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Old 10-17-2010, 05:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
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The Government to FSA contributors: FU and your money.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of listening to some young twentysomethings who were already employed with benefits, but will be changing back to their parents plans because it's cheaper for them. I was shocked to be hearing such a thing, but I guess that's par for the course. I was disgusted by this frankly because I don't think it's right since they aren't in school anymore.

It made me look up some information about some of the other changes happening. And this is what I found at my insurer.

Quote:
FSA/HSA/HRA Limitations
Provision effective January 1, 2011
Summary

Beginning January 1, 2011, the costs of over-the-counter medicines (OTC) will not be eligible for reimbursement from a health flexible spending account (FSA), health savings account (HSA) or health reimbursement arrangement (HRA) unless obtained with a prescription.

Likewise, in 2011, the tax penalty on withdrawals from HSAs for reasons other than the reimbursement of qualified medical expenses will double to 20%. Beginning January 1, 2013, employee contributions to health FSAs will be limited $2,500 per year, with indexed increases allowed in future years to adjust for inflation.
Okay, this is just fucked up. I don't want to have to call my doctor when I want to use get my FSA eligible deduction. This will cost me MORE money because now I have to get a doctor's note. Not only that, but getting things reimbursed via FSA is already a pain in the ass. I can't tell you how many doctor's visits I have to "send in documentation" so that it can be verified. It's MY FUCKING DOCTOR'S office, not TGI Friday's or some other vendor.

I already can only get a script good for only approximately 1 year without having to revisit my doctor. While I already go to my doctor once a year, during the rest of the year, I don't know if I'll need to buy more Tylenol or cough medicine.

This is just stupid.
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Old 10-17-2010, 05:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Obamacare will increase healthcare costs, across the board, by about 30%. Yes, it is not a good deal for anyone.
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Old 10-17-2010, 06:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Too bad a certain "party of no" did all it could to block any sort of comprehensive meaningful reform.

You can't just blame Obamacare for cost increases. Insurers were already ripping people off and engaging in all sorts of ethically questionable tactics to make money before Obama was even elected. Obamacare is a convenient excuse for health care providers to charge more (not that they ever really needed an excuse).
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Old 10-17-2010, 06:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Isn't there a separate forum for political discussion? I specifically stay away from that forum to skip the political back and forth.

I know I can skip the thread, but doesn't that defeat the purpose of the forum?
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Old 10-17-2010, 06:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
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This isn't about politics, it's about my FSA money and how I can no longer spend it the way it was intended. This isn't about politics this is about your money and the FSA that was created so that it could help you pay for your healthcare and childcare. If you think that's political, that's a whole different problem.

Not to mention, we don't have much discussion going on these days, I'm going to consolidate more forums if they don't get more traffic.
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Last edited by Cynthetiq; 10-17-2010 at 06:53 PM..
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Old 10-17-2010, 07:08 PM   #6 (permalink)
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When the subject has "Obamacare" in it, it is completely about politics. That's is a politically charged word created by the Right. The correct name is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act which does not have the same negative connotation as "Obamacare". It is also knows as the "Affordable Care Act". The adjustment to FSA is one of the ways to cover this Act.

The reality, as I'm sure everybody can agree, is the Act is not perfect and has both positive and negative aspects. Whether the trade offs are worth it depends on which Party you tend to listen to.
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Old 10-17-2010, 07:17 PM   #7 (permalink)
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how about this, even if I put the correct name into it, it still will be as politically charged. The best I can to tone it down is to call it "government"

Anyway you want to slice it, you cannot spend your FSA money for over the counter unless it's been prescribed by a doctor. This means that OTC stuff is now "prescription" if I want it to be covered by my FSA dollars. That is outrageous. If you don't want to cover OTC stuff, fine, don't cover it. But to force me to go to my doctor to get a prescription turns it into more costs out of my pocket.
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Old 10-19-2010, 04:49 AM   #8 (permalink)
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FSA's are (or at least were) the biggest scam run by banks. Why would my money 'expire' after 1 year? Why would I have to hand over any unused money? It is kindof the same with my HSA that I can only get 2 years of contributions from my employer if I don't use $750 of healthcare a year. I would rather have it be good for my entire lifetime.

I had it for one year, and I did buy some OTC allergy medicine w/o a prescription.

And don't get me started on the small interest rate when interest rates were higher, and the monthly fee for not contributing any money to your account (For my old HSA).

It sounds like a reasonable program for healthy, well-to-do financially, average people. But the insurance companies and banks have screwed it up. I bet the insurance company would lower my rates if I had $15,000 saved in an account by now.
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Old 10-19-2010, 05:23 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks for the heads-up on this, Cyn. (Actually, I heard about it from Noodle first, but I wasn't sure if that was all plans or just her FSA.) I forwarded the info to my wife, since she's the one who handles the FSA.
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