Flexible spending arrangements are set up by employers to allow employees to set aside pre-tax money to pay for qualified medical expenses during the year. Only employers may set up an account, and employers may or may not contribute to the account. Also, there may be a limit on the amount that employers and employees can contribute to a health flexible spending arrangement.
Health flexible spending arrangements can be offered in conjunction with any type of health insurance plan, or they can be offered on a stand-alone basis. In the past, health flexible spending arrangements were subject to a use-it-or-lose-it rule. Now, employers may give employees a 2-½ month grace period at the end of the plan year to use up funds in the account. After that time, remaining funds from the previous plan year are forfeited. If you have a flexible health spending arrangement, you should try to anticipate your health care expenses for the coming year to avoid losing any money that you contribute and don't spend.
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