A Reminder to Your Team Members: Spend Down FSA, HRA Balances by Year’s End

As the end of the year nears, it's important for your team members to think about what to do with any remaining funds in their flexible spending account (FSA) and/or Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) account. For accounts with standard plan years, members should plan to spend most funds by the end of 2021 and make sure they can spend all funds by their claims filing deadline.

Your employees undoubtedly would appreciate a spend-down reminder, and that they can check their claims filing deadline within the Further Portal or by talking with you, their benefits administrator. (Now more than ever, no one wants to lose unspent money set aside for health care!)


The value of FSAs, HRAs: flexibility!

Participants can use funds on personal medical expenses and any medical dependent’s expenses. Purchasing eligible products can be a great way for your team members to spend down their remaining account balance.

Make sure employees know that there have been several changes to eligible expenses recently. The CARES Act of March 2020 expanded benefits by removing prescription requirements for several OTC drugs and medicines, and by adding feminine hygiene products to the list of eligible expenses. In March 2021, the IRS also added personal protective equipment (commonly known as “PPE”) to the 213(d) eligible expenses list.

Eligible expenses

Here is a list of some eligible expenses to help employees spend down their account balance:

·        Flu shots

·        Prescription sunglasses

·        Acupuncture

·        Sunscreen (30 SPF or higher)

·        Dental care

·        Cold, cough, and flu medicine

·        Tampons, pads, and liners *new addition

·        Masks *new addition

·        Hand sanitizer *new addition

·        Sanitizing wipes (not including baby wipes) *new addition

·        And much more!

Visit the Eligible Expenses page for a searchable list of IRS-approved expenses.


Helpful tips concerning FSAs and HRAs

Are your team members unsure what remaining money is in their account? Participants can check their current balance by signing into hellofurther.com, logging into the Further mobile app, or by calling customer service. Understanding exactly how much is left in the member’s account will help avoid any surprises at the end of the plan year.

Another helpful reminder for your team: Members can use their Further debit card to purchase eligible products on the Amazon FSA and HSA Store and pay directly with their remaining account balance.

Extend "Use it or Lose it"

Don’t forget that the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) of 2021 allows companies to amend their plan document until Dec. 31, 2022, for 2021 plan year changes. Benefits managers have the option to extend the “use it or lose it” deadline for the 2021 plan year. Note: This legislation is specific to FSA plans with rollover options and it is not mandatory. These are organizational-level choices that benefits managers can consider.

Specifics from the CAA that may be of interest for your organization include:

·        Plans may permit team members to carry over all unused FSA amounts from 2020 to 2021 and from 2021 to 2022.

·        Plans may permit a 12-month grace period for unused FSA benefits for plan years ending in 2020 or 2021.

·        Plans may allow medical FSA participants who terminate coverage during the 2020 or 2021 plan year to spend down their unused balances for expenses incurred through the end of the plan year in which the termination occurred.

·        Plans may allow a prospective change in election amounts for FSAs for plan years ending in 2021 without a corresponding change in status event.


If your team members have any questions about spending down their account, please have them contact customer service: 800-859-2144 or [email protected].

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