The Problem With FSAs

I am all for saving tax money but in my opinion, FSAs (Flexible Spending Accounts) suck. I have no idea why HSAs (Health Spending Accounts) are not used more because they can carry over forever. In fact, you can make some serious money on this for future medical issues or retirement. With FSAs there are bounty hunters who deny as much as they can to save money for themselves. This happened to me and my former medical partner in a past job. Even dental work was being denied. They did it to just see who would keep trying to fight it. I just knew there was a scheme to keep the money.

Internal Revenue Service rules allowed workers to put up to $2,650 in the employer-sponsored plans in 2018. WageWorks , which manages FSAs and other benefits for 6.9 million workers, said its average participant put $1,204 into their account last year and forfeited $172 of it to their employer when they didn’t use the money in time.

It’s a joke. If my calculation is right then that means WageWorks and the companies they work with kept $1,186,000,000! Supposedly, “employers must reinvest the money into administering the plans or spend it on benefits.” But what about WageWorks and other bounty hunters?

This WSJ article talks about another sad way FSAs were used for Christmas presents. People just bought crap to use it up. What a waste! Is this the system we want?

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Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected]