5 Ways to save on everyday healthcare items and avoid losing money to the March 15 flexible spending account (FSA) grace period deadline

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Consumers can reduce taxable income by 30% or more by contributing to and using tax-free FSA dollars for everyday healthcare expenses

According to proprietary data from Health-E Commerce, 37% of people with a grace period deadline still forfeit funds because they aren’t aware of their deadline or they do not know how they can use their funds.

An important deadline is drawing near for many of the more than 30 million Americans who are enrolled in flexible spending accounts (FSAs): The March 15 grace period deadline. This optional deadline extension offered by employers gives individuals and families who had a December 31, 2022 FSA deadline until March 15, 2023 to continue to spend down funds from their 2022 benefits plan year. Unfortunately, according to proprietary data from Health-E Commerce, 37% of people with a grace period deadline still forfeit funds because they aren’t aware of their deadline or they do not know how they can use their funds.

What is the FSA grace period? The grace period is an optional FSA deadline extension that employers can offer to help employees avoid forfeiting FSA funds by giving them extra time to spend down funds from the previous plan year. For benefits plans that run on a calendar year, the FSA grace period deadline is March 15. However, for benefit plans that do not renew on January 1, the grace period is 2.5 months after the end of their plan year. For example, if the plan year ends on March 31, the grace period deadline will be June 15.

As the parent brand to FSA Store – the first and largest online marketplace that sells only items that are eligible for purchase with FSA funds – Health-E Commerce shares the following five ways that consumers can save on everyday healthcare items, reduce their taxable income, and avoid losing FSA money to a missed deadline.

Additional FSA extension options to know. In addition to the grace period, consumers should be aware of two additional extensions that employers may offer. It’s important to note that all FSA extensions are optional and determined by the employer.

  • Carryover. The FSA carryover allowed those who had the extension to carry over up to $570 in unused FSA funds from 2022 to 2023. For carryovers in 2023, that amount increases to $610. Note that those with an FSA carryover feature do not have a grace period, and vice versa, as only one of the two is allowed.
  • Runout Period. The FSA run-out period gives account holders up to three months following the last day of the plan year to continue to submit receipts and claims for qualified expenses that were incurred during the FSA plan year. For FSA participants with a plan year that ended on December 31, 2022, the last day of their FSA run-out period would be on March 31, 2023. These account holders have until March 31, 2023 to submit claims for expenses incurred by or before December 31, 2022.

To learn what’s eligible and spend down remaining funds, explore the searchable eligibility list at FSA Store, and use interactive calculators that help budget and plan future expenses. FSA Store also offers Deadline Alerts, which help consumers stay in front of important dates, so they never miss a deadline again.


About Health-E Commerce
Health-E Commerce is the parent brand to FSA Store, HSA Store and WellDeservedHealth, a family of online marketplaces that serve the 70+ million consumers enrolled in pre-tax health and wellness accounts. The company also created Caring Mill, a popular private-label line of health products that benefits Children’s Health Fund and enables customers to make a donation with each purchase. Since 2010, the Health-E Commerce brands have led7 the direct-to-consumer e-commerce market for exclusively pre-tax health and wellness benefits. Health-E Commerce plays an essential role in expanding product eligibility for important new categories within the list of eligible medical expenses.

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Barbara Tabor
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