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Old 09-17-2007, 04:17 PM   #21
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Family of 5 and it's been a strategic piece of my budget stretching routine for many many years. Currently putting in 5K mostly for the predictable stuff....contacts, dental (braces), etc. I seem to recall these deductions bypass Soc Sec taxation as well, so I look at it like a 40% discount on my medical expense. Yes its a hassle, but it saves a lot of money if you can put several thousand in. It is a hassle (we don't have the debit card feature). The users here have covered most of the bases such as planning ahead, using the 15 month expenditure period, stretcing expenses over two periods, etc. Another improvement in the past year or so was inclusion of many over the counter meds.
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Old 09-17-2007, 08:10 PM   #22
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Had to call Wells Fargo AGAIN tonight I sent them a claim for $3,600 for braces from my flex acct. and they took all the money from the Health Savings acct. that leaves over $1,200 in the flex acct to use by Dec 31st. Same problem in June when I sent a flex claim at least this time they apologized and said they would get it from the right account. Unlike June when they tried to explain why it wasn't an eligible claim (eventually after repeated calls they fixed it). I will put over $5,000 in the HSA again next year but I'm starting to wonder about the hassle of getting my FSA money disbursed when I submit claims.
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Old 09-20-2007, 06:12 PM   #23
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I love my FSA. I need new contacts each year. I'm having a lot of dental work done right now. I'm considering getting snipped next year. I might want corrective eye surgery at some point. I use the card to pay for aspirin, contact lens solution... anything health-related.

You just need to plan carefully for how much you intend to spend.
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Old 09-27-2007, 08:18 AM   #24
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Some employers also offer dependent (child and elder) care FSAs, which if you need them can be very useful since the expenditures are pretty predictable.

DW and I use our respective dependent care FSA offered through each of our MegaCorps for our kids' daycare and nanny expenses.
10k (5k max per person) annually pretax, works out to a tax savings of about 4k for a expense that we'd have to cover no matter what.
When the time comes, elder FSA and medical FSA will be a certainty for us.

Beyond the minimal paperwork issues, IMHO this is one of the few 'gimmies' that the federal government offers to the masses.
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Old 09-27-2007, 04:11 PM   #25
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My work benefits are so outstanding that I'm having a hard time spending the $500 I put in my FSA this year. In all likelihood, I'll have to stock up on all sorts of OTC medications, although I'm pretty healthy and rarely need to use much of them.

Anyone know of a reason why we should be able to simply roll over FSA money year after year? Yes, it's money the Government hasn't taxed, but since it's primarily restricted to healthcare-related expenses, wouldn't it be a great way to offset more of the healthcare bill our country has to foot every year?
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Old 10-01-2007, 08:02 AM   #26
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Anyone know of a reason why we should be able to simply roll over FSA money year after year?
There are High Deductible Heath Plans (HDHPs) that have options just like you are talking about. Some of the plans even pay you to be in them depending on your location.

Back on topic---

I work with the Government and have not enrolled in the Feds FSA. Since we are expecting our first child in December, I was thinking this could be a good tool to help reduce costs.

The only problem is I have no idea how to estimate the medical costs of a newborn during the first year. Anyone care to share some experiences with number of visits, medications, immunizations, et al that are required in the first year? I realize there is a big difference in the medical costs between a normal delivery and a delivery with complications. Im just looking for some experience to start with.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 10-01-2007, 12:16 PM   #27
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The only problem is I have no idea how to estimate the medical costs of a newborn during the first year. Anyone care to share some experiences with number of visits, medications, immunizations, et al that are required in the first year? I realize there is a big difference in the medical costs between a normal delivery and a delivery with complications. Im just looking for some experience to start with.

Thanks in advance!
The easiest way to do this is to call up your new baby's pediatrician's office and ask them. They'll be able to tell you what the basics are that you'll probably have. From what I recall, you'll have a lot of well-baby checkups and immunizations. You may also want to buy infant versions of the basic medicines, like infant Tylenol, infant Sudafed, etc. If this is your first child you may want to plan on some "sick" visits to the doctor -- where you are worried about your kid and just want the doctor's assurance.

Is your baby going to be born in December or January? Last I looked the FSA accounts are on a calendar year basis, so if your baby is going to be born in December you'd have to use FSA money from this year's contributions for that. Your newborn will have a hospital bill, probably a pediatrician's visit, and circumcision if you're having a boy and you decide to do that.

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Old 10-02-2007, 07:23 AM   #28
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The easiest way to do this is to call up your new baby's pediatrician's office and ask them.
Thanks for the advice. Gave the office a call and they said their are 4 typical wellness visits in the first year and its during those 4 visits that the first immunizations are given. That should be enough information to start searching through the insurance book about what it will cost and whatever. Combine that with 2 dentist visits for 2 people a year, 2 eye exams, et al and it will add up pretty quickly. My gut call is ~$500-600.
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Old 10-02-2007, 12:11 PM   #29
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DW and I use our respective dependent care FSA offered through each of our MegaCorps for our kids' daycare and nanny expenses.
10k (5k max per person) annually pretax, works out to a tax savings of about 4k for a expense that we'd have to cover no matter what...
I thought the dependent care amount was 5k per family? Is it per person?

The site below says its a household limit.

Dependent Care FSA Account FAQ - Benefit Resource, Inc.
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