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What is a flexible spending account (FSA) in health care?

ANSWER

An FSA is a special tax arrangement that you set up with your employer. An FSA allows you to set aside money out of your paycheck before taxes so you don't have to pay tax on it. You can use this money to pay for medical expenses that are not covered by your health insurance plan.

You may use FSA money to pay for:

In most cases, you will lose the money if you don't use the FSA funds within the year.

  • Copayments or deductibles
  • Drugs or medical devices not covered by insurance

SOURCES:

National Association of Insurance Commissioners: "Glossary of Health Insurance and Medical Terms."

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: "Definitions of Health Insurance Terms."

Healthinsurance.org: "Health Insurance Glossary."

U.S. News and World Report: "Health Insurance Definitions."

HealthCare.gov   "Glossary, COBRA," "Glossary Health Savings Account," "The Health Insurance Marketplace," "Children's Pre-existing Conditions."

California Department of Insurance: "COBRA."

Reviewed by Sarah Goodell on February 16, 2018

SOURCES:

National Association of Insurance Commissioners: "Glossary of Health Insurance and Medical Terms."

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: "Definitions of Health Insurance Terms."

Healthinsurance.org: "Health Insurance Glossary."

U.S. News and World Report: "Health Insurance Definitions."

HealthCare.gov   "Glossary, COBRA," "Glossary Health Savings Account," "The Health Insurance Marketplace," "Children's Pre-existing Conditions."

California Department of Insurance: "COBRA."

Reviewed by Sarah Goodell on February 16, 2018

NEXT QUESTION:

What is a health savings account (HSA) in health care?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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