HCFSA… anyone? Anyone? Ok – Health Care Flexible Spending Account.
Do you have one? I do. Working for the federal government has it’s perks – holidays, annual leave, sick leave, great insurance benefits, and… HCFSA. The way this little program works is at the end of the year, you decide how much you think you’ll spend on health care-related items in the following calendar year. You set aside that amount to be taken out of your paycheck *pre-tax* and request the money back by submitting receipts for qualifying expenses. Long story short… you don’t have to pay taxes on the money you use for health care expenses.
The only bad part of the deal that I’ve found is that if you don’t use your money by the end of the year (plus a little grace period), you lose the money. I haven’t had any problems using mine.
For example, I just found this week that Proactiv (and other acne treatments) are a covered expense. The benefits are also used to reimburse me for over-the-counter medications, glasses, LASIK surgery, prescription copays and physician visit copays.
As Martha Stewart says, “It’s a good thing.”
There’s another program that takes out money *pre-tax* that’s reserved for dependent care. I’m waiting on this program to recognize that my furry children are expensive and should be covered. Then, I’ll enroll.