FSA, as in, Flexible Spending Account. An FSA is an account where you put pre-tax money and you can use it to get reimbursed for medical and dependent-care expenses. If you spend a lot in those areas, the FSA can offer great tax savings. But, it looks like Scott and I are going to have a hard time emptying out our flexible spending account this year. We contributed $1200 and I have no idea how we'll spend it all. Yes, we're really that healthy (knock on wood) and we don't have qualifying dependent care expenses. Unfortunately, FSAs are "use it or lose it" accounts, so deemed by the IRS. So if we don't spend everything in the account, it disappears (apparently into thin air because I've yet to find someone who can tell me what actually happens to the leftover money).
So today I was looking into ways to get reimbursed for the money in our account. I thought that I could buy a year's worth of multivitamins and fish oil supplements. They are, after all, medical expenses, aren't they? Apparently not because I sent in my reimbursement form and reciepts for them and was denied. D-nied. Ouch. I went onto our health insurance website to find out what the deal was and this is what I discovered. If I'd like to be reimbursed for over-the-counter cold or flu medication, wart removal cream, pain relievers, or even contraception, it doesn't seem to be a problem. Circle the items on your Walgreens receipt, send the receipt to the insurance company and a few days later the reimbursement shows up in your bank account. Now vitamins and supplements on the other hand, something intended to keep you healthy, well...for that you need a doctor's note. Yes, a doctor's note. The doctor's note must, and I quote, "cite the specific medical condition being treated and indicate that the OTC medication will treat or alleviate it." Seriously? So I could buy a lifetime supply of condoms and Sudafed and be reimbursed without question but if I want to be reimbursed for fish oil and multivitamins, I need a doctor's note?
You gotta be kidding. What is this world coming to?