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Medical FSA and dependent care FSA trends you should know

Posted August 4, 2022

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Flexible spending accounts (FSAs) have long been a staple of employee benefits offerings. But how well do you know how your employees are using their medical FSA or dependent care FSA

In the final blog post of my series featuring benefit trends at WEX, we shine a light on a few FSA trends that might help you as you prepare for open enrollment and communications around your FSA. 

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Medical FSA trends

General-purpose medical FSA purchases are categorized within the WEX benefits platform. From a high level, here’s how medical FSA funds were spent in 2021: 

  • Medical expenses: 42%
  • Dental: 20%
  • Pharmacy: 18%
  • Vision: 14%
  • Other: 5%

More specifically, a medical FSA covers hundreds of eligible expenses. A few of the more frequent expenses medical FSA funds were spent on in 2021 are: 

  • Orthodontists: 14%
  • Drug stores/pharmacies: 13.7%
  • Optometrists/opthalmologists: 5.8%
  • Opticians/optical goods/eyeglasses: 5.7%
  • Chiropractic: 1.7%

Dependent FSA trends

The COVID-19 pandemic ushered in some big changes to our lifestyles that affected FSAs, including our need for daycare and other dependent care-related services. As a result, dependent care FSA average contributions declined in 2020. However, within the WEX benefits platform, we saw a rebound in average contributions in 2021. Here are the last five years: 

 

Year Avg. contribution
2021 $2,653.09
2020 $2,442.58 
2019 $2,636.34
2018 $2,704.89
2017 $2,678.40

Want more benefits trends? 

Check out our: 

Check out our episode of Benefits Buzz as we talk through these FSA trends and others we learned.

 

 

The information in this blog post is for educational purposes only. It is not legal or tax advice. For legal or tax advice, you should consult your own counsel. 

WEX receives compensation from some of the merchants identified in its blog posts. By linking to these products, WEX is not endorsing these products. 

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