Consumer News

Flexible spending accounts, Call For Action

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Many of us use flexible spending accounts (FSAs) to save money on health care.

The problem is instead of saving money, you will LOSE money if you don't clear out what's in your 2011 FSA. And the deadline to do that is this week.

Folks who don't spend everything in their accounts leave an average of about $75 on the table.

Flexible spending accounts let you take money of your paycheck every year before taxes - then use that cash for approved medical expenses..

And even though 2011 has come and gone - most businesses give you an extra two and a half months to spend the money. BUT that grace period for 2011 ends March 15th, this Thursday.

Now because of new rules you can no longer stock up on over-the-counter medicines. But you can ask your doctor to write you a prescription now for medicine you'll need later.

You can also buy things like sunscreen with SPF higher than 15, bandages, contact lens solution, ankle braces, and reading glasses.

But check your plan first. Companies do have some flexibility in determining which expenses are eligible.

A Call for Action success story

Roxanne Neugebauer is raising her granddaughter, Emily, after Roxeanne's son, Jason, died when he was hit head-on in a car accident.

"It is very painful," Roxanne told Action News. "That was part of the reason I needed help in handling some of his affairs."

For instance, Roxanne found a friend to assume the loan on Jason's motorcycle. But Roxanne says navigating the red tape to make the transfer happen was a nightmare.

"Every time I talked to somebody I had to go through the whole story again," she said.

So Roxanne contacted Call for Action for help. And finally the red tape was cut. And Roxanne had one less issue to worry about.

"I think I'd still be banging my head against the wall if it wasn't for the people at Call for Action," Roxanne said. "I can't take a day off from work and just sit on the phone and chase people down. And that's what needed to be done."

If you need help with a consumer issue, we invite you to give our volunteers a call Monday through Friday, from 11am until 1pm. The number is 1-866-978-4232. You can also email Call for Action through 6abc-dot-com.

To become a Call for Action volunteer, call 215-581-5745.

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call for action, money saving, consumer news, nydia han
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