Thursday, December 15, 2011

Trials of Spending my FSA Dollars

If you have a real grown-up job you might know a little something about a Flex Spending Account. This is a pre-tax benefit that takes money right out of your paycheck and puts it into a special account that you can only use for health-related costs. If you don't use this money that you put aside, you lose it. FOREVER!

About a week ago, I remembered that I hadn't spent much of my FSA money, despite always carrying my FSA debit card around with me. I called my FSA provider and they informed me that I had $700 to use in the matter of about two weeks. Holy schnikeys!

I did some research and for a healthy lady like myself, there is not much you can just go to the pharmacy and buy except for bandages, hot/cold packs (as long as they're not for keeping a beverage hot or cold), and thermometers. You can't even buy over the counter drugs without a doctor's prescription thanks to ObamaCare. I could use them for co-pays, though, so I started doctoring up.

Part I: The Dentist

First I went to the dentist that my DMO picked out for me. I had no idea how good my dentist growing up was until I went to this off-brand dentist in Woodside. He used a machine on my teeth to clean them instead of gently scraping and spraying like my old dentist. Surprisingly, this did not leave my teeth feeling extra squeaky clean like normal. On top of that, his office was in shambles - broken vinyl blinds, worn-out rugs, outdated machines, the works. I would've rather have payed full wood and gone to a class act dentist.

Anyway, the co-pay there was $5 which just seems like a waste of time for everyone. I told the receptionist I would pay with my FSA card (I had discussed this on the phone prior to my appointment) and in the office, she informed me there was a $20 minimum. WTF, snatchbag?! is what I wanted to say but didn't so I asked if there were any extra services the dentist could perform that would bump me up. "Of course there are!"

I go into the chair, still unaware that a spinning machine will be attacking my teeth shortly, and explain my plight to the dentist. "You want me to perform extra services so you can pay more?" "Yes, that is precisely what I want." "Okay then, let me see... well your teeth look perfect and you don't even need your wisdom teeth pulled. I don't even see any tartar build up on here!" "So there's nothing extra at all? Maybe a boosted scrub option?" "Sorry!"

As of today, I still owe the dentist $5 (I didn't have cash on me) and I'm not sure if his machine deserves my Subway Foot-long money! Anyway, a failure to use my card there.

Part II: The Regular Doctor 

I went to a regular doctor and he didn't even take cards (I forgot to check because I didn't realize this was going to be a whole Thing) but he did write some OTC prescriptions for Ibuprofen, Zyrtec and Miralax. Like gigantic versions of all of these so I am basically supplied for about a year. One problem - Duane Reed gave me the generics so instead of Miralax, I have a gigantic thing of powdered laxative (standard laxatives work differently than Miralax). I'm going to try to return it tonight but if, I'm unsuccessful, I'm your girl if you ever want a quick scoop of some laxatives.

On the same trip, I bought a shit ton of hot/cold packs as well as some ace bandages and knee braces. I don't know if I'll need these things but I know I'll regret not spending the money so whatever, I've got a crapload of them now.

Part III: The Chiropractor 

Last night I went to a chiropractor who was very nice AND took cards for the copay so I got to spend some flex dollars there. I did run into a snag - you see, I wasn't expecting to take my pants off for this examination but they provided these short type things along with the generic robe which I assume meant pants off. When I changed, I noticed my legs were bone dry... disturbingly dry really... and when I saw this, I instantly starting scratching, thereby making everything worse.

Fuck, I thought, I need to get some lotion on these ASAP. I'm going to look ridiculous sitting here with my chalky, scratched up legs. Okay, Chiropractor's office... there's gotta be massage lotion or something around here.

But there wasn't. Frantically, I searched, knowing that time was running out as the doctor would eventually get tired of waiting for me to crack open the door to signal my readiness. Then, I saw some Ultra-sound gel in the corner.

Whatever, this will have to do. I thought, as I liberally squirted and massaged the gel on my legs. It was not as absorbent as I was expecting. Nor was I expecting the very strong, mint-ish scent that enveloped the room after I applied. As soon as I noticed the smell, I looked over at the door and saw the knob was turning. I tried to wipe my hand on my robe but it was not absorbent at all and thus, my hand remained moist with gel. The doctor stepped in and recoiled back slightly as the distinctive mint-ish overtook him. He furrowed his brow for a moment then shook it off and stuck his hand toward me. I gave mine once last wipe and returned the handshake... then watched as realization came into his eyes which examined my hand then my newly refreshed legs. We shared a look of mutual knowledge.

I wanted so bad to say to him, "My legs were so dry!" but I held it in because I'm trying to behave less awkwardly these days. Anyway, if you have tips on how to blow a few hundred flex dollars, feel free to share. I think I'm going to try an acupuncturist next.

1 comment:

  1. I am honestly dying laughing at the dentist story. BAAHAHAHA