I started a new job on February 2, 2015. But my plan year starts on October 1, 2014 and goes until September 30, 2015. I had a doctors visit that I will have to pay completely for because I was not covered under my previous insurance plan during a small weekend gap. The date of service was January 31, 2015. I am currently paying into my FSA at a higher rate than normally since it is not spread out over 26 payments due to me starting the FSA late into the plan year.

Is it possible to legally pay for the non-insurance covered services with FSA funds covered under my current plan year (Oct 2014-Sep 2015) even if the service (Jan 31, 2015) was conducted prior to me being covered under my current benefit plan (started on Feb 2, 2015)?

  • Rereading... assuming your FSA is with your new employer, its start date would be the same as your employment start date or later, I imagine - so not really oct 2014?
    – Joe
    May 18, 2015 at 18:47
  • @Joe: Yes, that is correct. May 18, 2015 at 19:56

1 Answer 1


No, you cannot use funds in your FSA to reimburse events that occurred prior to the FSA coverage period (even though the FSA plan year begins prior to your start date, the date which you began coverage through the FSA controls when you can be reimbursed). This is specific to the date the medical care occurred, not the date you paid for it.

This will not necessarily be identical to your health insurance coverage dates, although for most people covered through their employers it is.

See the IRS information page on FSAs and similar plans. The specific quote:

Generally, distributions from a health FSA must be paid only to reimburse you for qualified medical expenses you incurred during the period of coverage. You must be able to receive the maximum amount of reimbursement (the amount you have elected to contribute for the year) at any time during the coverage period, regardless of the amount you have actually contributed. The maximum amount you can receive tax free is the total amount you elected to contribute to the health FSA for the year.

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