Can I use 2011 Flex spending $ to pay 2010 medical bills?

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Can I use 2011 Flex spending $ to pay 2010 medical bills?

Postby Hedgy » Mon Jan 10, 2011 2:21 pm

Just want to know. Thanks.
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Postby Chuck » Mon Jan 10, 2011 2:29 pm

No
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Postby Hedgy » Mon Jan 10, 2011 2:31 pm

The medical services were provided in 2010, but I used all of my 2010 flexible spending money already. I have money in my plan for 2011. The question is can I use my 2011 money to pay bills for services provided in 2010.
I'm not sure if my original question was clear, or whether this was understood.
Thanks.
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Postby Chuck » Mon Jan 10, 2011 2:34 pm

It looks like you caught my answer before the edit. :)

I'm pretty sure the expense (service provided) had to occur in the same tax year as the account.

It makes sense because it would be too easy to game the system otherwise. (Just add up all your 2010 expenses, and enroll for that amount in 2011.)
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Postby arthurb999 » Mon Jan 10, 2011 2:52 pm

Does your FSA have a debit card. If so, just give the company you owe the money the card# to run and it's done. I've done it before... no problems.
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Postby gkaplan » Mon Jan 10, 2011 2:53 pm

So if you maxed out your 2010 Flexible Spending Account and received a 2010 bill in 2011, you can't use your 2011 Flexible Spending Account?
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Postby arthurb999 » Mon Jan 10, 2011 2:56 pm

gkaplan wrote:So if you maxed out your 2010 Flexible Spending Account and received a 2010 bill in 2011, you can't use your 2011 Flexible Spending Account?


If you have to front the money and submit a reimbursement... maybe not. If you have a debit card... they won't know.
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Postby livesoft » Mon Jan 10, 2011 2:58 pm

They will know because you will probably have to provide the EOB for the medical bills. The EOBs will have "date of service" on them.

Anyways, you can try it and see what happens, then report back to us. I'd bet money, the answer is No, unless Fraud was involved.
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Postby TRC » Mon Jan 10, 2011 3:02 pm

arthurb999 wrote:
gkaplan wrote:So if you maxed out your 2010 Flexible Spending Account and received a 2010 bill in 2011, you can't use your 2011 Flexible Spending Account?


If you have to front the money and submit a reimbursement... maybe not. If you have a debit card... they won't know.


This is true. I had some dental work done last year and ran out of flexible spending. They did the procedure in June and just charged my flexible spending card this month with no issues in collecting payment. I've done this in prior years as well with no issues.
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Postby gkaplan » Mon Jan 10, 2011 3:03 pm

I don't think it would work. One bill is dated in December. Another bill is dated last January; however, I didn't receive it until last last month after exhausting my FSA.

The bills total less than $50.00, so I don't think it's worth the hassle trying to deal with my FSA administrators
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Postby Accumulator » Mon Jan 10, 2011 3:13 pm

gkaplan wrote:I don't think it would work. One bill is dated in December. Another bill is dated last January; however, I didn't receive it until last last month after exhausting my FSA.


I've tried it before on a service I got that less than a week out from the New Year, and it was "caught". The Visa refused to go through and I had to call them to figure out what the deal was, since I wasn't keeping good track of the money on my own.
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Postby Chuck » Mon Jan 10, 2011 4:15 pm

I think we're getting confused between "works" and "is legal."
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Postby thriftynick » Mon Jan 10, 2011 4:21 pm

I've tried this before and it didn't work. I used my debit card and it went through OK, but my FSA company demanded the money back after seeing that the service was performed in the prior year.
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Postby SSSS » Mon Jan 10, 2011 5:54 pm

I had this on my account today, if it helps.

IMPORTANT REMINDER FOR FSA DEBIT CARD USE

Please remember that bills/statements for expenses or services that were provided prior to January 1, 2011 should be paid out-of-pocket. You should submit a paper claim for reimbursement of these expenses. Under IRS regulations, your FSA debit card may not be used to pay for expenses when the date of service occurred during a previous benefit plan year. If your benefit plan year begins January 1, 2011, you should not use your card to pay for any expenses that were incurred or services that were provided prior to that date.

Your employer has provided a paper claims filing deadline for all expenses incurred during the previous benefit year. Be sure to check your employer's Summary Plan Description to verify your claims filing deadline.
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Postby xerty24 » Mon Jan 10, 2011 6:03 pm

Orthodontics have an exception to the "date of service" rules in that you can "prepay" them with your FSA. If you pay up front in Dec for a year's worth of braces and appointments, you can bill all of this to your current year FSA even though the appointments, etc, will happen in part during the next year.

For other, normal types of expenses, the rule is that they are eligible in the year the service occurs.
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Postby walk-on » Thu Jan 13, 2011 6:17 pm

My debit card pulls from both the FSA and HSA but it pulls from the FSA first. My wife recently used my our new debit card (2011) for 2010 expenses and the expense was paid from the 2011 FSA. I was told that I would have to pay this money back or get taxed on it at the end of the year.

For expenses that were performed in 2010 I can't use the FSA unless I use the debit card, but why do that? I can, however, use the funds in the 2011 HSA to pay for 2010 expenses. Seems this is fair since any unused 2010 HSA funds rollover into the 2011 HSA.
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