Monday, November 29, 2010

What About UNDER the Counter Medication?

It is open enrollment time for benefits at my job, and I must decide how much to set aside for Health Care Reimbursement--that program where they take some money out of your paycheck pre-tax and give it back to you in reimbursement of authorized health-related expenses.

In past years such expenses have included things like prescriptions and office visit co-pays, but also over the counter medications like aspirin and so forth, so if you didn't use up everything you'd set aside over the course of the year, you could just go on a year-end shopping spree and stock up on painkillers and adhesive bandages. I owe almost the entire contents of my medicine cabinet to this fact.

But now, now they've changed the rules all of a sudden, and OTC expenses will no longer be eligible for reimbursement. I'm not totally happy about this.

It requires me to much more precisely calculate my expenses for the coming year, which is kind of tough to do, since you just never know when you're going to get hit by a car or develop a goiter or something that will involve medication and doctor visits. (And yeah, the car thing is covered by auto insurance, but what if it had been a hit-and-run?)

I think I'm just going to have to set aside much less money and assume that I'll wind up with expenses that I don't have anything set aside for, rather than set aside a larger amount and risk losing some of it at the end of the year.

Because I don't like losing money. No sir. I don't hold with it.


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