Author Topic: Help me spend $800 (FSA)  (Read 2845 times)

Lis

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Help me spend $800 (FSA)
« on: March 06, 2018, 01:30:17 PM »
I have $807 left in my 2017 FSA that will expire on 3/15 (claims may be made through 3/31). After that, I lose it all.

This was employer given money (I don't contribute to the FSA). Thankfully 2017 was a pretty healthy year for me, but that means I have money left over. It's too late really for doctor's appointments (I should have checked sooner and made more appointments - I've been meaning to see an allergist). Obviously this is a stupidly good problem to have, and I feel bad asking.

I cannot take money out of the account and move it anywhere else. I can only spend it. This goes against all of my frugalness.

Any ideas?

rubybeth

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Re: Help me spend $800 (FSA)
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2018, 01:40:56 PM »
I believe you can use these funds on glasses or contacts, so stocking up on those if you need them would be a big chunk. If you wear glasses, you could also get Rx sunglasses.

If you need to see an allergist anyway, why not just call and see if they can fit you in? Explain the situation and see if they can at least get you in for a blood test for allergies right away (it's just a blood draw).

Are you up-to-date on all of your immunizations? Planning any travel that requires shots? You can likely get in for those right away, too.

Also, fill any prescription meds.

Haimons Mustache

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Re: Help me spend $800 (FSA)
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2018, 01:54:43 PM »

Lis

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Re: Help me spend $800 (FSA)
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2018, 02:40:24 PM »
https://fsastore.com/

Completely forgot about that site! Hopefully if I spend a good chunk of money there, they'll accept it without question.

Ruby - I'm up to date on everything, don't wear glasses, and no doctor can see me before the 15th :( I've set up calendar reminders later in the year to check my balance more often and to make appointments so i'm not scrambling like this again.

cheddarpie

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Re: Help me spend $800 (FSA)
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2018, 02:56:20 PM »
Lis, if you run out of things to buy for yourself from fsastore, you could also buy mom/baby or elder care stuff as gifts or donations for a local shelter or low-income nursing home, or first aid supplies for a local boys/girls club or similar. If there's a local organization whose mission you support, give them a call to see what they need most before you place your order. Diabetes-related supplies are also often needed.

leverage

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Re: Help me spend $800 (FSA)
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2018, 10:06:32 PM »
I used HealthLabs last year to run some lab tests without going through my doctor, and had a very positive experience. You could easily spend a good chunk of your free money on a vitamin panel, food allergy test, etc, which can be expensive even with insurance.

If you have an FSA debit card, they accept it directly at checkout. I did have to email them after the fact to get an itemized receipt that my FSA would accept as documentation, but they provided it no problem and my FSA accepted it without question.

PS If you're relatively healthy, you might consider switching to an HSA plan if your employer offers one -- you can use that as an additional tax-sheltered retirement vehicle, and the money doesn't expire like an FSA.

Dragonswan

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Re: Help me spend $800 (FSA)
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2018, 06:08:07 AM »
You can also treat yourself to a massage.  They're fully covered and you don't need a doctor's note.  Just a detailed receipt.

Trifele

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Re: Help me spend $800 (FSA)
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2018, 10:06:09 AM »
Are you sure you can't roll over part of the funds to this year?  Many FSA plans have a rollover feature that allows you to move up to $500 from one year to the next. Last year we had money left in DH's plan, and initially thought we would forfeit it.  Then when we asked HR point-blank "can we roll this over?" we were told "Yes, you can do that."  They just did not advertise it to employees.

bugbaby

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Re: Help me spend $800 (FSA)
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2018, 10:42:05 AM »
I'd vote for non-prescrition allergy panel if you think you'll need it at all. Mine (prescribed) was $700 out of pocket, 2800 total.

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Evgenia

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Re: Help me spend $800 (FSA)
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2018, 10:54:23 AM »
+ 1 to what most folks have said. I was in the same boat a few years ago, and--in a matter of hours--used it to buy lots of sunscreen on Amazon, as well as diabetes supplies for dad and ovulation test strips for friends. I also made appointments at a local acupuncture/massage clinic and they took prepayment for me over the phone. Enjoy!

secondcor521

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Re: Help me spend $800 (FSA)
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2018, 11:37:30 AM »
Are you sure you can't roll over part of the funds to this year?  Many FSA plans have a rollover feature that allows you to move up to $500 from one year to the next. Last year we had money left in DH's plan, and initially thought we would forfeit it.  Then when we asked HR point-blank "can we roll this over?" we were told "Yes, you can do that."  They just did not advertise it to employees.

I believe plans can either do a rollover of funds (like yours) or an overlapping period from 1/1 to 3/15 each year (like the OPs) but not both.  Good idea, though!

OP, I used a lot of my FSA one year getting a fitness membership at the YMCA.  You can prepay for any number of months in advance necessary to get to the dollar figure you need to use up.

catccc

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Re: Help me spend $800 (FSA)
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2018, 12:26:09 PM »
OP, I used a lot of my FSA one year getting a fitness membership at the YMCA.  You can prepay for any number of months in advance necessary to get to the dollar figure you need to use up.

be careful- your FSA administrator may require a letter of medical necessity to reimburse you for this.  I think technically the services may need to be provided, so you could get into questionable territory pre-paying, too.

Someone mentioned massages- again, my FSA also requires an LMN for this, you might want to check with yours before going either of these routes.

There are some neat looking accupressure mats and pillows at fsastore.com.  I had about $100 to use and stocked up on condoms, bandages, sunscreen, and random stuff like a light therapy device for acne and a little device that delivers heat to treat bug bites.

Love the idea to buy stuff and donate it!




affordablehousing

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Re: Help me spend $800 (FSA)
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2018, 12:36:05 PM »
My employer gives us an onoxious amount of FSA money every year. A couple things I've learned- FSA store is way overpriced. You probably pay a 25% markup just to save the step of emailing your amazon invoice to the FSA administrator. No thank you! Plus their selection is limited. Don't be a sucker!

Also, we found the best luck buying pregnancy stuff for friends, easy to order, one day shipping, makes a big difference. A good breast pump-
a) uses $300 a pop of FSA money
b) is usually much better than the insurance provided ones
c) is super appreciated by friends and comes back to you in the long run

$800? That's just two breast pumps and a bunch of ovulation tests and prenatal vitamins for baby showers and close friends (or yourself some day)

Trifele

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Re: Help me spend $800 (FSA)
« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2018, 04:04:25 PM »
Are you sure you can't roll over part of the funds to this year?  Many FSA plans have a rollover feature that allows you to move up to $500 from one year to the next. Last year we had money left in DH's plan, and initially thought we would forfeit it.  Then when we asked HR point-blank "can we roll this over?" we were told "Yes, you can do that."  They just did not advertise it to employees.

I believe plans can either do a rollover of funds (like yours) or an overlapping period from 1/1 to 3/15 each year (like the OPs) but not both.  Good idea, though!


Aha! Thanks

catccc

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Re: Help me spend $800 (FSA)
« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2018, 04:11:46 PM »
My employer gives us an onoxious amount of FSA money every year. A couple things I've learned- FSA store is way overpriced. You probably pay a 25% markup just to save the step of emailing your amazon invoice to the FSA administrator. No thank you! Plus their selection is limited. Don't be a sucker!

Some of it is overpriced, some of it is in line with amazon.  Sometimes amazon is overpriced!  It's always a good idea to shop  around.  When I shopped at fsastore.com last I price checked most things before buying.  I ended up submitting an invoice to my FSA administrator anyway, since I am currently working on some new travel hacking cards.  I almost always opt to use my own card and then get reimbursed because of points and travel hacking.

Calvawt

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Re: Help me spend $800 (FSA)
« Reply #15 on: March 07, 2018, 06:01:02 PM »
I used extra funds to stock up on first aid kits, band-aids, tylenol, kid's advil, burn and itch creams and ointments, etc as the allowable list is pretty long.  Basically anything I though we needed for the kids.


Lis

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Re: Help me spend $800 (FSA)
« Reply #16 on: March 08, 2018, 08:17:22 PM »
Thank you all! I think I'll stick with FSA store using the debit card and take cheddarpie's advice and look to donate items and goodies to local charities in need. When I'm not super pressed for time, I'll experiment more with buying something on Amazon/somewhere else and submitting receipts.

3/15 is technically the rollover period (this is for the 2017 money).

Thanks!