My FSA (Flexible Spending Account) is notorious (at least in my experience) for trying to deny payment. Last year they attempted to deny 12 claims, and successfuly denied an additional three – apparently they don’t think chiropractors count as medical expenses. The other claims? Doctor visits.
This year, they’ve tried to deny eight or so. The latest was the bill for my kidney infection treatment. So, I called them and my HR rep called them. Their answer? The receipt the hospital sends them is nonstandard. Only receipts the pharmacies send them are ever okay. Let me replay part of the conversation here:
Me: So, you’ll only deny hospital and doctor visits?
FSA chick: Yes.
However, if I send them an itemized bill (or Explanation of Benefits from my insurance company) they will approve the expenditure. It seems likely that they’re banking on most people either not caring enough to deal with the hassle or not keeping copies of their medical bills and receipts. However, I care. And I keep copies (of course I do – duh).
So I printed out my form letter (this happens so frequently, it seemed like a good idea to create a form letter) and faxed off a copy of my EoB to my FSA administrator.
I’m always filled with this feeling of righteous vengeance when I do this. Not that the FSA particularly cares, or that they’re likely to notice the scornful way I punch in their fax number. But I find it satisfying.
And here’s a handy dandy FSA calculator for figuring out how much it might save you. That is, assuming you want to delal with the hassle.