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Archive for March 4th, 2008

One of the benefits available at my job is flexible spending accounts, whereby money is deducted from my paycheck pre-tax, and then I can get re-imbursed for eligible dependent care or health care expenses. It’s a “use it or lose it” deal.

I always opt for the maximum amount ($5,000 annually) for dependent care because, with Little Sister in full-time child care and Big Brother in full-time child care in the summer, we spend well over that amount.

The health care flexible spending account is a little trickier. I never know how much to opt for at the beginning of the year, because our medical costs are different each year and are not totally predictable. However, since both kids have mild asthma and take meds from time, we usually have a fair amount of out-of-pocket expenses.

For 4/07-3/08, I elected to have $1,200 deducted for my health care flexible spending account. The “plan year” is up at? the end of March. Guess how much I’ve spent?

$650. Apparently the kids needed a LOT less asthma meds this year, and the wisdom teeth we thought were going to be pulled weren’t.

That means that I have $550 to spend on health care by the end of March, or I forfeit the money altogether!

As it turns out, in addition to actual medical expenses like prescriptions, doctor visits, over-the-counter items like antacids, Tylenol/Advil, bandages, antiseptics, etc. are eligible. Even a humidifier would be eligible for reimbursement.

So I guess I’m going to pick out a nice humidifier.

And after that? Well, I guess I’m going to need a bigger medicine cabinet.

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