don't have one, you should

    By: Jason Stoogenke

    Updated:

    You could be paying less for heathcare products and services and don't even realize it.

    When you have a flexible spending account (FSA), the government doesn't tax part of your salary.

    [ALSO READ: 9 ways to spend your remaining FSA dollars]

    You get to keep each of those dollars to spend on medical expenses.  And that covers more than just medicines, doctor visits and surgery.  


    You may need a letter of medical necessity or a prescription, but FSAs can cover:

    • Air filters
    • Breathalyzers
    • Service animals
    • Health club memberships
    • Massage therapy
    • Lawyer bills for fertility treatments
    • Mattresses
    • Swimming pools
    • Weight-loss programs
    • Wigs

    And the list goes on.  

    If you don't have an FSA, you may be paying about 30% more for the exact same things.  You're basically choosing to pay more in taxes than you have to.

    Millie Aponte is the benefits manager for The Employers Association. The group manages FSAs for about 300 companies.

    [ALSO READ: Patient thanks Action 9 for helping wipe away thousands in medical debt]

    "To me, it's a no-brainer because these are expenses that you're having, these are out-of-pocket expenses that you're incurring so why not save taxes on it," she told Action 9's Jason Stoogenke. 

    Charlotte resident Krystyna Morozova admits she and her friends don't always take advantage of those benefits.  

    "As younger people, we usually tend to not appreciate those little things as much," she told Stoogenke.

    The only catch is you don't want to take out more money than you'll spend. Some may roll over to the next year, but plan wisely.

    You can find the IRS' official list of what qualifies as medical and dental expenses here.

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