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Old 10-05-2012, 02:15 PM   #31
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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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Old 10-05-2012, 03:13 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by lisaross View Post
I used mine for the Ortho this year for my son. I am on a payment plan and pay 100.00 per month so i knew for my FSA account that i would be spending atleast 1200 on visits. I have a debit card from the FSA and each month i use that to pay at the visit. The first few times i needed to send in the receipt but not anymore...

For 2013 i will find out how much i still owe and be sure to take out that much for the year plus other dr. visits medicine etc.
This is exactly how mine work with ortho.

Always keep your receipts. I never have been asked to submit a receipt for doctor office copays, but I always have to submit receipts from the dentist.
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Old 10-05-2012, 03:34 PM   #33
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How convenient your plan is depends on how it's set up. My plan has no debit card--I have to save receipts and fax them in. Also, unlike some other posters, I can't get reimbursed for the money until it's been taken out of my paycheck. As long as the expense is covered in the right year (mine goes July to June), it can be reimbursed, but I have to wait till the money has been pulled.
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Old 10-05-2012, 05:12 PM   #34
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I'll be honest I hate my FSA account and will not be signing up for it again in 2013 I will just have $100.00 per paycheck put into my credit union account. It is great that it's a pretax deduction, and I love that on January 1st I have the whole amount that I pledged to put in. And sure it's really convienent that I have a card that I can just swipe.

But here's why I hate it... it's a federal regulation that every so often the company that controls your FSA account has to require a receipt or EOB for what you used the card for. That's cool, I can do that, my company even lets you send it in online or fax it. However, three of the ones that I sent in this year they have declined for various reason. These were doctors appointment! I did not go to walgreens and spend $1000.00 on cold medicine, I had surgery on my wrist, and used my card for the doctor bills. And they are saying that I either overpaid (2 of them I had to go to my Doctor and dispute the charges ), or for my dentist appointment they said that I needed to send the part that I used my card for through my helath insurance. Seriously? So now I have not gotten back to them fast enough... and now my FSA card is frozen and I can't use it to pay for my remaining hospital bills!!!

So yes they are great for some things, but beware of getting those charges that you need to reconcile taken care of or they will freeze your account.
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Old 10-05-2012, 07:28 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by mistysue View Post
That makes a lot of sense, must be why they dropped that max. Especially with the higher percentage of income spent required to be able to deduct medical that is going to raise tons of money. Even just your family, and if we assume a 15% tax bracket after adding SS that is $675 in taxes. Now do that a million times.
I think that's right. It used to be one could deduct out-of-pocket health care expenses if they exceeded 7.5% of one's income, that is going up to 10%. Between that and cutting the amount that can be set aside in an FSA, some sick people are definitely going to be paying higher taxes.
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Old 11-15-2012, 03:08 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by SC Minnie View Post
We can also use ours for dependent care such as child day care. Some people here have used the FSA for Lasik surgery and the amounts not covered for glasses or dental work if they knew those expenses were going the be coming.

As zurgswife said be mindful of how much you decide to put in there. If you have anything left at the end of the year you lose it. It doesn't roll over and you can't get it back.
We max ours out every year and used it for childcare before I started working from home and now we use it for doctor visits and glasses if we need them. If you're afraid of the use it or lose it rule just make sure you watch what you'll be spending. Anything we don't spend by the end of the pay period we'll blow through on http://fsastore.com/ on non-perishable items. I definitely suggest you tale advantage of it. Your FSA can save you a TON of cash if you do your homework.
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:15 PM   #37
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We had an FSA which could be used for most everything. This year however we have an HSA and FSA. Now the FSA can only be used for dental and vision. You just need to read te plan before signing up and it is use or lose...
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:41 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by SplashMo
We had an FSA which could be used for most everything. This year however we have an HSA and FSA. Now the FSA can only be used for dental and vision. You just need to read te plan before signing up and it is use or lose...
I never heard of an FSA that cold only be used for dental and vision. I thought the IRS set the rules on eligible purchases.
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:58 PM   #39
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There is a healthcare fsa, a dependent care fsa and there is also a hsa. Depending on what kind of medical plan you have determines if you are eligible for a hsa. If you aren't you can use your healthcare fsa for any eligible medical expense. There is a limit of 2500 that you can contribute per year.
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Old 11-15-2012, 07:04 PM   #40
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We hate are ours. We are not signing up next year. If you don't use the money in the account you loose it. Unless you have a health savings plan that is completely different.
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