I go through this every year this time. Most years I haven't bothered with it. It's too hard to estimate what my out of pocket medical expenses might be for a year in advance. So, of course I always way underestimate, but if I ever had money left in there to loose, I (mentally!) would lose it! Granted, now there is a new rule that some can be carried forward to the next year. But, it's a confusing amount! You decipher an excerpt from the email we got from our benefits coordinator:
The 2014 health
FSA plan has a carryover feature which
allows you to rollover up to $500 of unused health FSA funds to
the following plan year (2015). If you have a balance of less than $200
remaining in your 2014 health FSA plan this will be forfeited at the end of the
plan year and not carried over due to administration costs. Unused
health FSA funds in the excess of $500 remaining in the account after the end
of the plan year will also be forfeited. Unused Dependent Care
funds will also be forfeited at December 31, 2014.
Confusing much? So, what I get is that if I have $199 or less left in my account I loose it all. If I have between $200 and $499, I get to roll it all over and if there is any amount over $500, I lose that amount. Ok, let's make sure we can plan that one out. Dumb. I don't have any left in my FSA this year (thanks to all the dental work) but I can tell you that if I had ended up with $199 left, I'd be a bit bent out of shape that if I had had one more dollar left, I'd have the money to roll over.
With our one income and tax breaks with DD in college, my tax rate isn't super high, but I at least save about 12% in taxes, which means I saved about $160 this year by using the FSA. Is it worth the hassle? They have made it easier, with the debit card, but half of the things I charged to it required me to find my receipt, scan it, and email in a copy to verify the charge. My conservative estimate for 2015 would be about $1600. I guess, I'll probably do it again this year. I know I am going to have some more dental work that will probably exceed my benefit limit, along with I will probably make another eye doctor visit near the end of next year and most likely need new glasses/prescription.