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Everything you ever wanted to know about the American medical system
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Old 07-31-2018, 06:37 AM
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Default Everything you ever wanted to know about the American medical system

Well, maybe someone can shed some light for me but I think I just have to make a phone call at some point. So this will be over-explanatory for those in the U.S. but I want everyone to have the background.

In the States you can elect as part of your medical insurance package to have a pre-determined amount of funds taken out of your pay before taxes are assessed and it goes into a fund that can only be used for medical expenses. There are a couple and mine is a Flexible Spending Account. It's supposed to be good for your bottom line when filing taxes and it's nice to not have to spend out of your net income.

I had an ER visit a couple of months ago and my insurance covered part of it with a remainder of $266. I decided to pay that part with my FSA. The transaction went through but the plan admin. wanted an explanatory receipt after the fact just to make sure it was medical. OK, no problem; I sent in what I had. I got an email saying the receipt was rejected because it didn't have the right info. on it and if I couldn't get a receipt I'd have to pay it back or have a tax penalty when I file in the spring. I called the provider network the hospital belongs to and asked for another receipt and get this: they couldn't find that visit that had been paid for in the system. It's like it didn't happen. I haven't called back because the hours are very limited but I intended to call the hospital itself and talk to their billing dept. rather than the umbrella provider.

I didn't get to make that phone call before my FSA was suspended due to not validating that the charge was medical. Yes, they will punish you. Well, that's fine. I had used up all the funds anyway so I wasn't going to use it anymore this year. But I still had to figure out whether to try for another receipt, pay it back, or take the tax penalty. So many choices! I decided to call one more time this week and try to get another receipt from the hospital directly.

I went to get the mail today and lo and behold, there is a check from the provider company for $266. I have no idea why and now I'm going to have to call the hospital and ask some questions. I'm sure they won't have any good answers for me. Now I have to figure out what to do next. sigh
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Old 07-31-2018, 10:09 PM
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Just call them once they're open again, I suppose -- Juuuust to make sure, and to get the account re-activated. You may not plan on using it again anytime soon, but then, that's what FSA's are for...the unplanned



It could be bad if it ends up as a tax penalty. The IRS actually makes a real effort to collect.
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Old 07-31-2018, 11:15 PM
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I think what I'll do is I'll pay back the amount and then they unlock my card but I'm still in the dark if the provider still wants me to pay because they sent the money back to me. It's so weird.
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Old 08-01-2018, 09:37 AM
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From what it looks like... Provider network screwed up someplace and cut you a check to pay back the FSA. I've seen it happen when you retroactively become eligible for something and a provider collected money from you.
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Old 08-03-2018, 01:46 AM
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Maybe that's it. I'm going to the bank Saturday and sending a check to the FSA administrator. If the provider requires re-payment later I'll just deal with that then. What a waste of time this is.
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