What is an FSA? (The full guide) - BuyFSA

What is an FSA? (The full guide)

Updated: 11/24/2022
Author: FSA Coach

What does FSA stand for?

FSA stands for Flexible Spending Account. An FSA is an income-tax-free health account provided through an employer. The account is used to spend on qualified products and services.

Each year, employees have the option to contribute to the account with pre-tax dollars that are deducted from each paycheck, spread throughout the plan year.

Example: If you contribute $2700 to your FSA, those dollars will be deducted from your biweekly payroll (over 27 pay periods). This means each paycheck will be reduced by $100 - but don't worry, this means you won't have to pay taxes on that money!


What is fsa eligible?

There are thousands of FSA eligible products and services that the IRS designates as qualified medical expenses — these products are considered fsa eligible. There is a private industry group that manages a list of eligible products and services and facilitates the use of FSA Card transactions to ensure eligible purchases with these accounts.Michael Bonfigli


How does fsa work?

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) are elective tax-free health accounts employees can contribute to with a qualifying health plan. Health plans will typically need to be PPO plans and not high deductible to qualify. Not only that, your employer has to sign up to offer the plans in the first place.

If an employer does offer the plan, be sure to check with HR to find out how you can sign up during open enrollment. The plans need to have a designated allocation of funds prior to the start of the plan year. All of these funds will be deposited directly into your account on day one of the year and will be proportionately deducted from each pay period throughout the year until it is fully paid back.


What does fsa eligible mean?

FSA eligible is a term used to identify products and services that qualify for use with a Flexible Spending Account. There are thousands of qualified expenses that range from doctor's visit and prescription copays to band-aids and blood pressure monitors.


What is the difference between HSA and FSA?

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) and Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are both income-tax-free health plans that are used for qualified medical expenses. FSAs are employer-owned accounts while HSAs are particpant-owned. FSAs are paired with a stand PPO health plan while HSAs must be paired with a high deductible health plan. FSAs expire each year while HSAs do not.

For a visual representation, check out this helpful FSA vs. HSA Comparison chart

What is the FSA contribution limit in 2023?

For the 2023 plan year, employees may contribute up to $3050 to their Flexible Spending Account. This is $200 more than 2022's limit of $2850. In 2021 the contribution limit was $2750. Each year there are increases, typically adjusting for inflation.




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