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Does Anyone Here Use a Flexible Spending Account?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
FSAs are touted as this great "pre-tax" benefit, where one can basically pre-expense their health bills for the year (so for example, you know you need to buy a year's worth of disposable contact lenses, and they cost $100, you can option to expense $100 of your pre-tax dollars, but you have to submit a claim for each dollar you spend).

Now to me, the pre-tax benefits are pretty enticing, however, I'm not sure if it's worth it. My understanding is that: you purchase your health expense, you submit a claim to the FSA office with receipts, then you get your money back.

If you are constantly expensing something (like monthly prescriptions), to me it seems like a lot of paperwork and just a waste of time. Especially if one needs to wait a month to get their claim back.

Does anyone here contribute to one? Can I get some feedback on it?
post #2 of 3
I do, and I had the same concerns as you when I first signed up. For my husband and I, it was definately worth the $$ savings. I would ask your provider about how to file a claim, and if there is a certain time period for filing the claim.

For us we can expense eyeglasses which can get expensive - savings fromt he pre-tax deduction for just this is well worth it.
post #3 of 3
When I was in the corporate world (I'm sooo glad that is over with!!)
I took full advantage of my health spening acct. Wouldn't you know though that my prior employer this yr switched to a debit card system versus waiting for reimbursement.
The key is #1 calculate how much you think you will spend out of this account-some plans allow reimbursement for OTC items such as cold medicine, pain relievers etc...
#2 find out if you don't spend it will you lose the balance???
They paperwork for reimbursement wasn't really to bad-say for instance you have eye dr appt and pay the bill via credit card your reimbursement check should come before bill is due.
I would most certainly take advantage of this benefit!!!
The best thing about it was that you used PRE-TAX dollars so what you end up owing Uncle Sam every yr will be smaller. In a two-earner household or if you have med-high income you will save tax dollars!!
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