Friday, October 26, 2007

Did I tell you about…

my fiasco with my flex spending account?

It started last year, enrollment time. I looked at the program, looked at the reference sites, and called people. Everyone was saying the same thing. “Of course you can use it for insurance premiums.”

Unfortunately, the pit of my stomach was queasy. It could be the large amount of money I was allocating that was non-refundable, that I didn’t feel was properly documented. It could be that people where brushing my concerns aside. It could be that I called my program administrator and she was absolutely positive that it was covered, but had NOTHING to back it up. I’d ask for a list, and was sent to the administrator and the administrator sent me to the internal administrator.

Well, two months into the program, I got a rejection for my reimbursement. I called again. What I got was, “Oh, I didn’t understand you meant insurance premiums. Our plan doesn’t cover that.” And the fact that I explained in detail what I was doing, never gave you an idea that I meant insurance premiums!”

I won’t bore you with what transpired after that, but I was irate to say the least. After well worded emails and telephone calls, unless I wanted to find a lawyer and pursue legal action – since I like my job - I wanted/needed another solution.

In nine months, I submitted everything under the sun to receive reimbursements. And I only managed to use half of the amount. While we were cycling, I had secret hopes of getting pregnant, and have it be used towards OB co-pays and other expenses. But, I didn’t get pregnant. We decided to take a break.

There are only two more months to use our left over money or we will loose it.

So, did I tell you that both my mother and sister have both gotten eye corrective surgery in the last few months? They can’t stop raving. Did I tell you that my eyes are really bad? T has been telling me to get L*SIK done for YEARS. That I have only been putting it off – just incase I got pregnant because my eyes could change with a pregnancy.

In my practical, trying to kill two birds with one stone approach to life, I found a way to use the money and help me learn to live life without the if/when we have a baby equation.

So, my surgery is scheduled on Friday the 2nd. A week from today! I’m a little nervous about the procedure to say the least. I have no expectations over the results. My eyes are really bad, so bad that I don’t qualify for L*SIK, but I do for L*SEK. (A slightly different procedure that is just as successful and less chance of complications but a longer recovery time. So I may not be reading for several days – maybe up to a week.)

And even though, my fear is very real. I’ve decided to do this. Or as T says, “Unless I can buy a therapeutic g*n for the money in that account, you are getting that surgery!”

For the time being I am trying to breathe, meditate and relax over the procedure. Also, I am going to ignore that because of the flex fiasco, I used more money on medical expenses than I possibly want to admit. (Hoping we can use towards our taxes.) And focus on, goodness, I may able to see without glasses, contacts, or both in a week!


Waiting Amy said...

Glad you have something to look forward to after such drama with you flex acct. UGH!

I'm jealous! I too am pretty blind, and would love to do it. But no $$ right now. Fill us in on everything!

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Good for you! D. got laser eye correction in April and LOVES it. By the time we got home from the appt., his vision was perfect and he was so happy!

Samantha said...

I hate the guessing game of the flex account, but yeah, you're administrator really screwed up there! At least you can put the money to good use. I hope the surgery goes well.

Anonymous said...

Now THAT is making lemons from lemonade! Good for you. I hope you have a very smooth recovery and can kiss your contacts/glasses goodbye.

P.S. Aren't those internal insurance adminstrators the best?! grrr

BigP's Heather said...

We put the max amount in last year - thinking it would help cover labor/delivery costs. HA! I kept getting put on hold for cysts and crap so we still have almost $4,000 left too. BigP is going to get eye surgery done too. If he doesn't, I am going too. I just can't bare to see that money lost. I'd rather get the surgery and worry about my eye sight changing...

Good luck and give us a full report when you get better!!!

AwkwardMoments said...

OHH SUPER FANTASTIC!! I am sorry that it is not how you intended it to be used, but i think you will be super pleased both family members I know that did it are very very satisfied

Unknown said...

Hooray for

A) Finding a way to use that money!


B) Corrective surgery!

I too have horrible eyes-and I only have contacts-no glasses as backup. Just this morning, as the hubbs and I pulled up to Dun.kin D.onuts, I realized I didn't have my contacts in. And wouldn't you know-I couldn't see the name of a damn donut in there!

Fat Girl said...

I'm sorry you got screwed over by your spending account, but I'm glad you found a way to get a positive out of the deal. Can you have your internal administrator reimburse you for the money you put into the account under false pretenses?

I hope the surgery goes well!

Susan said...

I think it's a fantastic idea! Good luck!!

LJ said...

Hey there, if you ever have an HR/Benefits related q - feel free to drop me a line :)