Monday, August 15, 2005

Flexible spending account

I try to take advantage of any tax break I can, so the last few years, I've signed up for my company's healthcare flexible spending account. Last year I think I had them deduct $500, and on Dec. 28th I was scrambling to spend the last $150 or so. (Prescription sunglasses did the trick-- what I really needed was regular glasses, but I couldn't find frames I liked.)
So this year, I decided to contribute less. But guess what, I was sick a lot over the winter, and here it is, only August and I was just about to submit a claim for the everyday eyeglasses I finally did find, and the accompanying eye exam, when I discovered that I've already maxed out my reimbursements, and I should have contributed about $350 more than I did.
I'd rather have a FSA than nothing, but it really is a pretty stupid solution to a larger problem. How are you supposed to predict when you'll get sick?

3 comments:

~Dawn said...

I'm going to try this next year- I think I will have to ballpark my figures based on this year's checks written- should be interesting.

Kate Bean said...

I've done FSA. I sat down and thought about all the crap I usually need like contacts, teeth cleanings, etc and then I listed stuff that I'd like to have. Like, I don't have a good first aid kit in my car, I hate the flu and wanted a flu shot. I went ahead and spent the money I budgeted for things I had to have. Then at the end of the year, if I hadn't gotten sick enough to spend the rest, I got the stuff on the nice to have list. When I couldn't get in for a flu shot, I bought sunscreen, vitamins, and ibuprophen.

Madame X said...

Kate, that is a great idea.