Monday, October 6, 2008

Spending Accounts

Spending Accounts. It’s hard to believe that we are already entering the month of October! Just 3 months and 2008 will have ended and 2009 will begin. If you are like me you might be looking at your spending accounts and trying to make sure that you have submitted all of your co-pays, bills and anything else that will amount to getting you the refunds you so diligently have set aside.
For those of you that might not know what spending accounts are here is some information about them:
Flexible spending accounts
Health care flexible spending accounts are employer-established benefit plans that reimburse employees for specified medical expenses as they are incurred. These accounts are allowed under section 125 of the Internal Revenue Code and are also referred to as "cafeteria plans" or "125 plans." The employee contributes funds to the account through a salary reduction agreement and is able to withdraw the funds set aside to pay for medical bills. The salary reduction agreement means that any funds set aside in a flexible spending account escape both income tax and Social Security tax. Employers may contribute to these accounts as well. If you do not use the amount that you have set aside “You Lose it”. So it is important to make sure that you take advantage of all the options available to you to gain reimbursement.
I have been amazed at how much we as a family have gone through every year in medical necessities, co-pays and day to day essentials that deal with diabetes. I gather everything that I can and submit monthly for all of our expenses. I include all of my documentation, receipts and forms. Doing this allows us to gain reimbursement for something that is draining on our expenses and lives. Even with the use of spending accounts there are still many things that we as parents of children with diabetes do not have the luxury of being able to be reimbursed for. Can you see me submitting for the 14 pencil boxes that I have so patiently filled with drink boxes, cake gel, test strips, fast acting candies and gluco tabs. Are these a medical necessity? When you have children with diabetes that are in school they travel from class to class and kids being kids they don’t always remember to replenish their test strips or replace the drink box they drank the day before. It’s essential to make sure that each classroom has the necessary supplies just in case there is a need. Yet I hardly think that receipts for all of the supplies I hand out at the beginning of each year would be covered. Nor to I believe that the cases of drink boxes and gator aid would be approved either.
So as I finish with this months whooping total and seal the envelope with all of our receipts I wanted to take this time to remind everyone that our pump cases, pump packs, pump pocket t-shirts, pump bands and specialty clothing are used to hold your insulin pump. We are happy to supply you with letters stating what the use is for. We cannot guarantee that you will be approved but many of our clients have gotten reimbursed. And why not submit what we can to help elevate the draining on our finances. If you are just learning about spending accounts be sure to start the new year of 2009 off with one. You will be amazed at the savings. I’ve used spending accounts for years and what really amazes me is that even with deducting this from my salary its hardly noticeable because of the savings I gain on the other end.

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