Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Reimbursement Check in Hand

Woo hoo!
It really shouldn't be this hard. But persistence definitely paid off.

I signed up for the FSA program at work. This is the third year I have done so. I really this it is a good program to help reduce your taxable income. It's quite beneficial for us since we are paying for preschool tuition along with doctor visits.

At the end of 2009, I signed up and selected my contribution amounts for 2010. For preschool, I selected the maximum of $5,000. When you divide that by 12 months, it comes out to right about $416 per month. For health, I just selected $200 since we don't use it a lot. Mainly just for wellness visits and any prescriptions the doctor may prescribe.

Dependent Care: $5,000
Health:  $200

On the form, there is a choice on how you would like to fund the account. Yes, the norm is to spread it out throughout the year. But it DOES ask how much you want to have withdrawn from your paycheck, and from how many paychecks. Since only $200 was going into the health account, I felt it was silly to spread that throughout the year. I opted to have $50 taken out of my first 4 paychecks in 2010.

Sounds simple right?

1st paycheck in January 2010 - $50 towards the health account
2nd paycheck in January 2010 - $50 towards the health account

1st paycheck in February 2010 - $50 towards the health account
2nd paycheck in February 2010 - $50 towards the health account

But towards the end of 2010 when I tried to get my health reimbursement, and yes we did use all $200 of it, there was an issue. A BIG issue if you ask me. I called the company who manages the accounts and they told me that the do not have a health account set up for me. Which means that the $50 that came out of my first 4 paychecks just disappeared. Well, I'm not going down without a fight. I was told to contact my payroll department and I got on the phone to them right away.

Apparently because I went against the norm and funded the health account with only 4 deposits, it somehow screwed up the system. (Coming from a QA background, I don't think any testing was done for this scenario.) Then WHY have that option on the form in the first place if the system or department cannot handle it? I can't imagine that I'm the only person that has ever went against the norm. I just can't.

After many calls and emails to the payroll rep, in a span of several months, I FINALLY got a check in the mail this weekend. What month are we in now? Oh yeah, June of 2011. WOW! Finally! Good grief. What a pain to go through. Now to avoid this, I fund the accounts throughout the year. Yes, I conformed. I don't want to go through this ordeal again.

Have you had a reimbursement nightmare?

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