I don't want to be perfect, just better...

Friday, October 31, 2008

Co-pay, Flexible Spending Accounts, and knowing what you owe or Curses foiled again!

My husband took two of the kids to see the doctor and the nurse charged us a co-pay.

Spendthrift, no big deal.


Wrong! For the kids there is no co-pay for a doctor's visit but the nurse charged ten dollars per child for a well child visit.

I know its only twenty bucks, but twenty bucks could pay a portion of the a couple bills, and the co-pay for the prescriptions is guess what - twenty bucks.

When my husband told me he had to pay the co-pay I immediately went to look for the benefits breakdown sheet that listed all of the co-payments for everything. (If you have thrown yours away, I suggest getting a new one from your HR person) The doctors office want to get as much money out of you as possible and often (case in point) won't check or assume you don't know how much your co-payments are.

I am glad he had saved the receipt.

I remembered celebrating the fact I wouldn't have to pay a co-pay every month for my son to get his medication, he gets two often three prescriptions a month and I counted the co-payments up for the year and have it refunded to me out of the flexible spending account.

The great thing about Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) are that the money comes out pre-tax; effectively lowering the taxes I pay on my salary each pay period. The second great thing about the FSA is that it allows me to save money for medical expenses that the insurance won't pay for like co-payments, things I may forget to factor into the budget.

The bad thing with the Flexible spending accounts are that you don't want to have too much taken out because if you do then you won't be able to retrieve that money. So with that thought I would not have a co-pay for the children in mind I allocated 1% of my salary to go into the Flex Spending account. I figured the co-pay on prescriptions for every month and some extra stuff because I knew we would need a new first aid kit (yes its covered) and some over the counter medications. I like Ny-Quil.

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