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I allocated a lot of money this year for the Flexible spending account as we were planning to have a baby this year. Well, it did not work quite well as I thought. I am left with money in the account which I am going to lose if I do not use by end of this year.

Any suggestions on how I can use this money wisely or any loopholes to get the money from my FSA account ? Much appreciated in advance for your replies !!!!!

How about Lasik? <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif" border=0> Prescription sunglasses, new glasses, and other vision things are also popular choices, but if those aren't an option, you could stock up on over-the-counter drugs!

Contact lenses, dental work, stock up on prescriptions.

Anything expensive and returnable? Maybe non-prescription sunglasses?

I recall FSAs allowed for fairly broad spending, like for things like acupuncture and massage. I've may have a similar problem as OP. Hey cybertechie - want to trade expensive massage sessions? (No, not that kind of massage sessions!)

Lenscrafter has a 30 day return period....no questions asked.

Erm..Cough

over the counter medication is eligible this year. you may stock up (and maybe return) some costco sized tylenol?

Someone asked a similar question last year this time. You may want to search the archives.

Also if you set up the FSA account for childcare it may not be the same thing as an FSA account for medical expenses. Talk to your program admin person to be sure.

If you are in a hurry to conceive and want some medical help, you can use your FSA money for visits to the hospital.

Last year I bought a LOT of contact lense solution...

and I just dropped $50 on cough medicines for my family since we all got sick recently (yay).

mrbean said: [Q]Someone asked a similar question last year this time. You may want to search the archives.

Also if you set up the FSA account for childcare it may not be the same thing as an FSA account for medical expenses. Talk to your program admin person to be sure.

If you are in a hurry to conceive and want some medical help, you can use your FSA money for visits to the hospital.

childcare and medical are 2 separate pockets. i assumed op meant the medical reiumbursements only.

also, you may order prescritption glasses for over the internet. there are many that do not verify prescription with your optometrist. maybe you and your dad have same rx wink wink.

Pick up discarded receipts outside a pharmacy.

cybertechie said: [Q]as we were planning to have a baby this year. Well, it did not work quite well as I thought.Fertility drugs ?

Follow up on the ending date for your FSA. Mine can actually still be used through March 31, 2005 rather than the end of 2004.

my thoughts exactly.


miserly said: [Q]childcare and medical are 2 separate pockets. i assumed op meant the medical reiumbursements only.

I was not sure which one OP set aside money for, before or after child birth, as he only mentioned planning to have a child this year.
Thanks for confirming they are diffrent things.

ucsdgaspasser said: [Q]Pick up discarded receipts outside a pharmacy.
LOL.
Try rx drugs w/ high street value. Or buy lots of OTC sudafed & resell to meth labs.
joking, of course. <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif" border=0>
If you are no longer planning on baby, stock up on B/C!

You probably would not have had to put money in at the beginning of the year for the planned birth of a child. At my company, if we have a life changing event during the year (of which birth of child is one), we are able to change our FSA contributions during the year.

At least on my FSA, I'm able to get reimbursed for the mileage to your Doc's office. Dunno if that works for mileage to the pharmacy or not. Check with your plan administrator if you can do this. May not be much (but then again, my wife has to travel 120miles round-trip to her allergist...that can add up!)

-Mike

ucsdgaspasser said: [Q]Pick up discarded receipts outside a pharmacy.

A lot to be said for this, don't forget to fish in the shopping carts outside - a lot of people just leave them. And you can always ask friends/relatives for otc receipts.

I was reading more about eligible items. In additional to most OTC drugs that treat symptoms (aspirin, cold meds, etc), I also found that first aid supplies, sunscreen, and birth control qualify. Stock up on some condoms and/or birth control pills for a good new year <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif" border=0>. In other reading, I found that while most expenses for treatment count as the date when the care is received, for orthodontics a prepayment/deposit counts at the time it is paid. Regarding eyeglasses, I could not tell if non-prescription sunglasses would be eligible, although prescription ones would be.

Actually, some FSA administrators do not require a receipt for every single thing you are asking to get reimbursed. So just "estimate" here and there.

xerty said: [Q]I also found that first aid supplies, sunscreen, and birth control qualify.

Don't forget pregnancy tests qualify if you don't want to use birth control.

Drugstore.com has an FSA store. For $95 you can get a cool cholesterol checker device!

Cybertechie: That sucks to possibly lose money on this. We're in the opposite situation. We had a baby this year that we weren't planning on when I had to do the paperwork last fall. Although I could amend my contributions when the baby was born, the plan administrator told me that only those charges that occur following the beginning of the next month will be reimbursable with the additional dollars allocated to the FSA. So charges related to the birth can't be covered. Sucks.

With regard to your original question, as others have said you may be able to collect up receipts from friends or parking lots for OTC drugs. If our birth-related doctor and hospital bills didn't have personally identifying information on them, I'd be happy to send them to you. That would have probably cleared out your account pretty quickly.

manuel said: [Q]ucsdgaspasser said: [Q]Pick up discarded receipts outside a pharmacy.

A lot to be said for this, don't forget to fish in the shopping carts outside - a lot of people just leave them. And you can always ask friends/relatives for otc receipts.

Good suggestion.

I don't know if you have already spent everything but here is something I wound up doing a few years ago. Granted I only had about $400 left compared to what you may have. I went to my eyeglass place and while I wasn't ready for new glasses yet, they charged me and now I have a credit with them. I have been using it little by little.

Allergies? Buy some dust-mite proof bedding (I recently posted a deal on this @JCPenney). Perhaps new running shoes? A gym membership - now's a good time to get one before prices skyrocket in Jan.

must have Dr's prescription for those.

Our MSA has reimbursed this year for all those things without requiring a RX.

StuffedMonkey said: [Q]Follow up on the ending date for your FSA. Mine can actually still be used through March 31, 2005 rather than the end of 2004.

Be careful of the language -- most end on a calendar year, and you have until the end of March the following year to CLAIM expenses IN 2004. But they must be incurred in 2004 to qualify -- you just have some leeway in getting the claim to FSA administrators in.

If we use the EOB from dental insurance company to reimburse FSA account but the patient's responsibility is actually waived or reduced by the doctor. Will this pose any potential issue for that doctor if he is audit by IRS. Will FSA admin report to IRS this amount of reimbursement as income of that doctor?

<img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-cool.gif" border=0>

StuffedMonkey said: [Q]Follow up on the ending date for your FSA. Mine can actually still be used through March 31, 2005 rather than the end of 2004. I don't think so. You can't submit 2005 expenses against a 2004 FSA. More likely is that you have until March 31, 2005 to submit receipts from calendar year 2004

Just in case you don't know:

you can claim 14c/mile for all eligible mileage, doctors, pharmacy, etc. Take your time to think back and write them down, $200 - $500 a year for me.

ellory said: [Q]StuffedMonkey said: [Q]Follow up on the ending date for your FSA. Mine can actually still be used through March 31, 2005 rather than the end of 2004. I don't think so. You can't submit 2005 expenses against a 2004 FSA. More likely is that you have until March 31, 2005 to submit receipts from calendar year 2004

I second that, (or is that third(ed)?), ours are worded almost the same way. You have up to March 31, 2005 to claim expenses for 2004 only.

Check up on what the FSA provider will allow to be credited back to you. The FSA I have won't allow sunscreens even when it's necessary for someone with sun-sensitive skin. Prescription sunglasses are usually allowed. Just load up on a crapload of contact lens stuff from Amazon or some other place where you can get CashBack.

Or here's an idea... buy a bunch of contact lens solution from CostCo. Get reimbursed for it. Then return the items later since CostCo has a very generous return policy. I wonder if that works?



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