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Flexible Savings Account question for Feds
Old 11-10-2012, 02:14 PM   #1
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Flexible Savings Account question for Feds

I decided to get smart (finally) and open a Flex Savings Account during Federal Open Season. As I understand it, I have before-tax $ withheld from my paycheck during 2013 up to a set limit ($2500) and can use this account to pay for medical/dental expenses my insurances do not cover.

Well, I just learned I will have to have $2500.00 worth of dental work. I could put it off a couple months into 2013, but the dentist doesn't think I should put it off any longer than that. So, putting $100 per pay period into an account all year long wouldn't work in my case.

Would it be permissible for my payroll office to withhold larger amounts at first, so I accumulate the $2500 quickly (and can use it quicker for my teeth), then go down to much smaller amounts for the rest of the year? I'd like to hear from someone who has done this, before approaching my payroll office (they do a great job ensuring we are paid, but are not very flexible/imaginative).

Thanks,

Amethyst
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Old 11-10-2012, 06:06 PM   #2
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Usually, you can spend it all before you have actually put money into the account. Not positive about the Federal Flex plan, but that's how ours works....hard to believe, I know but we can get reimbursed for qualified expenses on day one and gradually pay into the plan through the year. It really is handy when you can plan ahead for things like dental expenses.
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Old 11-10-2012, 06:08 PM   #3
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Our FSA works like jazz4cash wrote. I think they all work that way. But no matter, one can submit claims for a January expense next December with our plan as well.
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Old 11-10-2012, 09:59 PM   #4
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We determine how much we want to put in the FSA and it is all available on Jan 1. The payment is spread out equally over the year. Remember though that you must spend it or lose it. I think we have until April to spend last years FSA or we lose it.
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Old 11-11-2012, 01:39 AM   #5
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See this Q&A:

https://www.fsafeds.com/fsafeds/Summ...llottedAmount1

You should be able to sign up for FSA for 2013 and then have your dental work done early in the year and be reimbursed. Your FSA account balance does not need to have all the money in it at the time you request reimbursement.
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Old 11-11-2012, 09:48 AM   #6
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I'm not sure if FSA for feds is same as non-feds, but for feds, as others have pointed out, you don't have to wait until there has been enough contributions during the year. When I FIRE'd, in the end of Jan of '08, I didn't take advantage of the health services (the situation was pretty much rushed) for that final month before saying bye-bye.
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Old 11-11-2012, 10:10 AM   #7
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This looks like what I was looking for. Thanks, Powerplay! (and everyone who responded).

Amethyst

"Must I have the full allotted amount in my DCFSA account before I can submit claims for expenses incurred?
No, but unlike the HCFSA and LEX HCFSA, your DCFSA reimbursement is always the lesser of:
  1. the amount that you request for reimbursement
  2. the amount in your account at the time your claim is processed
If you file a claim that exceeds the amount, FSAFEDS will reimburse you up to the amount in your account at the date of submission, and pend the balance until you make another allotment into your DCFSA."
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Old 11-11-2012, 11:08 AM   #8
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Your dental work should not be a problem. FSAFeds will re-imburse you the entire $2500 as soon as your first allotment is made. This is straight off of their front page:

'With Health Care and Limited Expense Health Care Flexible Spending Accounts, your entire election is available to you from the first day of your Benefit Period. And, we can begin to reimburse your eligible expenses as soon as we receive your first allotment even though you have not contributed your total annual election.'

Note that under ObamaCare, 2013 max Health FSA election is only $2500. If you have a $2500 dental claim, you've maxed yourself out for the year. Are you on BCBS or are you considering an HSA for FEHB next year?
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Old 11-11-2012, 11:44 AM   #9
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The $2500 is the co-pay for replacing a 3-tooth bridge. Without BCBS and secondary Humana insurance I would be paying $5300.00.

So I am looking to the FSA as a way to use pre-tax $ to pay my co-pay.

Thanks,

Amethyst

Quote:
Originally Posted by ejw93 View Post
Your dental work should not be a problem. FSAFeds will re-imburse you the entire $2500 as soon as your first allotment is made. This is straight off of their front page:

'With Health Care and Limited Expense Health Care Flexible Spending Accounts, your entire election is available to you from the first day of your Benefit Period. And, we can begin to reimburse your eligible expenses as soon as we receive your first allotment even though you have not contributed your total annual election.'

Note that under ObamaCare, 2013 max Health FSA election is only $2500. If you have a $2500 dental claim, you've maxed yourself out for the year. Are you on BCBS or are you considering an HSA for FEHB next year?
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