#3565 – spending account

a little over a week ago i was sending emails back and forth with daria, one of my coworkers back in the store who recently got a position with our indirect sales, and she told me that she was getting laser eye surgery last friday. a few days later i asked her how it turned out, and she said she was really happy with her results and she highly recommended her surgeon, and i asked her some questions about it… apparently it set her back $2,500 (she said our insurance paid $400, so either that means it originally cost $2,900 or that $2,500 was before insurance cut it out; in either case, that was good to hear because i didn’t think it’d be that much if any at all), and that she was using our health care spending account at work to pay for it.

i hadn’t known much about this health care spending account, so i was just poking around our company’s site for information on it:

A Health Care Spending Account offers you reimbursement for certain health care expenses before Federal, Social Security, and in most areas, state and local income taxes are withheld. A Health Care Spending Account can be used to pay for eligible health care expenses not covered under the medical, dental and vision plans. You can also use the account to pay for health care expenses the IRS considers deductible on your Federal tax income return that cannot be reimbursed from any other means, this includes expenses for yourself and any person(s) you claim as a dependent on your tax return, regardless if they are covered under the Verizon Wireless medical plan.

i looked, and it said that eye surgery was covered. so, from this and all the other information i’ve been able to gather about it, it looks like insurance would bring it down to $2,100, and then i’d pay that balance and get reimbursed for my expenses. kind of how things work for my tuition – i pay it, send them the invoice, and they pay me back.1 i’d just be paying for it out of pocket, and they’d give me back the money i paid. so, basically, it looks like it’d be $0 to me in the long run (other than the per-paycheck fees that would be deducted for enrolling in the spending account). too bad i’d have to wait until next year since i didn’t enroll in it during the open enrollment this year. boooo.

1. even though i think it’s pretty silly to submit for tuition reimbursement for “walking and jogging”, even if they do say that they pay for classes needed for my degree!