Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Inflexible FSA's

Just off the phone with the service that administers my employers Healthcare Flexible Spending (FSA) account.

I put a lot of extra money (the max allowed) into that account in 2009. A painful amount of withholding in fact. I knew that we'd have a lot of medical expenses in 2009 that our PPO wouldn't be willing to cover.

Never mind the PPO "approved" docs and medicines were at best, bandaids over the cause and, at worst no help at all.

Never mind that the non PPO covered MD and his treatments worked to identify and treat some gut problems for my wife that would almost certainly led to very serious, even life threatening conditions. Just. Nevermind.

Anyhow, about those prescribed but unreimbursed expenses I submitted to my FSA. Do you think they make it easy? It's not like it's MY money or anything!

I still had ~$1350 worth of unspent FSA dollars from last year. It's a "use it or loose it" setup. No carrying over into the next year. I had submitted well in excess of that reserve but there "problems" with each submission.

Not that they'll actually tell you what the problem is. You have to get on the phone, sit on hold and wait for a customer rep to get around to your line. Then they try to figure it out. Actually the reps have always been very helpful -- once you get to them.

Yeah, I loooove to do that sitting on hold thing. Pleeeeeenty of time for sitting on hold.

Well I made a last ditch effort today. Turns out one claim for almost exactly my remaining balance had the signature truncated in the fax on the receiving end. However, I got that info and had resubmitted the coversheet last December!

So what's the hold up?

The rep today found that it was all good and complete and had been sitting there waiting to be released for over 3 months.

"Gee whiz Sir, why wasn't this $1350 paid out to you in December? I'll get that right out to you."

It wouldn't be because they get to lay claim to unused FSA funds would it? I dunno. I don't know how that works. Maybe I should ask Congress what they'd do if it was Social Security money.

rassin', frassin', crassin'...

Oh by the way, food IS medicine.

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