Burn out FSA funds....How to?

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Folks...

For the year 2008, I signed up for the FSA (Flex Spending Acct.) provided by the employer. Agreed to contribute $2k and its about time I use it or lose it! It turned out that the FSA was a limited purpose FSA - meaning it covers ONLY dental expenses.

Been fortunate on my dental care this year, so I've got left with close to $1.5K to use up from the FSA.

Any suggestions on how to legitimately make use of this available funds?

Thx in advance.

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Green for this. This would save so much of the administrative hassle/FSA games.

2stepsbehind (Feb. 05, 2009 @ 11:27a) |

Incorrect, the FSA is Pre Payroll Tax so it saves on the 7.65% you would normally pay in FICA taxes and it saves you on... (more)

Gman476 (Feb. 05, 2009 @ 7:28p) |

Good point...

but Yea they (the employer) also get to keep your unused funds. It's a scam.

glenatuf (Feb. 11, 2009 @ 4:57p) |

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averageiq said: Folks...

For the year 2008, I signed up for the FSA (Flex Spending Acct.) provided by the employer. Agreed to contribute $2k and its about time I use it or lose it! It turned out that the FSA was a limited purpose FSA - meaning it covers ONLY dental expenses.
Been fortunate on my dental care this year, so I've got left with close to $1.5K to use up from the FSA.

Any suggestions on how to legitimately make use of this available funds?

Thx in advance.

Never heard of this. Who told you this is restricted to dental? Was this disclosed in the plan document when you signed up?

Confirmed with the plan provider. Plan document also terms it "Limited Purpose FSA".

Start an eBay business reselling toothbrushes?

Hookers and blow. At the dentist's office, of course.

Thx in advance.
Never heard of this. Who told you this is restricted to dental? Was this disclosed in the plan document when you signed up?

Restricted FSA's do exist. They are typically for people who have HDHP plans or plans with an HSA. The HSA is used for medical so the IRS won't let you use the FSA plan for medical (double dipping)

While meeting the deductible of your High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP), eligible expenses for a limited health care FSA are for vision, dental and preventive care. Examples of common out-of-pocket expenses covered by a limited FSA include eye care, such as exams, LASIK surgery, eyeglasses and contact lenses for vision correction, and saline solution; orthodontia and dental work; preventive screenings and periodic health evaluations; prescription medicine for preventive care; and over-the-counter items for dental, vision and preventive care.

See if your dentist is willing to accept pre-payment for dental work in advance. He should be able to carry your payment as a credit on his books.

averageiq said: Folks...

For the year 2008, I signed up for the FSA (Flex Spending Acct.) provided by the employer. Agreed to contribute $2k and its about time I use it or lose it! It turned out that the FSA was a limited purpose FSA - meaning it covers ONLY dental expenses.

Been fortunate on my dental care this year, so I've got left with close to $1.5K to use up from the FSA.

Any suggestions on how to legitimately make use of this available funds?

Thx in advance.


Let me ask you if it is through Aetna?

nycll said: While meeting the deductible of your High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP), eligible expenses for a limited health care FSA are for vision, dental and preventive care. Examples of common out-of-pocket expenses covered by a limited FSA include eye care, such as exams, LASIK surgery, eyeglasses and contact lenses for vision correction, and saline solution; orthodontia and dental work; preventive screenings and periodic health evaluations; prescription medicine for preventive care; and over-the-counter items for dental, vision and preventive care.

Second all above, want to add over-the-counter bith control (condoms), first aid kits (very useful for car), blood presure monitors, body thermometers,bandaids, all over-the-counter medicine that you can find in the pharmacy (excluding vitamins and food supplements)

Humana

Thanks MoneyOCD

That gives me an idea of where to burn. Maybe the FSA eligible items mentioned in costco.com is worth a look. Gotta make sure the items fall under "preventive care"

Costco FSA

haha this is why i never understand why people put so much money into this?? My mother-in-law does $4,000 for her and her husband....they end up spending about $2,000 on worthless crap that they had to hurry up and buy at Walgreen's. Why not just not contribute and keep the $2,000 in your bank!

Assuming that they have enough extra to put $4k into their FSA accounts - lets say they get taxed at the 28% rate, hat $2k difference of crap they get to buy at walgreens would only be $1440 in their account - remember, FSA dollars are pretax


I'd rather have $2000 of condoms and lube than $1440 in a bank that's about to fail, personally

juliox said: I'd rather have $2000 of condoms and lube than $1440 in a bank that's about to fail, personally Well, you can keep the $1440 in the form of gold under your mattress if you choose. Or physical dollars, whatever.

juliox said: Assuming that they have enough extra to put $4k into their FSA accounts - lets say they get taxed at the 28% rate, hat $2k difference of crap they get to buy at walgreens would only be $1440 in their account - remember, FSA dollars are pretax


I'd rather have $2000 of condoms and lube than $1440 in a bank that's about to fail, personally
i know it's pretax.....but in the end they end up buying a bunch of random junk just to spend the money. Instead of buying $2,000 worth of toothpaste they can have $1440 in the bank!

i never understood FSA in first place . How can you closely estimate your medical expenses for next year ? What if you never got sick / visited doc at all .

manuvns said: i never understood FSA in first place . How can you closely estimate your medical expenses for next year ? What if you never got sick / visited doc at all .

It's perfect for people with chronic needs like Diabetes (i.e Insulin)

manuvns said: i never understood FSA in first place . How can you closely estimate your medical expenses for next year ? What if you never got sick / visited doc at all .

Quicken/yodlee/any expense tracking software.

never get sick? lol, then you don't sign up for it in the first place!

FSAs are good to use if you are getting something like braces or lasik where you can find out the costs beforehand. Otherwise, I think it's still nice to fund at least $100 to cover unexpected costs... or to use for FAR or CVS bonus bucks offers that come around from time to time.

To the OP. Too bad FSAs can't be used for teeth whitening... perhaps you need braces to use up that $1.5k? Or get a dentist to prescribe that you need an electric toothbrush

averageiq said: HumanaIs that part of the Human Fund?

manuvns said: i never understood FSA in first place . How can you closely estimate your medical expenses for next year ? What if you never got sick / visited doc at all .

Just 'estimate' what you know you'll spend. If you wear contacts, are going to get new glasses, have regular prescriptions, young kids (you will have several doctor visits between well child and sick visits), or chronic conditions requiring medical devices/supplies/medications, you can come up with a decent number. I think FSA is annoying, in that it's basically just getting the medical deduction on your 1040-Schedule A without meeting the 7.5% threshold. I'd rather they just removed the threshold and let us deduct medical expenses.

Some dentist will sell you electric toothbrushes and other cleaning tools. They get discounts from manufacturers so their prices could be competitive enough. You could probably buy a bunch of them and resale on eBay or pass around as gifts in your family. Make it BIN auctions to attract customers looking for live.com CashBack. After fees, you should probably get even, especially if you count the tax deduction that you got on the $1.5k.

Also check until what date you can have services done that will count towards this year's FSA. For our own plan, it covers service up until the end of February of the next year, with claims accepted until end of March. Gives you a couple extra months to deplete the FSA.

Otherwise, check into prepaying next year's expenses, get extra dental cleaning, x-rays so you don't have to do it next year, orthodontics, tooth whitening treatment, or what not.

Your dentist will have no problem using up the $1500, or at least mine wouldn't.

If you have a molar with a lot of fillings, espically deep ones, consider a crown.

averageiq said: Humana

Not sure about Humana, but Aetna also reimburse cost of humidifiers without doctors notes

MoneyOCD said: averageiq said: Humana
Not sure about Humana, but Aetna also reimburse cost of humidifiers without doctors notes
Is that in a limited FSA?

How about getting some gold front teeth installed?

Shandril said: Some dentist will sell you electric toothbrushes and other cleaning tools. They get discounts from manufacturers so their prices could be competitive enough. You could probably buy a bunch of them and resale on eBay or pass around as gifts in your family.
Illegal.

Also check until what date you can have services done that will count towards this year's FSA. For our own plan, it covers service up until the end of February of the next year, with claims accepted until end of March. Gives you a couple extra months to deplete the FSA.
Legal.

Otherwise, check into prepaying next year's expenses
Illegal.

Can you get your teeth bleached? Those treatments can be over $1,000 and who doesn't want whiter teeth??

Wow that really sucks. I had $600+ left over in mine and used it on a really expensive first aid kit in a nice pelican case. If we had room in the condo I would've went for exercise equipment.

nycll said: MoneyOCD said: averageiq said: Humana
Not sure about Humana, but Aetna also reimburse cost of humidifiers without doctors notes
Is that in a limited FSA?


Any FSA through Aetna. You need to file OTC form and put a keyword HUMIDIFIER on it, also send in receipt.
For fastest process:
Send all by fax.
Do not send too many receipts at the same time -it complicates processing.
Best way to do - send 1-2 receipts with 1 form in 1 fax.
If you want to send multiple forms- send in separate faxes.
Try to not fax on Monday, Wednesday is a better day for it.
NEVER use any highlighters on receipts (fax or mail).

GRILLZ--get some gold fronts yo.

I think the tooth whitening is the smart way to use it up. You can't prepay for future expenses, and what else can you really do at a dentist to use up $1500?

Teeth whitening isn't going to fly (legitimately, anyway). It's cosmetic.

fat419 said: Wow that really sucks. I had $600+ left over in mine and used it on a really expensive first aid kit in a nice pelican case. If we had room in the condo I would've went for exercise equipment.

Unfortunately, exercise equipment isn't covered as a FSA medical expense unless you get proof from a doctor that you need it due to a medical condition as physical therapy or because of morbid obesity - and even that is a far stretch.

Do you have a child that may need braces? Do you need braces?

manuvns said: i never understood FSA in first place . How can you closely estimate your medical expenses for next year ? What if you never got sick / visited doc at all .

Well just do it for the stuff you know you will use then. Like people know they have co payments, dental visits, x amount of over the counter drugs, glasses, contacts.

If you plan on having a child these things add up, and you know how much you gonna use roughly.


cclyde said: I think FSA is annoying, in that it's basically just getting the medical deduction on your 1040-Schedule A without meeting the 7.5% threshold. I'd rather they just removed the threshold and let us deduct medical expenses.

Green for this. This would save so much of the administrative hassle/FSA games.

Skipping 2 Messages...
Gman476 said: Incorrect, the FSA is Pre Payroll Tax so it saves on the 7.65% you would normally pay in FICA taxes and it saves you on income taxes by not having to meet the 7.5% AGI requirement. So overall its a much better deal!

The incentive to the employer is that he does not have to pay the 7.65% FICA match on your contribution nor does he have to pay unemployment tax on it.


Good point...

but Yea they (the employer) also get to keep your unused funds. It's a scam.



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