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rated:
Here is my situation.

I've been given notice that I'm getting laid off effective January 3rd 2017.  I need to select health benefits now for 2017 so I was considering maxing out my FSA and trying to use all the money in the account by Feb 1st 2017 when my company paid benefits end.  If I'm correct the full amount is deposited into an eligible FSA account on January 1 2017?  I would essentially be getting $2,000 plus to spend on items that are allowed under an FSA but having only to pay much less.

Am I correct with my analysis?

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Most Recent Posts
This matches my experience as well, not that I have had an FSA for years (since I went into contracting).  It goes both ... (more)

RedWolfe01 (Nov. 16, 2016 @ 3:13p) |

OP - was in your exact position a few years ago - scheduled LASIK for first week of Jan and never looked back. Went off ... (more)

Evilmagus (Nov. 24, 2016 @ 10:42p) |

Yes.

Kinasharma01 (Nov. 25, 2016 @ 5:10p) |

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rated:
You have to use the money before you lose your job. You would have 3 days to use it.

rated:
Even though I'm covered by the company benefits until the end of the month?

I know massage is a covered expense.  Can I charge 2k worth of massage that I would use throughout the year before Jan 3rd and submit to have it reimbursed?
 

rated:
I wouldn't recommend doing it, because you don't have a lot of time. The expense must be incurred and paid on/by Jan 3 (Jan 2 to be safe). 

Expenses count only if incurred while you are still employed. Doesn't matter that they are extending your benefits for 2 more months after termination.

Prepayment for services won't be reimbursed. Also massage would be covered ONLY if it is medically necessary (doctor's orders).

Some expenses you could possibly charge on/before Jan 3 are glasses or contact lenses. Also bandaids, glucose meters, blood pressure monitors. Have your teeth cleaned at the dentist (teeth whitening not covered). Have LASIK surgery on your eyes if you can get it done before Jan 3.

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/03/23/good-question-flex-spen...



"
Even though I'm covered by the company benefits until the end of the month?

I know massage is a covered expense.  Can I charge 2k worth of massage that I would use throughout the year before Jan 3rd and submit to have it reimbursed?"


rated:
codydog1976 said:   I know massage is a covered expense.Not that kind of massage.

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Jan 1st, buy a medical grade heart defibrillator

rated:
can you hire your friend for "acupuncture"

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You should ask your HR when the deadline is. If it is Feb 1, then your plan sounds good, imo. Even if you don't spend the whole $2600, you still come out ahead on anything you do spend.

Also, if you think you might continue with COBRA anyway, then you may also be allowed to continue your FSA. This only works out, though, if you are able to drop COBRA in a couple of months, while being able to drain the FSA first, since (post-tax) contributions are required.

rated:
I know HSAs are prorated. For instance, I left my previous employer in March of this year, and my 401k and HSA contributions had to be prorated, per my HR (and my subsequent research on the topic). I specifically asked if I could max my HSA on my last day of employment. Just be careful with this... Certainly not trying to spread misinformation, but would hate for someone to get dinged because they tried to game the system, so to speak.

rated:
Can my FSA provider or my company question why I bought a $2,000 blood pressure monitor? Do they ask for a Doctor's not for such a purchase?
Does anyone have experience with a large purchase on their FSA trying to drain their account?

Feel free to PM me.

Thanks for all the advice.

rated:
jaytrader said:   I know HSAs are prorated. For instance, I left my previous employer in March of this year, and my 401k and HSA contributions had to be prorated, per my HR (and my subsequent research on the topic). I specifically asked if I could max my HSA on my last day of employment. Just be careful with this... Certainly not trying to spread misinformation, but would hate for someone to get dinged because they tried to game the system, so to speak.

Totally different from an FSA.

rated:
codydog1976 said:   Can my FSA provider or my company question why I bought a $2,000 blood pressure monitor? Do they ask for a Doctor's not for such a purchase?
 

  
As long as its an eligible expense and you meet all the requirements (for example, some expenses require a prescription or doctor's note) you should be good. You can always check with your plan administrator about a particular purchase to be sure it qualifies.

rated:
byex0039 said:   You have to use the money before you lose your job. You would have 3 days to use it.
  
OP has until coverage ends, Feb. 1.

rated:
codydog1976 said:   Can I charge 2k worth of massage that I would use throughout the year before Jan 3rd and submit to have it reimbursed?
 

  
No, you actually have to incur the expense (meaning, owe the money, not just pay it) before coverage ends.

rated:
doveroftke said:   
jaytrader said:   I know HSAs are prorated. For instance, I left my previous employer in March of this year, and my 401k and HSA contributions had to be prorated, per my HR (and my subsequent research on the topic). I specifically asked if I could max my HSA on my last day of employment. Just be careful with this... Certainly not trying to spread misinformation, but would hate for someone to get dinged because they tried to game the system, so to speak.

Totally different from an FSA.

  So what you're saying is, you can use your entire FSA maximum contribution for the year, on Jan 1, and then leave your job Jan 2 and be fine? Would have been more helpful if you said that, instead of your snarky ass reply. I was just trying to look out for OP, that's all.

rated:
jaytrader said:   
doveroftke said:   
jaytrader said:   I know HSAs are prorated. For instance, I left my previous employer in March of this year, and my 401k and HSA contributions had to be prorated, per my HR (and my subsequent research on the topic). I specifically asked if I could max my HSA on my last day of employment. Just be careful with this... Certainly not trying to spread misinformation, but would hate for someone to get dinged because they tried to game the system, so to speak.

Totally different from an FSA.

  So what you're saying is, you can use your entire FSA maximum contribution for the year, on Jan 1, and then leave your job Jan 2 and be fine? Would have been more helpful if you said that, instead of your snarky ass reply. I was just trying to look out for OP, that's all.

  
I assure you my goal was not to be snarky, I thought it was a straightforward response stating that the information you supplied didn't apply.

rated:
My wife quit her job mid-year after having fully spent her FSA and received a letter in the mail that COBRA coverage would be denied because the FSA was short-funded. This was fine for her because she had new insurance at the next job but if you're planning to use COBRA it's something to watch out for.

rated:
codydog1976 said:   Can my FSA provider or my company question why I bought a $2,000 blood pressure monitor? Do they ask for a Doctor's not for such a purchase?
Does anyone have experience with a large purchase on their FSA trying to drain their account?
 

  You can buy anything that's acceptable on the FSA list.  A simple google search will do.  A BPM, even the top of the line home use one only cost about $200 and if you buy a dozen of them, you will likely get reviewed.

rated:
I had this happen to me a few years back. I had maxed out the FSA due to hubby needing braces for an upcoming surgery, and I was downsized in mid Jan, with 6 weeks of severance. As luck would have it, hubby got the braces done at the end of Jan, and I was adamant that I wanted to collect the $500-ish I had already contributed to the FSA. I was very surprised to learn that I would be reimbursed the full amount of what I was planning to contribute throughout the year. Thankful for the HR people who were honest about it, and who eventually got me fully reimbursed. However, I was under my husband's insurance policy, so I didn't have to deal with anything COBRA related.

About a year later, I was in a miserable job, and looking to move on to something better, when they implemented an FSA. I enrolled for a reasonable amount, I think it was $600, and when I found a better opportunity a few months later, I went to Costco and bought out anything I could use and had a long expiration date, that was FSA eligible. I did this the evening before tendering my resignation, and the company learned about one of the pitfalls of the new benefit they had provided.

rated:
That is correct the FSA will be forfeited on Jan 3rd. You can try and schedule Lasik for that day.

rated:
plastrd said:   My wife quit her job mid-year after having fully spent her FSA and received a letter in the mail that COBRA coverage would be denied because the FSA was short-funded. This was fine for her because she had new insurance at the next job but if you're planning to use COBRA it's something to watch out for.
  That's illegal.

rated:
When I was laid off a few years ago, I was allowed to use the full amount of FSA that I had committed to for the year even though my monthly deductions had not paid in that amount. I was only given a limited time to use it, like 30 or 60 days, but plenty of time to use it up. Best talk to your HR personnel for exact details if you think they are trustworthy. Or maybe you can get details from the plan administrators (i.e. the company to which you send your claims). If you are going to be re-employed somewhere during the same year, the amount you can contribute/commit to under the new company will be constrained by the federal limits and what you committed to under your old employer.

rated:
I would in codydog1976 situation is start looking for a new job, F the current job and use all the PTO time.

rated:
The FSA benefit is good for as long as your have benefits. If you are laid off Jan 1st, but they are covering you on medical through the 15th or 31st, then you just have to spend it on qualify items before that date.

I did this years ago and got my son's braces for nearly nothing.

rated:
Defibrillator

I had about $600 to burn a couple year ago and ordered a stethoscope, $500 dollar one.. It was on back order, I submitted the receipt and was reimburse a couple days later. 2 weeks later Amazon cancelled the order, they would not be getting it back in stock. What was I to do? I tried to return the money they wouldn't have it.. It sucks when it feels like your stealing your own money.

rated:
letsspendlotsofmoney said:   https://www.amazon.com/Philips-HeartStart-Home-Defibrillator-AED/dp/B00064CED6/ref=sr_1_16_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1479236471&sr=8-16&keywords=fsa+eligible

I had about $600 to burn a couple year ago and ordered a stethoscope, $500 dollar one.. It was on back order, I submitted the receipt and was reimburse a couple days later. 2 weeks later Amazon cancelled the order, they would not be getting it back in stock. What was I to do? I tried to return the money they wouldn't have it.. It sucks when it feels like your stealing your own money.

  I was considering a defibrillator or blood pressure monitor I saw for around $2k.

rated:
Realize that this kind of activity is reportable to federal authorities, and there can be hefty fines. Just saying. Might wanna be careful with what you admit to, such as buying, submitting claim, returning.

rated:
I maxed mine out for the year not knowing i would be leaving my job. when i left in June, I had paid in about 65% of the money from my paychecks. I called the benefits company and found out that the employer had paid in the full amount at the beginning of the year because it is required and that I had every right to use the full amount as it would not be reimbursed to the company. I was able to use it until the end of the year. I did not go on Cobra, just as an fyi. So I paid in I think about 1300 and spent 2000. 

I would imagine the same would be true for you. This was 2007 to of course things might be different. ;0)

I highly recommend calling the benefits administrator (not your HR department) for clarification. Good luck.

rated:
Is there list or link which shows items eligible for FSA. Got a prescription for humidifier today.

rated:
"fsa eligible" on Amazon will give you a good idea.

rated:

rated:
Do you wear glasses? I have a pair of gold Cartier glasses that I never wear because of this rule.

rated:
Hunny156 said:   I had this happen to me a few years back. I had maxed out the FSA due to hubby needing braces for an upcoming surgery, and I was downsized in mid Jan, with 6 weeks of severance. As luck would have it, hubby got the braces done at the end of Jan, and I was adamant that I wanted to collect the $500-ish I had already contributed to the FSA. I was very surprised to learn that I would be reimbursed the full amount of what I was planning to contribute throughout the year. Thankful for the HR people who were honest about it, and who eventually got me fully reimbursed. However, I was under my husband's insurance policy, so I didn't have to deal with anything COBRA related.

About a year later, I was in a miserable job, and looking to move on to something better, when they implemented an FSA. I enrolled for a reasonable amount, I think it was $600, and when I found a better opportunity a few months later, I went to Costco and bought out anything I could use and had a long expiration date, that was FSA eligible. I did this the evening before tendering my resignation, and the company learned about one of the pitfalls of the new benefit they had provided.

  
This matches my experience as well, not that I have had an FSA for years (since I went into contracting).  It goes both ways so in theory the company breaks even.  Unspent funds are forfeited, but the company has to make the full projected FSA available on Jan 1 (or at start of the plan)

I had a bunch of dental work done and used my FSA to pay for it during the last month of benefits.  What was left I bought contact lenses with.  

rated:
OP - was in your exact position a few years ago - scheduled LASIK for first week of Jan and never looked back. Went off without a hitch.

rated:
jaytrader said:   
doveroftke said:   
jaytrader said:   I know HSAs are prorated. For instance, I left my previous employer in March of this year, and my 401k and HSA contributions had to be prorated, per my HR (and my subsequent research on the topic). I specifically asked if I could max my HSA on my last day of employment. Just be careful with this... Certainly not trying to spread misinformation, but would hate for someone to get dinged because they tried to game the system, so to speak.

Totally different from an FSA.

  So what you're saying is, you can use your entire FSA maximum contribution for the year, on Jan 1, and then leave your job Jan 2 and be fine? Would have been more helpful if you said that, instead of your snarky ass reply. I was just trying to look out for OP, that's all.

  Yes.

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