For those that use(d) FSA

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Neya
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2010 8:03 am

For those that use(d) FSA

#1 Post by Neya » Wed Dec 22, 2010 8:09 pm

Im curious about FSA's as I was always under the impression they worked like so:

1.You setup FSA with predetermined amount 2. you "save" the amount you want to spend within the FSA, As well as in cash 3. you spend the cash 4. submit receipt for reimbursement.

What I never understood was, for a big procedure (as in bracing) Someone might want to wait (and lose out on some saved in FSA) but also have to save the amount in case, because its a reimbursement.

However, from some of the posts I've seen it seems some FSA's dont work that way and pay (the future yearly allotment)right after you setup after enrollment since you're committed to 12months of deductions? Am I confused or reading that wrong? What happens if you lose your job?

WiredRunner
Posts: 49
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2010 4:49 pm
Location: Marietta, GA

Re: For those that use(d) FSA

#2 Post by WiredRunner » Wed Dec 22, 2010 8:45 pm

It's not really a reimbursement because you can use the money right after you set it up. The way it works is like this:

1. You elect how much to put in your FSA
2. As soon as your benefit year starts (for me it's June to May ... don't ask me why) you can use the full amount that you've elected
3. Payments come out of your pay check (before taxes) for a year to repay the amount you elected

I used most of mine up when I had my jaw surgery in July. Even if you use up all the funds and lose your job before the year is up you don't have to pay back the difference. Seems odd that it's set up that way but it is.

Also, I (and I assume most are this way) was issued a debit card that I can use to pay my medical/dental/etc bills. They may request at any time a copy of your receipts to verify what you're paying for but you don't necessarily have to pay out of pocket and then request to be reimbursed.

Hope this helps.
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Neya
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2010 8:03 am

Re: For those that use(d) FSA

#3 Post by Neya » Thu Dec 23, 2010 8:40 am

Thanks for the reply. That's actually very interesting and gives me some hope for lowering braces cost(pre tax) but also giving me the ability to save up for them.
The more I begin to learn about spending accounts the more I like them. It would be harder for me to set aside $xxx a month to save up a bulk amount, then to have it placed in a fsa where it couldn't be touched except for certain medical items.

plugnickel69
Posts: 526
Joined: Sun Dec 05, 2010 10:15 am

Re: For those that use(d) FSA

#4 Post by plugnickel69 » Thu Dec 23, 2010 5:59 pm

I've been dealing with this issue as I make my determination to go into braces. I have to sign up for my fsa by the end of December. In my case, I will save over 35% in taxes, so for a $5,000 plus orthodontic fee I will save over $1,750. It's a no brainer! You can also divide it into two years as long as you are being treated in those plan years. Good luck!

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Dilema
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Location: Florida

Re: For those that use(d) FSA

#5 Post by Dilema » Sat Dec 25, 2010 7:53 am

I work for a company that does FSA reimbursement, I process them on a daily basis.

WiredRunner was spot on..I always wondered why this isn't as popular as it should be, its a great way of saving a few hundreds or thousands of dollars.

This years end people actually used all of their FSA money, for the past few years I could tell you of thousands of people who would actually not use all of their money and therefore lose it. :shock:
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Neya
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Re: For those that use(d) FSA

#6 Post by Neya » Sat Dec 25, 2010 9:11 am

[quote="Dilema"]I work for a company that does FSA reimbursement, I process them on a daily basis.

WiredRunner was spot on..I always wondered why this isn't as popular as it should be, its a great way of saving a few hundreds or thousands of dollars.

This years end people actually used all of their FSA money, for the past few years I could tell you of thousands of people who would actually not use all of their money and therefore lose it. :shock:[/quote]

Thats on reason I never gave an FSA much consideration. I would be one of those people losing money. However, with a high expense medical (need) I know I could use it.

WiredRunner
Posts: 49
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Location: Marietta, GA

Re: For those that use(d) FSA

#7 Post by WiredRunner » Sun Dec 26, 2010 10:07 am

Neya wrote:Thats on reason I never gave an FSA much consideration. I would be one of those people losing money. However, with a high expense medical (need) I know I could use it.
With the new healthcare reform there are some changes to the FSA like you now need a doctor's prescription for things like advil (?!) but there are lots of things you can use your funds for (copayments, contacts/eyeglasses, supplies that go with like saline, bandaids, etc) not just big medical expenditures. It's not terribly difficult to use up all of your funds as long as you don't have thousands left over at the end of the year.
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trampswife
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Re: For those that use(d) FSA

#8 Post by trampswife » Sun Dec 26, 2010 6:00 pm

The new reform stuff makes it slightly more difficult to know what you can and can't use your FSA on. OTC things can longer just be purchased. We always used the rest of ours up on kids tylenol, motrin, cold meds, etc. As well as on first aid kits. Good things to have on hand with kids. Things are alittle different now, but you should still get a list of dos and don'ts from your FSA administrators. Braces and related are definate yeses. Not sure about contact solutions, etc. I hope so...

dangerdude
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Re: For those that use(d) FSA

#9 Post by dangerdude » Mon Dec 27, 2010 2:07 pm

With my company, 3k used to be the limit for singles. It looks like I can do 5k now. I had set aside 3k but I should have done the full 5k. I only went to the ortho/periodontist consultation after the enrollment period. I'll need about 7k worth of work.

Enrolling also lowers your tax bracket right?

Jan 1 - Dec 31 is our period. We have to submit our receipts via fax to the reimbursement company. We get no debt type cards.

2 years ago, I went on a shopping spree a few days before Dec 31. I had tons of money left over, around 1k I think. I bought tons of stuff at Target, Walmart, Costco and Amazon. Security staff at Target made a few passes by me and I'm sure the cameras were on me seeing as how I was just throwing stuff in my basket at the pharmacy isle. Shoe insoles, knee braces, cough drops, Vicks steam inhaler, etc were good ol stuff you could buy. Who do I curse at for these changes?

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Dilema
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Location: Florida

Re: For those that use(d) FSA

#10 Post by Dilema » Mon Dec 27, 2010 4:57 pm

WiredRunner wrote:
Neya wrote:Thats on reason I never gave an FSA much consideration. I would be one of those people losing money. However, with a high expense medical (need) I know I could use it.
With the new healthcare reform there are some changes to the FSA like you now need a doctor's prescription for things like advil (?!) but there are lots of things you can use your funds for (copayments, contacts/eyeglasses, supplies that go with like saline, bandaids, etc) not just big medical expenditures. It's not terribly difficult to use up all of your funds as long as you don't have thousands left over at the end of the year.
yes, starting 01/01/2011 OTC medicine will require a physicians statement, advil, tylenol, etc
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Dilema
Posts: 118
Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2010 8:39 am
Location: Florida

Re: For those that use(d) FSA

#11 Post by Dilema » Mon Dec 27, 2010 5:01 pm

trampswife wrote:The new reform stuff makes it slightly more difficult to know what you can and can't use your FSA on. OTC things can longer just be purchased. We always used the rest of ours up on kids tylenol, motrin, cold meds, etc. As well as on first aid kits. Good things to have on hand with kids. Things are alittle different now, but you should still get a list of dos and don'ts from your FSA administrators. Braces and related are definate yeses. Not sure about contact solutions, etc. I hope so...
First aid kits will still be eligible, as will eye lubrication etc

its OTC meds that treat pain or cure allergy, fever...
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Dilema
Posts: 118
Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2010 8:39 am
Location: Florida

Re: For those that use(d) FSA

#12 Post by Dilema » Mon Dec 27, 2010 5:04 pm

dangerdude wrote:With my company, 3k used to be the limit for singles. It looks like I can do 5k now. I had set aside 3k but I should have done the full 5k. I only went to the ortho/periodontist consultation after the enrollment period. I'll need about 7k worth of work.

Enrolling also lowers your tax bracket right?

Jan 1 - Dec 31 is our period. We have to submit our receipts via fax to the reimbursement company. We get no debt type cards.

2 years ago, I went on a shopping spree a few days before Dec 31. I had tons of money left over, around 1k I think. I bought tons of stuff at Target, Walmart, Costco and Amazon. Security staff at Target made a few passes by me and I'm sure the cameras were on me seeing as how I was just throwing stuff in my basket at the pharmacy isle. Shoe insoles, knee braces, cough drops, Vicks steam inhaler, etc were good ol stuff you could buy. Who do I curse at for these changes?
read my previous comments

insole and knee braces still eligible

we sent out info to every participant, when you enroll you should get the docs soon in the mail..
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