2nd Trimester
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Anyone enroll for Flex Spending Account?

I thought this would be a good time to go ahead and do it since I'll be having a baby and all!  How did you calculate how much to put towards it?  If we're looking at paying $2700 maximum out of pocket did you do the whole amount?  This entire process is very confusing to me.

I won't even start on Dependent Care!  I'm just as confused!  We are doing both through wageworks.com so if anyone is also doing it through them I would love to be educated!

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Re: Anyone enroll for Flex Spending Account?

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    Remember you can use the FSA for lots of things...if you know you'll have a $2700 copay or whatever expense for the delivery, than absolutely do that much at least...I'd add a little more to cover any other office visit copays, prescriptions etc you may incur next year...

     

    I only contributed $1500 because my delivery copay is only $150.  But, then my husbands asthma and allergy meds cost us close to $150 a month, so I know we'll use all of that $1500 next year.

     

    Just don't contribute too much or if you don't use it all, you lose that $$

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    I would look at this years medical bills that you have (co pays, prescriptions, other meds). That is what we generally use as a basis for next years. We only added a little more for the baby then this past year with not knowing what our medical expenses may be. If you have some left over towards the end of the year, you can stock up on tylenol, vitamins, desitin also counts.  It would def. be up to what you usually spend in a normal year.
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    I'm not sure if all companies have the same policy, but I know DH's employer allows FSA dollars to be changed if there is a change in family status, like having a baby.  So we are waiting to allocate our FSA dollars after LO arrives.  The perk of starting it w/ the 1st of the year though would be a smaller amount out of all paychecks, but I figure it comes out the same in the end, so we are waiting in case we end up w/ addt'l expenses from the birth if it were to be c-section or LO arrives early & needs addt'l care.
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    I did not enroll for a Flex Spending Account for hospital expenses.  We only had to pay about 500 out of pocket.  One thing to know is that if you do not use the amount, you loose the money so I would just do one for what you would owe.   I know that you can change it once the baby is born to reduce or increase the amount per year. 

     Dependent care is a pain.  You can only take out 5,000 per year for dependent care.  With two in daycare next year, we are going to be screwed.

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    Dependent care is easy once you know how much you're paying for daycare and you might be able to sign up for it after you have the baby - typically you can do that for a "life event".

    We've used FSA accounts for years and make a conservative guess.  This year we set aside $1500 and used it all by August!  My husband, daughter and stepson got new glasses, there was dental work and various doctor's appts.  Next year, we're setting aside $2K b/c of the new baby.  The year before last, we had some money left that we didn't think we'd be spending so I stocked up on OTC medicines and had an elective dermatological procedure (had a red spot lightened).  Just make sure to keep your receipts for everything...we just got a notice that we had to substantiate some claims and thankfully we kept all of the receipts.

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    imagestacynikki:

    I thought this would be a good time to go ahead and do it since I'll be having a baby and all!  How did you calculate how much to put towards it?  If we're looking at paying $2700 maximum out of pocket did you do the whole amount?  This entire process is very confusing to me.

    I won't even start on Dependent Care!  I'm just as confused!  We are doing both through wageworks.com so if anyone is also doing it through them I would love to be educated!

     

    Our's is with wageworks also!  We love it!  You can print a list of the eligible expenses and I even found childbirth classes are on there!  We did $2000 last year and will do the same next year (even though LO will be around) because we have about $700 left over and need to use it up by December.  Also....don't be fooled by others...people always tell me that it "rolls over" to next year...NO that is an HSA (health savings account).

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    I found it was helpful to ask my local board how much their deliveries were for vaginal and c-section at my intended hospital......  What their insurance companies were originally billed, and what their companies negotiated the amount down to.   Knowing that and how much my plan covers, plus deductible, I was able to get a rough estimate of the "best case scenario."  Not wanting to lose the money from the HSA, I didn't put more than $1500 in there.  (My company puts reward money in there for other health incentives, so I would rather I not spend their money than mine)   It just all depends on your health insurance company and what you are comfortable seeing removed from your paycheck!

     

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    I'll agree with the PPs that FSA is a "use it or lose it" account, but keep in mind that even if you don't use every penny, you're still coming out ahead if you lose a little as opposed to not putting in enough since it is pre-tax dollars.  The good thing about the FSAs is that there are so many things you can use the funds on.

    Don't forget about co-pays at the pedi's office (if you have them)... your LO will have a handful of apointments their first 6 months and the co-pays add up quick.

    If you're oop max for the delivery, etc is $2700, I'd put in at least $3000.  And double check the policy.. FSA is one of the few things we CAN'T change with a life event.

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    I'd say do it. It's pre-tax, which helps a bit. I'm doing $1,500 for medical to cover the birth, appts, chiro, etc. I'm also doing the $5,000 max for dependent care. I'm starting the top of the year so it comes out of my paychecks a little slower.

    Remember in most cases, both parents can use their medical flex 50/50 for for the baby. For dependent care, only one parent can flex per child. But, if you have two in daycare, one can flex $5,000 for kid 1 and the other can do $5,000 for kid 2 - you just can't mix the payments.

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    For mine the max of medical care is $2,000-- my dad said theirs is the same, so you might want to check and see if there is a max.

    Remember that over the counter items can also be used-- like cough syrup. It adds up! We're using the max.

    Also, ours you can change when you give birth (it's one of the circumstances you can change mid-year), so you could go with the max now, and then reduce it when LO is born if you think it's too high after a couple months.

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