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Yes, I know an FSA is usually a terrible vehicle due to the "use it or lose it" clause, but I felt confident putting in $1,500 for 2009 since I had planned to have laser eye surgery. Using pretax money seemed like a great idea of course.

I did have my surgery last month, but to my amazement my health insurance company covered the procedure 100% since it was deemed medically necessary. I was shocked!

Well, now I still have $1,200 left to spend before 12/31/09. I never visit the doctor outside of the opthamologist nor take any prescription drugs.

I can't think of any alternatives other than buying a bunch of OTC medical stuff and reselling it. Any other ideas? What kinds of products might I recover a decent amount of my money by reselling?

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you are making me feel bad.

diamente (Jul. 18, 2009 @ 1:11a) |

I don't have control what chiropractor charges the insurance. The chiropractor charges $6 copay but files like $200 fee ... (more)

diamente (Jul. 18, 2009 @ 1:14a) |

i don't know. The chiropractor billed my insurance company -Blue Cross Blue Shields. Later a statement came to me shows ... (more)

diamente (Jul. 18, 2009 @ 1:27a) |

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illegal.

Get your yellow teeth whitened.

there was a FSA thread. I believe someone has mentioned that you can spend $800 on a rayban sunglasses in costco.

get yourself two pairs, then claim your $1,200 reimbursement, then return. profit!

buy OTC medications

I was in this situation last year. Went to WalMart, purchased $450 dollars worth of medical stuff (Blood pressure monitors, a couple of them), etc. Also purchased blood sugar level measuring machine. After submitting claim to FSA went back to WalMart and returned everything. One problem - WalMart doesn't accept returns on blood sugar level equipment. Lesson learned there - don't buy it to return it.

In any case you'd be better off spending your allotment on something than just loosing it.

Every home should have one of these .. Text

Just go to Drugstore.com and search FSA, they will show you everything they have that you can buy. Dont forget CashBack either.

I always use tghe leftover funds to purchase glasses / prescription sunglasses.

Last year, I even purchased prescription goggles for my son which are great for the Y...

evanm said: I always use tghe leftover funds to purchase glasses / prescription sunglasses.

Last year, I even purchased prescription goggles for my son which are great for the Y...


If he just had laser eye surgery I doubt he'll be needing glasses.

12/31/09 is a long way away. But I would start with OTC medicines, perhaps some dentistry that you need done. Etc.

Don't spend it yet. Wait til Dec or so. What if you get in a huge accident? Copays would (likely) be significant.

Your teeth look a little crooked...

And isn't it about time you went in for that unpleasant (and expensive) health screening?

ctaul said: illegal.

Fork illegal.. its your money... do what ever you want with it.

I let my cousin with different last name charge up my FSA account and he then in turn gave me back cash.

GQUnknown said: ctaul said: illegal.

Fork illegal.. its your money...


Isn't it technically your employer's money, and you're just reimbursing them?

FSA is pretax dollars in use so its really your money that you decided to set aside for medical usage, rather than getting slammed with tax. So while it may be your employer who pays you, you earned it.

I would get what the above said, look into stocking up medicine such as heartburn, pepto, asprin, flu, bugspray, etc for the next coming years but i would wait until maybe December to do such.

darkhaven said: GQUnknown said: ctaul said: illegal.

Fork illegal.. its your money...


Isn't it technically your employer's money, and you're just reimbursing them?


No.. its your money

You can get alot of free after rebate blood sugar test kits from CVS/Walgreens for $10 to $20 a pop every week so you can submit the expenses and get $ from the rebates.

See if they allow you the option of investing your FSA money if it gets over a certain amount.

If only we could prove that H&B is a medical necessity.

You should get an full body MRI -- those usually aren't covered by insurance and, assuming you get a good MRI scan, will cost at least $300. At the very least, a good MRI scan will give your doctor a better idea of whether you're healthy or not.

In terms of buying and reselling...you're not likely to be able to buy things cheap and then sell them at break even. You'd most likely lose money. If you're ok with that, any discount below your tax bracket + 6% FICA tax will let you come out ahead.

Better to ask your friends and family if they have any OTC meds they'd like such as Tylenol, etc, and get them to reimburse you. Do NOT try to claim their prescription meds, though. Those identify specific patients; so you would run the risk of being caught claiming someone else's prescription cost and being forced to repay the money.

vxmike said: Well, now I still have $1,200 left to spend before 12/31/09. I never visit the doctor outside of the opthamologist nor take any prescription drugs.Go to the doctor and get a physical and go to the dentist to get your teeth cleaned/checked.

Preventative medicine is a good investment in your future.

And there are always those way cool Christmas presents:

Condoms for everyone!

Massage therapy.

If you get a letter from a Dr you can use it to put in an AC or air filter if it will help your breathing disorder.

If your back "hurts" get a letter from your Dr and get a new mattress or a whirlpool.

See an orthopedic and buy some shoes.

Buy a bunch of stuff from Rite Aid which is reimbursable and have SCR--normally you can find free glucose monitors and several FAR items which you could submit to FSA also.

cristinaaaron said: If you get a letter from a Dr you can use it to put in an AC or air filter if it will help your breathing disorder.

If your back "hurts" get a letter from your Dr and get a new mattress or a whirlpool.


Do you have documentation that these items are covered? Or are you just making this up as you go along?

AC, filter, whirlpool are specifically mentioned on website for our FSA administrator....requires approval from physician.

Here are a couple relevant pages (sperm storage is also covered by cigna):

http://www.cigna.com/our_plans/medical/fsa/fsa_health.html

http://www.ebia.com/files/HCET/hcet_sample.html

Capital Expenses
Medical expenses incurred by employees for special equipment installed in the home or for improvements are reimbursable if their main purpose is medical care. Under Code Section 213, the cost of permanent improvements that increase the value of the property may be partly deducted as a medical expense. The cost of the improvement is reduced by the increase in the value of the property; the difference is a deductible medical expense. If the value of the property is not increased by the improvement, the entire cost is deductible as a medical expense. Improvements made to accommodate a residence for a person's disability do not usually increase the value of the residence, and the full cost is usually reimbursable. Only reasonable costs to accommodate a personal residence to a disabled condition are considered medical care. Additional costs for personal motives, such as for architectural or aesthetic reasons, are not reimbursable.

So much misinformation in this thread its silly.

1) Massage Therapy is not covered unless there is a specific diagnosis by a doctor.

2) A full body scan MRI will likely cost several thousand dollars and be extremely uncomfortable for you to sit in the machine without moving for the several hours required to take it. Additionally, unless the radiologist is looking for a specific problem, its unlikely he is going to notice anything unless its really wrong. Also the Converse may be true. The radiologist may notice something small that is an artifact that doesnt mean anything but since he was trying hard to find something, he found something that may mean nothing but he wont know without another few thousand dollars of painful tests.

3) I heard about a guy who went to a store and SLOWLY over the course of several months, bought a couple hundred dollars of OTC items covered such as diapers over several months so as to avoid suspicion and place each purpose on a separate of many credit cards and then returned each item after getting the FSA reimbursement. I cant give you any more information because its something I vaguely remember hearing a while back and I believe this is illegal so whatever you do, DO NOT do that!

I second the vote on having a personal AED on hand. Keep in mind that manual CPR performed outside of a hospital by non-medical folks is rarely effective; add an AED and your chances of surviving a heart-stopping event will skyrocket. I'd recommend taking a CPR/AED training course in your area as well; they are priced anywhere from free to about $60.

tripleB said: So much misinformation in this thread its silly.

1) Massage Therapy is not covered unless there is a specific diagnosis by a doctor.

2) A full body scan MRI will likely cost several thousand dollars and be extremely uncomfortable for you to sit in the machine without moving for the several hours required to take it. Additionally, unless the radiologist is looking for a specific problem, its unlikely he is going to notice anything unless its really wrong. Also the Converse may be true. The radiologist may notice something small that is an artifact that doesnt mean anything but since he was trying hard to find something, he found something that may mean nothing but he wont know without another few thousand dollars of painful tests.

3) I heard about a guy who went to a store and SLOWLY over the course of several months, bought a couple hundred dollars of OTC items covered such as diapers over several months so as to avoid suspicion and place each purpose on a separate of many credit cards and then returned each item after getting the FSA reimbursement. I cant give you any more information because its something I vaguely remember hearing a while back and I believe this is illegal so whatever you do, DO NOT do that!


It you're going to do this, go to Target. Target stores your purchases and can search by the credit card/debit card you us to make the charge. Further, they don't write anything on the original receipt when you do the return, they just staple the original receipt to a new return receipt. My FSA company allows me to scan all the paperwork and e-mail it to them...I have all the original receipts at home.

kwest said: Don't spend it yet. Wait til Dec or so.And most plans have a grace period of another ninety days or so. Anything could happen in nine months.

slc39 said: Better to ask your friends and family if they have any OTC meds they'd like such as Tylenol, etc, and get them to reimburse you. Do NOT try to claim their prescription meds, though. Those identify specific patients; so you would run the risk of being caught claiming someone else's prescription cost and being forced to repay the money.

I would even just ask them if they've saved receipts that have FSA eligible purchases on it. Some of them may save receipts for FSA purposes but have hit their limits already so don't need them.

computerquest said: And there are always those way cool Christmas presents:

Condoms for everyone!


I had some extra FSA one year and bought all the smokers in my family Nicorette - boy were they happy!

Tape your knees to your thighs and throw yourself down a flight of stairs. I've heard it has an 100% effective rate for keeping sailors on shore when their boat is supposed to ship out.

GQUnknown said: darkhaven said: GQUnknown said: ctaul said: illegal.

Fork illegal.. its your money...


Isn't it technically your employer's money, and you're just reimbursing them?


No.. its not your money


Umm, so who's money is it? Please 'splain it for the dummies who think it's theirs just because it's deducted from their paychecks and intended for their personal benefit.

tripleB said:
2) A full body scan MRI will likely cost several thousand dollars and be extremely uncomfortable for you to sit in the machine without moving for the several hours required to take it. Additionally, unless the radiologist is looking for a specific problem, its unlikely he is going to notice anything unless its really wrong. Also the Converse may be true. The radiologist may notice something small that is an artifact that doesnt mean anything but since he was trying hard to find something, he found something that may mean nothing but he wont know without another few thousand dollars of painful tests.


Yes! I've never even heard of full body MRIs, but I know that full body CT scans are a SCAM which have never been shown to have any meaningful health benefits (although you get a nice hefty dose of radiation from the CT scanner.) You'd be better off setting your money on fire rather than getting a full body CT.

don't forget you can claim transportation expenses: parking, toll, mileage...

Ryan431101111 said: Every home should have one of these .. Text

Just go to Drugstore.com and search FSA, they will show you everything they have that you can buy. Dont forget CashBack either.


Hmm.. for those that end up with a large amount of cash stuck in their FSA.. perhaps buying a defibrillator (or two) and reselling them on eBay is a good way to not simply lose the money? Sure, you may "lose" a couple hundred bucks, but at least the money isn't going completely down the drain. Just an idea..

I didn't put enough in my FSA this year (it was the first time I tried it) and will probably run out in September or so.

Go to the dermatologist. Get your moles checked. Contacts are wicked expensive too, I'd buy those as well. Dental care bills can add up so go get your teeth cleaned and see if you need any other work done. I'd definitely also go in for a general checkup with your primary care doctor.

As far as non medical things go... I second the previous poster's suggestion about looking at Drugstore.com. A couple of the burts bees products I buy regularly are marked as FSA.

And yes... just for the record that is your money. Your employer is taking it out of your paycheck before your taxes are taken out (thus reducing the amount of each paycheck you receive).

tripleB said: So much misinformation in this thread its silly.

1) Massage Therapy is not covered unless there is a specific diagnosis by a doctor.

2) A full body scan MRI will likely cost several thousand dollars and be extremely uncomfortable for you to sit in the machine without moving for the several hours required to take it. Additionally, unless the radiologist is looking for a specific problem, its unlikely he is going to notice anything unless its really wrong. Also the Converse may be true. The radiologist may notice something small that is an artifact that doesnt mean anything but since he was trying hard to find something, he found something that may mean nothing but he wont know without another few thousand dollars of painful tests.

3) I heard about a guy who went to a store and SLOWLY over the course of several months, bought a couple hundred dollars of OTC items covered such as diapers over several months so as to avoid suspicion and place each purpose on a separate of many credit cards and then returned each item after getting the FSA reimbursement. I cant give you any more information because its something I vaguely remember hearing a while back and I believe this is illegal so whatever you do, DO NOT do that!


Point 3 is the best shot you have. One other way is you can buy stuff for your parents or siblings if you have any.

Skipping 78 Messages...
i don't know. The chiropractor billed my insurance company -Blue Cross Blue Shields. Later a statement came to me shows how much the patient is responsible for paying. My FSA allows people to submit the insurance statements for claim. So I just submitted the insurance statement to FSA.

kaze0 said: Auream said: diamente said: I got the same problem years ago. i had like $5k in FSA account that I couldn't use on Visian ICL (not laser but a plastic lens implant) surgery because my Mom was dead against it. So i went to see chiropractors because I knew some of them are shady. Many regular doctors think the profession is shady itself. I personally have no idea whether they are legit or not. I asked him to give me a massage chair as a prescription and he did it no question asked. But I never did spend money on massage chair because to buy a good one, $5k is not enough. But i found also out later i didn't really have to spend money on the chair to use the FSA money.

I decided to give the chiropractor a try and he put me on the spinal cord adjustment program for at least two months. My co payment to see him each time is $6.00 after negotiation. But he would bill the insurance company hundreds of dollars. So I would submit the insurance invoice to the FSA and they would ACH me the amount shown on the insurance statement.

Man, I can't imagine where people would get the idea that chiropractors are shady...


This sounds more like the poster is the shady one. The doctor's are required to give you a breakdown of actual expenses beyond your co-pay if you desire.



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