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Old 10-05-2012, 01:15 PM   #31
FlyingBelle
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 1,771

I have 3 accounts that I use - the rules probably vary state, insurance plans, and company - so have a discussion with your benefits contact!

HSA - Health spending account
I use this primarily to cover co-pays for my family's doctor, dentist, and eye visits, as well as co-pays for prescriptions. I figure out how many well-visits each family member needs (I have a baby, so he goes for about 4 a year), as well as a few emergency room co-pays (that's $100 a pop!), and put a little cushion for miscellaneous. This year it covered DH's glasses. I always come up a little short than what I planned for - but that's ok because it's better than having too much. My insurance changed this year - so doctor co-pays and prescription co-pays automatically get reimbursed to my checking account, but I have to pay for them up front. For the glasses - I had to fax the information in and wait a few weeks for reimbursement.

FSA - childcare
This works great to cover pre-school costs! I pay upfront each month, and every quarter I submit the receipt for reimbursement.

FSA - commuter benefit
I take a train to work everyday - so my workplace has a commuter benefit flexible spending account - this is saving me over $1200/year! For this one I get a debit card that gets loaded each month with the cost of my train ticket, taken out of my check pre-tax. Then I just buy my ticket with the debit card. If I had to pay for parking, it would cover that too (I get dropped off at the train). It's flexible enough that I can change the amount if I'm going to be on vacation or something and only want to purchase a 10-ride instead of the monthly pass.
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