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(Maybe relevant: I'm in Texas.)

My position was terminated last week. Yay.

I have a little over $12000 in medical expenses for this year, most of which I had not yet gotten around to submitting. (I realize that's irresponsible, but I'm not used to being let go, and I usually pull a "Crap! What's the url for walgreens.com?!" at the end of the year.)

We elected the max $2550 for the FSA for the year. (My eldest son has Autism Spectrum Disorder which requires speech and occupational therapy to the tune of ~$600 per week.)

I emailed the HR rep and asked about the procedure for submitting receipts now that I'm no longer employed, and received the (in fairness, otherwise politely-phrased):

You can submit receipts for expenses prior to your last day of work. Here is their contact info: ....

We contributed a little over $1000 to the plan this year, and have filed no claims so far.

So, given that

  1. All expenses that I want to submit were incurred while I was employed by the company.

  2. I elected the maximum amount for the year and have had the contributions (of course) automatically deducted from each paycheck.

Shouldn't I get reimbursed for at least the amount I've already paid into the plan? At my last job, I once lost a large amount to an FSA (I was not fired - just a paperwork error that was my fault), which I understand is the "use it or lose it" part of an FSA. How can the plan admnistrator (employer) be allowed to keep what I don't spend, but not be obligated to reimburse what I claim, because they decided I shouldn't work there anymore?

The Question

Can my former employer withhold reimbursement?

On a side note, they've refused to give me a copy of anything I signed when I started, and I could not get a copy of the termination paperwork, either. Guess I should find the right forum to ask about THAT particular annoyance.

  • I fail to see the issue. You have 12k in expenses, and have 1k in the FSA. The appointment must be before your last day. – mhoran_psprep Jun 9 '15 at 0:10
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    You miss-understood the companies answer to you. They told you it for for expenses before your last day. You still have time to submit them. It does not cover new expenses, only appointments before your last day. – mhoran_psprep Jun 9 '15 at 2:36
  • @mhoran_psprep the response could be interpreted as "you may only submit expenses before the last day," or "you may only submit expenses which were incurred before your last day." Both are correct interpretations, and my initial one was the former. How does earn a downvote? Heaven forbid a non-native speaker should seek help here. Also, I don't understand "appointment" as many of these (prescription fills, etc.) had no actual physician appointment or visit. I missing something? – anon Jun 9 '15 at 2:51
  • Both are reasonable interpretations but only "you may only submit expenses which were incurred before your last day" is the correct interpretation. But you're right that other expenses are eligible, not just doctors appointments. – stannius Dec 1 '15 at 18:03
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Shouldn't I get reimbursed for at least the amount I've already paid into the plan?

No. You should be reimbursed to the maximum of your election, for all the expenses incurred while you were employed.

How can the plan admnistrator (employer) be allowed to keep what I don't spend, but not be obligated to reimburse what I claim, because they decided I shouldn't work there anymore?

They cannot.

Can my former employer withhold reimbursement?

Your former employer is irrelevant.

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