Have any money left on your Flexible Spending Account?

OCB

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I had some planned medical expenses that ended up being WAY less that we assumed (stuff got covered that we didn't expect), so now we have a bunch of money left in our FSA that we need to use. I was looking around and saw that 'first aid kits' are eligible. I tried to find what constituted an FSA approved first aid kit, but there really isn't any guidance, even on IRS forms (imagine that). I reached out to Dark Angel Medical to see if they knew if their kits were covered under FSA. Here is their response:

Hi [OCB],

Thanks for writing in! All of our kits are listed as "medical supplies" and are therefore FSA eligible. What will differ is the way you can purchase them- either directly with a Visa card backed by your FSA funds, or purchasing them with your own funds and waiting to get reimbursed. This isn't up to us, but depends on who is administering your FSA. If you should fall into the second category and need to get reimbursed, please place your request for an "FSA-compliant receipt" under "Order Notes" when you place your order. We'll then email you an itemized receipt with the date of service for you to submit. (Note: the email that you will receive immediately after your order is placed will *not* be the FSA-compliant receipt, but an automated one generated by our commerce system.) Let us know if you have any further questions. Stay safe!
FYI.

Other sources for FSA eligible first aid kits:
Adventure medical kits at FSAstore.com

This one has more bags:
survival supply
 
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ProGun

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So you lose the money in the FSA if you don't use it by a certain date?! Ouch, always thought those funds would carry until needed.
 

OCB

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So you lose the money in the FSA if you don't use it by a certain date?! Ouch, always thought those funds would carry until needed.
Yeah, that is the downside to the FSA. Plus, this year had an extra head ache for us - we get benefits through my wife's company as they were MUCH better than mine, but she changed jobs about two months ago. So we had to deal with COBRA (not the insurance part, fortunately) to be able to have access to the money we paid into the FSA through her previous employer.
 
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If you were an "undocumented immigrant" or "refugee" you wouldn't have to worry about this.
 
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So you lose the money in the FSA if you don't use it by a certain date?! Ouch, always thought those funds would carry until needed.
yep and I don't know how the **** that is legal if you fund it with your own money.

My work has FSA and HSA. The health savings account you never lose. I don't understand why anyone would ever put money into an FSA knowing they could lose it.

I must be missing something. but the only benefit to FSA is it's tax free. So what though? Just pay for all the same shit out of pocket and deduct at tax time. Get same tax benefit without unnecessarily tying up money all year that you risk losing if you overestimated your year's medical bills.
 
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RumRunner

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My FSA gives you a grace period until the end of March. I think it varies by company though. But you can't use the card, after 1/1/17 has to be paid for then reimbursed. As far as why use an FSA, well you can only use an HSA if you have certain high deductible plans. Because my plan has no deductible, I do not qualify for an HSA. I figured it out pretty close to what I needed and it worked out well for me with the FSA, only have a few bucks left on it and I will use that before the end of the year. This year I put more on the FSA, because I knew my wife would be getting new eye glasses, next year we won't put on as much because glasses are only covered every 2 years.

If you know you are going to use the money, why not save the taxes.
 

timbo

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I usually end up using what's left of mine this time of year by getting my eyes checked and getting new glasses or prescription sunglasses every couple of years. I need to go before the end of the year and get it done. Thanks for the reminder [grin]
 

Rob Boudrie

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yep and I don't know how the **** that is legal if you fund it with your own money.

My work has FSA and HSA. The health savings account you never lose. I don't understand why anyone would ever put money into an FSA knowing they could lose it.

I must be missing something. but the only benefit to FSA is it's tax free. So what though? Just pay for all the same shit out of pocket and deduct at tax time. Get same tax benefit without unnecessarily tying up money all year that you risk losing if you overestimated your year's medical bills.
It's partially the govt's since it is pre tax.

You can only deduct medical expenses that exceed 10% of your adjusted gross income (I think it's 7.5% for persons over 65 in tax year 2016). Remember that any insurance premium or portion thereof that you pay counts as a medical expense.
 

OCB

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My FSA gives you a grace period until the end of March. I think it varies by company though. But you can't use the card, after 1/1/17 has to be paid for then reimbursed.
We have until March to submit for reimbursements, but the purchases had to be completed before the end of the year.
 

Penniepup1

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We had left over FSA last year, my wife carries it. FSA has their own web site so you can spend the the money they hold hostage. She got me a nice med kit for my pack for hunting and another for fishing.
 
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It's partially the govt's since it is pre tax.

You can only deduct medical expenses that exceed 10% of your adjusted gross income (I think it's 7.5% for persons over 65 in tax year 2016). Remember that any insurance premium or portion thereof that you pay counts as a medical expense.
I see. I thought you could deduct ALL not just the excess of 10%. So I guess the FSA just shields the rest. Makes sense. Would suck to miscalculate though and lose a bunch of money you paid in.
 
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So you lose the money in the FSA if you don't use it by a certain date?! Ouch, always thought those funds would carry until needed.
Most FSA accounts carry over $500 now. It use to be you loose it all. Check with HR and if it is a loose it all account get them to talk to the provider since they should be able to offer a carry over plan relatively easily.
 

snax

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Yeah, that is the downside to the FSA. Plus, this year had an extra head ache for us - we get benefits through my wife's company as they were MUCH better than mine, but she changed jobs about two months ago. So we had to deal with COBRA (not the insurance part, fortunately) to be able to have access to the money we paid into the FSA through her previous employer.
I can bill you for your full balance, of course my fee is 15%
 

el duderino

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Its good if you figure what youll spend, i only do $300 and cover if i go over. Gets me eye exam, some contact lenses and maybe a copay or two. Wonder if bass pro takes FSA cards..
 

mass

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I still have around $500 on my special purpose FSA. Looks like some prescription Ray-Bans are in my near future.

Sent from State prison using contraband cell phone.
 
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On the Flip Side of the FSA, it's installment payments over the course of the year but you're allowed to spend the entire allotment at the beginning of the year.
However, if your employment ends (either terminated or resigning), so does your installment payments. The over payments of others sort of covers the under payment of a few. You'd have to time it or plan it out to make it work in your favor though.


OP: If you have any extra First Aid Kits and want to get rid of them at a slightly reduced rate, you should post them in the for sale section.
 

JJ4

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Thanks for the reminder. I'll probably pick up some quikclot and isaraeli bandages to get myself below $500.

Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk
 

Billsail

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Go here: https://fsastore.com/default.aspx?utm_source=UpSellit&utm_medium=Abandoned+Cart+Email&utm_campaign=Abandoned+Cart+Email

First aid kits that run from a few, to many hundreds of dollars. Many, many other useful FSA eligible items! You can use your FSA card to charge direct. The site tells you what is eligible, and there is a surprising number that you wouldn't think were.

It depends on your employer whether or not they offer a 3 month carryover. My wife's didn't this year, so we have over $300 sitting in our shopping cart right now!
 

boscru

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It's partially the govt's since it is pre tax.

You can only deduct medical expenses that exceed 10% of your adjusted gross income (I think it's 7.5% for persons over 65 in tax year 2016). Remember that any insurance premium or portion thereof that you pay counts as a medical expense.
very important info for folks to know. i had a CPA who didn't understand insurance premiums were med expenses. includes health, dental, vision, long-term care, meds, co-pays etc. (not life insurance)

no, i don't use that CPA anymore

btw it was 7.5% under 65 before obamacare, but they knew it would cost .gov too much when premiums & all other related expenses went up, so they raised the threshold
 
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Had to clean out an FSA - job change. I got the adventure med kit and the trauma pro pack at the fsa store. It's a pretty good package for a home and travel kit.
 

JJ4

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Since this was brought up earlier, this is my understanding of the history of FSA accounts and why they work the way they do.

Nb. Here FSA = Flexible Spending Accounts, not the Free Shit Army in other threads.

The whole situation is an artifact of allowing pre-tax health insurance deductions from paychecks. Without the pre-tax deductions, you'd have to exceed 7.5% or 10% (whatever it is) of your income spent on health care before you could start deducting expenses.
So, where does FSA come in?

There are items that qualify for health insurance coverage, but that most plans do not cover. This includes your deductibles, co-insurance, co-pays. Glasses/contact lenses/supplies for those without vision care. Dental for those without dental insurance. And any other items of medical necessity.

FSA is essentially an INSURANCE product with a fixed benefit that matches its cost. If you put $2000 into a FSA for a plan-year, you are essentially buying $2000 of insurance coverage for an annualized premium of $2000. The benefit being that the insurance premium can be a pre-tax deduction from your paycheck income, and that the premiums are spread out over the whole year.

This is why you could use the full amount on the first day of your plan year, and if you quit or were fired from your job you didn't owe the remainder back. It's also why it was a "use it or lose it". Obviously some people felt the "lose it" part was not fair, so at some point they slapped a metaphorical bandaid on it allowing carry-over of up to $500.


Essentially - the whole thing is a "hack" on the pre-tax employer provided insurance. One more reason why our tax code is a cluster-f***.
 

J.A.C

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Originally people didn't lose their unspent money each year with FSA accounts but like always some people ruined a good thing for everyone by dumping a ton of money into FSA and using them as a perpetual tax shelter.

Lots of times the unspent money goes back to the employer because they are assuming the risk with the FSA. At my job I know we had people loading up their FSA amount at the start of the new year and using it all quickly knowing they were leaving. Those people are called Douche Bags.

I also remember years ago our FSA plan covered a lot more things but like always some people ruined a good thing by buying lots of items on FSA and then reselling them for profit.
 
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Lots of times the unspent money goes back to the employer because they are assuming the risk with the FSA. At my job I know we had people loading up their FSA amount at the start of the new year and using it all quickly knowing they were leaving. Those people are called Douche Bags.
Yup,
happened at my Wife's job. So they stopped allowing the FSA VIsa card to be used for anything but Doctor's offices (not including dentists and Physical therapy as I found out). Everything was still eligible though, so you could be reimbursed. It kept people from using everything before they quit, but was a pain in the but for those who didn't try to screw the system, especially when it came to using stuff up at end of year.
 
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