Use or Lose $850 from Limited Expense FSA

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motorcyclesarecool
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Use or Lose $850 from Limited Expense FSA

Post by motorcyclesarecool » Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:35 am

I knew I’d be getting a windfall this year so, searching for ways to reduce my earned income, and knowing DW has a tooth that has been “on the verge” of needing a root canal / crown, I put about $1000 extra into my limited expense (LEX) FSA. As I have an HDHP with HSA, my LEX FSA is limited to dental and vision expenses.

Long story short, our dentist says DW’s tooth has more life left in it, and ethically she won’t remove a tooth that doesn’t require it.

While I want to kiss our dentist for refusing to do unnecessary work, that leaves us with $850 of LEX FSA balance that we need to use or lose. I’m looking for ideas of valid expenses. We already got top of the line prescription sunglasses and a few extra tubes of DW’s prescription toothpaste. I checked and teeth whitening is not a valid reimbursable expense. I might go in for an extra cleaning in December. Any ideas?
Understand that choosing an HDHP is very much a "red pill" approach. Most would rather pay higher premiums for a $20 copay per visit. They will think you weird for choosing an HSA.

Chip
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Re: Use or Lose $850 from Limited Expense FSA

Post by Chip » Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:38 am

Backup pair of regular glasses. Stock up on disposable contact lenses if either of you wears them.

I don't know if this is legal or not, but if it is perhaps you could prepay the dentist for the eventual root canal/crown.

runner3081
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Re: Use or Lose $850 from Limited Expense FSA

Post by runner3081 » Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:46 am

Heating pads, blood pressure monitors, condoms etc:

https://fsastore.com/FSA-Eligibility-List.aspx

FSA Eligible Medical Items - That DO NOT require a Doctor's Prescription

FSA eligible products designated with this symbol can be purchased with an FSA card and do not require a prescription to be reimbursed by an FSA.

Athletic Braces & Supports
Bandages
Baby Sunscreen
Baby Thermometers
Breast Pumps & Accessories
Blood Glucose Monitors & Test Strips
Blood Pressure Monitors
Children's First Aid
Children's Sunscreen
Condoms
Contact Lens Solution
Denture Cream & Cleansers
Diabetes Care Accessories
Eye Glass & Lens Accessories
First Aid Kits
First Aid Treatments & Supplies
Glucosamine Supplements
Glucose Tablets
Hearing Aid Batteries
Home Medical Equipment
Heating Pads & Wraps
Hot & Cold Packs
Incontinence Products
Lip Balm
Medical Monitoring & Testing Devices
Motion Sickness Aids
Nasal Spray
Orthopedic & Surgical Supports
Pregnancy & Fertility Tests
Prenatal Vitamins
Reading Glasses & Magnifiers
Shoe Insoles & Inserts
Sunscreen
Thermometers
Vaporizers & Inhalers
Walking Aids
Wheelchairs & Accessories

runner3081
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Re: Use or Lose $850 from Limited Expense FSA

Post by runner3081 » Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:47 am

Chip wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:38 am
I don't know if this is legal or not, but if it is perhaps you could prepay the dentist for the eventual root canal/crown.
Not allowed, it is based on service date, not payment date.

motorcyclesarecool
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Re: Use or Lose $850 from Limited Expense FSA

Post by motorcyclesarecool » Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:52 am

Vision and dental expenses only, as I noted in the OP.
runner3081 wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:46 am
Heating pads, blood pressure monitors, condoms etc:

https://fsastore.com/FSA-Eligibility-List.aspx

FSA Eligible Medical Items - That DO NOT require a Doctor's Prescription

FSA eligible products designated with this symbol can be purchased with an FSA card and do not require a prescription to be reimbursed by an FSA.

Athletic Braces & Supports
Bandages
Baby Sunscreen
Baby Thermometers
Breast Pumps & Accessories
Blood Glucose Monitors & Test Strips
Blood Pressure Monitors
Children's First Aid
Children's Sunscreen
Condoms
Contact Lens Solution
Denture Cream & Cleansers
Diabetes Care Accessories
Eye Glass & Lens Accessories
First Aid Kits
First Aid Treatments & Supplies
Glucosamine Supplements
Glucose Tablets
Hearing Aid Batteries
Home Medical Equipment
Heating Pads & Wraps
Hot & Cold Packs
Incontinence Products
Lip Balm
Medical Monitoring & Testing Devices
Motion Sickness Aids
Nasal Spray
Orthopedic & Surgical Supports
Pregnancy & Fertility Tests
Prenatal Vitamins
Reading Glasses & Magnifiers
Shoe Insoles & Inserts
Sunscreen
Thermometers
Vaporizers & Inhalers
Walking Aids
Wheelchairs & Accessories
Understand that choosing an HDHP is very much a "red pill" approach. Most would rather pay higher premiums for a $20 copay per visit. They will think you weird for choosing an HSA.

runner3081
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Re: Use or Lose $850 from Limited Expense FSA

Post by runner3081 » Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:59 am

motorcyclesarecool wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:52 am
Vision and dental expenses only, as I noted in the OP.
Sorry, didn't see that.

margered
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Re: Use or Lose $850 from Limited Expense FSA

Post by margered » Sun Nov 12, 2017 12:31 pm

How about just eyeglass frames for your future needs?

aristotelian
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Re: Use or Lose $850 from Limited Expense FSA

Post by aristotelian » Sun Nov 12, 2017 12:38 pm

If she will use the prescription toothpaste in perpetuity, easiest thing would be to get a lifetime supply. And lesson learned, don't budget the FSA unless you have a known expense coming up. What we try to do (although usually fail) is to take care of all exams for the whole family in the fall, get estimates for all the work that will be need to be done, then wait to order the contacts/orthodontia/root canal after the new year.

Do either of you have any interest in Lasik?

Slacker
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Re: Use or Lose $850 from Limited Expense FSA

Post by Slacker » Sun Nov 12, 2017 1:04 pm

Braces? If you already had them you could get an additional retainer as a back up.
Night Guard? They wear out eventually so you could get another now in anticipation of a current one wearing out.

Glomar
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Re: Use or Lose $850 from Limited Expense FSA

Post by Glomar » Sun Nov 12, 2017 1:16 pm

margered wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 12:31 pm
How about just eyeglass frames for your future needs?
May want to check with insurer first on this one. My Lex-FSA will not pay for just eyeglass frames, unless you can provide documentation that Rx lenses were installed into the frames.

margered
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Re: Use or Lose $850 from Limited Expense FSA

Post by margered » Sun Nov 12, 2017 1:48 pm

Glomar wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 1:16 pm
margered wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 12:31 pm
How about just eyeglass frames for your future needs?
May want to check with insurer first on this one. My Lex-FSA will not pay for just eyeglass frames, unless you can provide documentation that Rx lenses were installed into the frames.
Oh! Don't have a FSA so didn't know!

motorcyclesarecool
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Re: Use or Lose $850 from Limited Expense FSA

Post by motorcyclesarecool » Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:23 pm

aristotelian wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 12:38 pm
If she will use the prescription toothpaste in perpetuity, easiest thing would be to get a lifetime supply....
Do either of you have any interest in Lasik?
The issue with the RX toothpaste is that the stuff expires. We have at least a good 18 month supply now.

Re: LASIK, I have 20/20 vision. She has a friend who had to undergo LASIK twice, so she’s a little tentative. Understandably so. (Although knowing the friend, there might have been some post-op protocol to which she didn’t adhere) We don’t know if she’s a good candidate. I won’t pressure her into a LASIK procedure, not over $850, although it did get her wheels turning...

Both good thoughts. I’ll have to check on the shelf life of the toothpaste...
Understand that choosing an HDHP is very much a "red pill" approach. Most would rather pay higher premiums for a $20 copay per visit. They will think you weird for choosing an HSA.

retiredjg
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Re: Use or Lose $850 from Limited Expense FSA

Post by retiredjg » Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:30 pm

Do you actually lose it or do you have the option of taking the money out and paying a penalty of some kind?

AllMostThere
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Re: Use or Lose $850 from Limited Expense FSA

Post by AllMostThere » Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:33 pm

OP, as others have pointed out and you now have a lesson learned - Only include known future expenses in your allocation. :twisted:
My DW has a limited use FSA and I believe she can carryover $500 into next year. May want to check your summary plan description if this is a possibility. If so, carryover $500 and buy a couple of pairs of glasses for the remaining $350.

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Artful Dodger
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Re: Use or Lose $850 from Limited Expense FSA

Post by Artful Dodger » Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:35 pm

A number of limited expense plans (as well as traditional FSAs) have been liberalized to allow a certain amount to be carried over to the next year. I believe the federal employees program allows a $500 carryover. You may have already checked into this, but thought I would throw the idea out.

aristotelian
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Re: Use or Lose $850 from Limited Expense FSA

Post by aristotelian » Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:45 pm

motorcyclesarecool wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:23 pm
aristotelian wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 12:38 pm
If she will use the prescription toothpaste in perpetuity, easiest thing would be to get a lifetime supply....
Do either of you have any interest in Lasik?
The issue with the RX toothpaste is that the stuff expires. We have at least a good 18 month supply now.

Re: LASIK, I have 20/20 vision. She has a friend who had to undergo LASIK twice, so she’s a little tentative. Understandably so. (Although knowing the friend, there might have been some post-op protocol to which she didn’t adhere) We don’t know if she’s a good candidate. I won’t pressure her into a LASIK procedure, not over $850, although it did get her wheels turning...

Both good thoughts. I’ll have to check on the shelf life of the toothpaste...
Those expiration dates are just guidelinesn😁

motorcyclesarecool
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Re: Use or Lose $850 from Limited Expense FSA

Post by motorcyclesarecool » Sun Nov 12, 2017 5:03 pm

AllMostThere wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:33 pm
My DW has a limited use FSA and I believe she can carryover $500 into next year. May want to check your summary plan description if this is a possibility. If so, carryover $500 and buy a couple of pairs of glasses for the remaining $350.
My balance is $1350. $850 is what I stand to lose given the same $500 carryover. $850 truly is my use or lose amount.
Understand that choosing an HDHP is very much a "red pill" approach. Most would rather pay higher premiums for a $20 copay per visit. They will think you weird for choosing an HSA.

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samsoes
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Re: Use or Lose $850 from Limited Expense FSA

Post by samsoes » Sun Nov 12, 2017 5:08 pm

Get some expensive designer prescription sunglasses. Covered by FSA.
"Happiness Is Not My Companion" - Gen. Gouverneur K. Warren. (Avatar is the statue of Gen. Warren at Little Round Top @ Gettysburg National Military Park.)

Sweet Betsy
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Re: Use or Lose $850 from Limited Expense FSA

Post by Sweet Betsy » Sun Nov 12, 2017 5:13 pm

Braces?? Transportation costs for getting to and from your dental & vision appointments this year? An extra cleaning for each of you?

DrGoogle2017
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Re: Use or Lose $850 from Limited Expense FSA

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Sun Nov 12, 2017 5:15 pm

I usually used all of my FSA money. Massage therapy at any chiropractor also qualifies.

neilpilot
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Re: Use or Lose $850 from Limited Expense FSA

Post by neilpilot » Sun Nov 12, 2017 5:20 pm

DrGoogle2017 wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 5:15 pm
I usually used all of my FSA money. Massage therapy at any chiropractor also qualifies.
Only if prescribed by a physician to treat a physical or mental ailment. Also, never for a Limited FSA.

DrGoogle2017
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Re: Use or Lose $850 from Limited Expense FSA

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Sun Nov 12, 2017 5:22 pm

neilpilot wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 5:20 pm
DrGoogle2017 wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 5:15 pm
I usually used all of my FSA money. Massage therapy at any chiropractor also qualifies.
Only if prescribed by a physician to treat a physical or mental ailment. Also, never for a Limited FSA.
It was prescribed by my physician yearly becauseI told him I have back problem. One year, I think I spent nearly $10k on it. I’m not sure about Limited FSA, what does that mean.
Last edited by DrGoogle2017 on Sun Nov 12, 2017 5:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Katietsu
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Re: Use or Lose $850 from Limited Expense FSA

Post by Katietsu » Sun Nov 12, 2017 5:23 pm

Have your wife get a great pair of glasses. I could easily spend $850 if I knew that the other option was to lose it. Since I got my glasses inexpensively from Zenni, I got two very different pairs that I wear for different occasions or weather conditions. Would either of you have a use for prescription protective eyewear for things like sports or woodworking?

quantAndHold
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Re: Use or Lose $850 from Limited Expense FSA

Post by quantAndHold » Sun Nov 12, 2017 5:26 pm

samsoes wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 5:08 pm
Get some expensive designer prescription sunglasses. Covered by FSA.
OP says they already did that, but that would be my inclination, too. Glasses for every occasion. And an extra tooth cleaning just before the year rolls over.

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White Coat Investor
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Re: Use or Lose $850 from Limited Expense FSA

Post by White Coat Investor » Sun Nov 12, 2017 5:34 pm

Wow. This is pretty stupid policy isn't it? Use or lose policies always make for a lot of waste. It was like that in the military too. Your unit had so much money and you spent it to make sure you got it back the next year.
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course

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White Coat Investor
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Re: Use or Lose $850 from Limited Expense FSA

Post by White Coat Investor » Sun Nov 12, 2017 5:34 pm

Duplicate post
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course

Slacker
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Re: Use or Lose $850 from Limited Expense FSA

Post by Slacker » Sun Nov 12, 2017 5:35 pm

DrGoogle2017 wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 5:22 pm
neilpilot wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 5:20 pm
DrGoogle2017 wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 5:15 pm
I usually used all of my FSA money. Massage therapy at any chiropractor also qualifies.
Only if prescribed by a physician to treat a physical or mental ailment. Also, never for a Limited FSA.
It was prescribed by my physician yearly becauseI told him I have back problem. One year, I think I spent nearly $10k on it. I’m not sure about Limited FSA, what does that mean.
A limited FSA is a type of FSA only for dental and vision care because you already have an HSA for standard medical expenses. You are not allowed to carry an HSA AND an FSA UNLESS the FSA is a limited FSA.

Here is a link that explains it better: limited FSA

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samsoes
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Re: Use or Lose $850 from Limited Expense FSA

Post by samsoes » Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:25 pm

How about a high-end self blood pressure machine? Covered by FSA without a prescription. (Not sure about "limited use" FSA's though.)

Also: www.fsastore.com.
"Happiness Is Not My Companion" - Gen. Gouverneur K. Warren. (Avatar is the statue of Gen. Warren at Little Round Top @ Gettysburg National Military Park.)

LK2012
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Re: Use or Lose $850 from Limited Expense FSA

Post by LK2012 » Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:34 pm

I would think about an extra pair of prescription eyeglasses - go for gold with the frames, coatings, don't economize for once! At least you can use them, and you'll have the frames for the future if your prescription changes.

And you can try to anticipate future root canal work, but the uncertainties of these darn use-or-lose plans are making me question whether I will do a Flexible Medical Spending Account again after the upcoming year. My doctor has been good about writing prescriptions for OTC meds, but this year I've been chasing her around since January! I have a LOT to spend in the next month or two too!

JBTX
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Re: Use or Lose $850 from Limited Expense FSA

Post by JBTX » Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:03 pm

I had similar situation a years ago. I’ll say up front what I did probably wasn’t totally above board but i decided I’d risk it because ultimately I didn’t want to leave MY money in the account to go to waste.

I went to optimitrist in December and what they were willing to do was to sell me an expensive pair of frames in December and I returned them in January. They weren’t willing to give cash refund but did give me a store credit that I used later that year.

Again probably not above board but there is absolutely zero way (as far as I know) that it could come back on you. It was a legit expense at the time of reimbursement.

Many plans nowadays give you until mid March to use up your money.

sport
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Re: Use or Lose $850 from Limited Expense FSA

Post by sport » Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:25 pm

Night Driving Glasses?

neilpilot
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Re: Use or Lose $850 from Limited Expense FSA

Post by neilpilot » Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:58 pm

JBTX wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:03 pm
I had similar situation a years ago. I’ll say up front what I did probably wasn’t totally above board but i decided I’d risk it because ultimately I didn’t want to leave MY money in the account to go to waste.

I went to optimitrist in December and what they were willing to do was to sell me an expensive pair of frames in December and I returned them in January. They weren’t willing to give cash refund but did give me a store credit that I used later that year.

Again probably not above board but there is absolutely zero way (as far as I know) that it could come back on you. It was a legit expense at the time of reimbursement.

Many plans nowadays give you until mid March to use up your money.
Of course frames that are purchased without Rx lenses are not a qualified FSA expense.

ThisTimeItsDifferent
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Re: Use or Lose $850 from Limited Expense FSA

Post by ThisTimeItsDifferent » Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:18 pm

Orthodontia may be covered based on the date of billing not the date of service so you could pay the whole amount at the first visit.

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Tamarind
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Re: Use or Lose $850 from Limited Expense FSA

Post by Tamarind » Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:43 pm

Contact solution. Lenses. Sunscreen. Prescription toothpaste. All good items which last for years, but think about how much you'll actually use before they expire.

I had to do this once (with only $400) and picked up a really nice first aid kit for wilderness trips. Most of the items in it don't expire.

Also, does your FSA have a rollover option? It's up to your employer to make it possible, but some FSAs will show you to roll up to $500 over into the next year. I carried that last $100 over for most of three years and finally used it for fluoride treatments.

JBTX
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Re: Use or Lose $850 from Limited Expense FSA

Post by JBTX » Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:56 pm

neilpilot wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:58 pm
JBTX wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:03 pm
I had similar situation a years ago. I’ll say up front what I did probably wasn’t totally above board but i decided I’d risk it because ultimately I didn’t want to leave MY money in the account to go to waste.

I went to optimitrist in December and what they were willing to do was to sell me an expensive pair of frames in December and I returned them in January. They weren’t willing to give cash refund but did give me a store credit that I used later that year.

Again probably not above board but there is absolutely zero way (as far as I know) that it could come back on you. It was a legit expense at the time of reimbursement.

Many plans nowadays give you until mid March to use up your money.
Of course frames that are purchased without Rx lenses are not a qualified FSA expense.
Mine were reimbursed FWIW.

Jags4186
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Re: Use or Lose $850 from Limited Expense FSA

Post by Jags4186 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:05 pm

motorcyclesarecool wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:35 am
I knew I’d be getting a windfall this year so, searching for ways to reduce my earned income, and knowing DW has a tooth that has been “on the verge” of needing a root canal / crown, I put about $1000 extra into my limited expense (LEX) FSA. As I have an HDHP with HSA, my LEX FSA is limited to dental and vision expenses.

Long story short, our dentist says DW’s tooth has more life left in it, and ethically she won’t remove a tooth that doesn’t require it.

While I want to kiss our dentist for refusing to do unnecessary work, that leaves us with $850 of LEX FSA balance that we need to use or lose. I’m looking for ideas of valid expenses. We already got top of the line prescription sunglasses and a few extra tubes of DW’s prescription toothpaste. I checked and teeth whitening is not a valid reimbursable expense. I might go in for an extra cleaning in December. Any ideas?
OP, go to a different dentist and get the procedure done.

Determined
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Re: Use or Lose $850 from Limited Expense FSA

Post by Determined » Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:52 pm

ThisTimeItsDifferent wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:18 pm
Orthodontia may be covered based on the date of billing not the date of service so you could pay the whole amount at the first visit.
I did this with my children. I paid the whole thing, got a 5% discount, and submitted the reimbursement the next day.

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