At the beginning of this year I decided to set up a Flexible Spending Account with my employer for $200 a year. This means that each paycheck pre-taxed dollars are set aside into an account. If I purchase health products, including any prescriptions or over-the-counter medicine,
I have already submitted for and been reimbursed for the $500 I set it up for. Of course I am expecting my second child so my expenses are going to be high. I actually ended up losing $96 last year that I didn’t claim. That sucked but this year I am good.
I don’t have one but my mom does and if something unexpected comes up it’s a godsend. 200 dollars isn’t much and it’s nice to know that if you do need serious medicine or something big, at least you will get most of your money back!
I feared that I would just lose the money, so I didn’t set one up. In fact, I didn’t buy ANY medication last year with the exception of $8 for pain killers when I had my wisdom teeth removed.
The way that I figured it was that the amount of time that it would take to submit the reimbursements would negative the pre-tax savings FOR ME, since I am single and healthy.
However, for someone who has known medication costs or a family, I could see it being a worthwhile endeavor.
FSAs are great!
Have you gotten a debit card yet? That way, you don’t need to put in for a reimbursement everytime you buy something — you just use the debit card and the money is deducted automatically.
Not for nothing, I am pretty sure that the plan you outlined would violate the law
Hm, really? I wasn’t literally going to buy $200 worth of medicine and then return it the next day. But I guess I assumed it is my money to begin with, and if I want to return the items I could.
I love having mine. Everytime I buy tums, benadryl, prescriptions, cold medecine, or go to the doctor. I don’t have to work about how to come up with the money. I’ve almost spend all of mine and it’s only April! I also contribute a small amount – $300.
I’m not a new reader, but this is my first time commenting.
I love having an FSA. While I was in college, I didn’t exactly keep up with my doctors and dentist appointments so I’m playing catch up now. I’ve allocated $2400 for the year and I’ve used $500 already. At the end of the year, I’ll just take the list of approved items with me and and stock up on OTC stuff.
I don’t think I would love mine like I do if I didn’t have the debit card though.
Don’t forget to claim all the contact solution you use each month. This is part of the “medication” covered by the usual FSA. Double check your list of covered expenses.
Also, I’d hold off on maxing out your FSA right now. If you haven’t used it all by mid December (unforeseen stuff happens), then stock up on contact solution and other things you use that are covered so that you don’t lose the money. Then reevaluate the dollar amount you set aside next year.