There is no crystal ball to predict when you’ll get sick or what medical bills will follow. But you can be better prepared to handle the health care costs you can see coming: co-payments for doctor visits and prescriptions, new contact lenses and glasses, and teeth cleaning, to name a few. Simply stash pre-tax dollars in a health care flexible spending account (FSA) at work—and then spend the money wisely before the annual deadline. Here’s how to make the most of this perk.

The Case for Signing Up

With an FSA, you can pay for medical expenses for you, your spouse, children under 27, and other dependents. While 87% of employers with 500 or more workers offer the benefit, only 21% of eligible employees take advantage of it.

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