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FSA


brazen
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The last post in this topic was posted 3601 days ago. 

 

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A lot depends upon the health insurance you have through your employer (this is assuming you have insurance offered, and you're not on "Obamacare")

 

I personally don't like FSAs for their "use it or lose it" characteristic.

 

With the FSA I once had (1990's through 2000's), you must pay out of pocket first, wait for the insurance EOB statements, then submit that to the FSA administrator to wait for approval then if they approve, you'll get a reimbursement check. I've actually been declined for reimbursement because I bought corrective eyewear but since I didn't have vision insurance, I was ineligible for reimbursement. I was told FSAs have changed somewhat since then. What I always wondered is where did the money go when you lose it at the end of the year? Employer says they don't get it, FSA administrator says they don't get it. Does the IRS get it?

 

I now have an HSA account, but you have to have really lousy insurance to qualify. There are contribution limits to an HSA, but contributions are tax free. Distributions are tax free as long as you have documentation showing that medical expenses were paid with the funds - hospital stays, doctor office calls, prescription meds, lab tests, etc.

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My employer offers one and lots of people use them. If you know you will have healthcare expenses (braces, or maybe someone in your family has a chronic condition) then it is probably a good idea. If you and your family are healthy and expect only routine visits, it's probably not that great of an idea.

 

I've never used one. In retrospect, the only time it could have possibly saved me money was the year my kid was born. Every other year, my healthcare expenses have been very low.

Edited by iH8cra
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I contribute about $1,000/year to my HSA. My employer has the option of both an HSA and an FSA (depending on the plan you choose). Both come with debit cards that you use to make your eligible purchases so no worrying about reimbursement checks. Both are pre-tax deductions. The HSA rolls over each year so I've got a little nest egg in case there is some sort of medical crisis. The FSA is use it or lose it so you really have to have a firm grasp on what your expenses will be. In both cases, my employer matches our contributions dollar for dollar up to our deductible total (so essentially, they pay 1/2 of our deductible) which is awesome, in my opinion.

 

My medical expenses are pretty low year over year but I take comfort in knowing I have this account (and I can take it with me as I move employers)...just in case.

 

As for the comment about needing "really lousy" insurance to qualify for an HSA. My insurance is actually pretty good. Yes, there is a $2,000 deductible but a huge amount of treatments are covered outside of the deductible and the cost is really quite low. Not all high deductible plans are lousy. Some are really quite good.

Edited by Labyrinthine
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I have an HSA as well. I like having it, but yes, my deductible is very high.

 

my deductible is 2,500 a year with an HSA, but once that's used, the insurance covers 100%.

 

and the cost of the insurance is about 1/2 of the PPO.

 

and if you don't use it, you keep your contributions to the HSA - it's your money.

 

put in the 3K allowable and just keep it topped off year to year, put 2 years in just to cover any possible carryover

 

and put the savings from not paying the PPO rate in your 401K or IRA.

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That is what I do, ICAN! The difference between the high deduc plan that I have and the low deduc plan is about $180/month in premiums. That's a BIG difference. And it would only save me $1,000 in deductible. I think in a lot of cases people go with the lower deductible plans out of fear of the "what if" without looking at the hard numbers. I'm lucky in that there is pretty low risk for me. I'm young and healthy In fact, I could probably get away with no insurance (but I'm not that brave!). It took me a few years to understand enough about my insurance policies to make the decision to go high deduc but now that I have, it seems so common sense for me.

 

Now, not everyone can do this. Some employers don't offer high deduc, some people have expensive, chronic conditions and cannot afford a high deduc plan. But if you can, I say do it. Sock away some money in your HSA and 401k and plan for the future!

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Do you or dont you and how much?

 

I am reading up on them, debating on enrolling in one, just not sure how much.

 

 

Don't you have someone who knows something about insurance in the house? :rofl:

 

LOL. My agent was busy working on the car.

 

I am thinking though for our house I will give it a try the rest of the year, for co-payments, glasses, lab work stuff like that. If it doesn't work out, I will drop it for next year. Looks like we have until March 15 of next year to use the funds.

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I have a FSA. They are changing the rules though and will let some roll over. At least that is what I was notified by my employer. But it is still a flexible spending account.

 

I also have a debit card so that I don't have to wait to be reimbursed. I have ~$600 a year going to it. This year I have already spent approximately triple that and am still incurring expenses. :(.

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Do you or dont you and how much?

 

I am reading up on them, debating on enrolling in one, just not sure how much.

 

 

Don't you have someone who knows something about insurance in the house? :rofl:

 

You wouldn't know it, would ya? :rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:

 

If she doesn't like my idea, she looks elsewhere.

Edited by Fallon
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