Flexible Spending Account

Hello all,

I just started working for a company that offers a Flexible Spending Account and am not sure how much I should place in the account. I’m a Type 1 diabetic and refill insulin and test strip prescriptions every couple of months. There will also be doctor’s visits every couple of months but that’s it. I’m not on the pump and stay pretty healthy. Does anyone have any suggestions for an appropriate amount? Any help would be so greatly appreciated!


I agree with John and you should look back and see what you spend – if you don’t spend it, you will lose it. When I did the flex spending plan, I had to pay 20% of my prescriptions and did spend $100 a month between Lantus, Humalog & test strips so that is what I put into my plan and easily got that back out.

Copay amount for insulin, strips, lancets

  • Copay for Dr’s office visits
  • any OTC the doctor recommends (and get an RX or other documentation from the MD)
  • Legit “Wellness” expense, e.g., flu shot.

I am type 2 with alot of other medical issues but I put $100 a month in my cafeteria plan which is a medical re-imbursment pre-tax and we use it all every year. My deductable gose from $500 to $1000 on Jan 1, 2011 so that will really help. I have a partial knee replacement next week and will still be in PT when the new year starts.

I tend to max out the withholding. My employer has a ceiling of $5,000. I find that I exhaust the FSA before the end of the year. But I have also used the FSA to cover my orthodontia. If you have any big dental work to be done, figure that in. The FSA is a great way to reduce your taxable income while at the same time saving some money. I’m having physical therapy on my neck issues and at 30 bucks a visit, it adds up. You can also use the FSA to cover the cost of prescription glasses and/or contact lenses not covered by the VSP plan (if you have it). In 2014 there will be a mandatory limit of $2500 max for FSA withholding so get it while it’s hot.

When I was on the pump and I started flex spending, I had 1500 taken out. I used that to cover pump supplies not covered by my insurance, prescriptions, doctors’ visits, etc. The best thing to do is sit down and track how much you are spending each month on everything and go from there! Good Luck!!

I always have enough put aside to cover my deductible before copays kick in.

My daughter just got diagnosed with Type 1 , so I am upping my FSA to $1500. My Co pays for her test strips alone are $75.00 every 3 months as is the Novolog Vials and Lantus Vials, needles for pens, multiclix for lancet etc. I also use FSA for copays for all doctors, dentists etc. or blood work not covered. AS of 2011 you cant use it for OTC meds unless you have a prescription, but can use it for alcohol wipes and bandages etc and they say “non prescription insulin” (who uses that!!)
I have always been a reluctant FSA person and never paid much attention to it. Been doing it for 2 years, even before my daughter developed diabetes , we used it alot and usually maxed it out around september. Anyway just look over what you have been spending , dont forget glasses or contacts or contact lense solution.

Do you know approximately how much you spent on meds and dr and dentist last year. I sure wouldnt go over that amount. Working in a dental office I have seen many over estimate how much they need and lose hundreds of dollars. Its good since its tax free or something like that but be sure to be cautious in figuring out how much. Even getting a break with taxes doesnt make it worth losing a bunch of money.

The year that I planned on purchasing the pump I up the amount. I take into consideration for all prescription drugs, durable good items, deductables and an estimate for any up and coming co pays. Plus a little extra for the unexpected. What I don’t use I submit for my husbands expenses. Now that I have my pump my plan is for some long delayed dental work and to discuss the possibily of the CGMS. The fact that it is a tax savings is very helpful, but security of this savings account for all the necessary life savings items is priceless. .

Is your insurance changing too? Because that will make a difference. You really just want to look at the cost of the things you KNOW you will need, and go with that amount. If you fall way short, you can readjust the next year. You don’t want to have too much taken out.