Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Medical Expenses and Tax Deductions....All the Fun Stuff

When we set up our Flexible Spending Account this year with our health insurance we put aside an average of the medical expenses we have had for the past few years. In each of the past three years I have either had a child or our son has been hospitalized, thus increasing our expenses. While I knew we wouldn't be having a child this year I did figure on our son being hospitalized for more than a day or two just in case.

Fast forward to December 15, 2009. While our son was kept over night they never actually admitted him which meant we got away with just a co-pay instead of the hospital bills. I've been healthier this year as has the rest of the family. All of this is great news, except now we have more than half of the money we set aside currently unspent.

Since I predicted some of this I started having some dental work done that I've put off for the past year (I need crown on two teeth). Two months ago I had the first crown done. The crown prep was fine, the temporary was incredibly comfortable and I've had no problems with the permanent crown. Then two weeks ago I had the crown prep done for the second crown. It was a little achy at first, which I expected but then the pain wouldn't go away. Add to that the fact I can't chew AT ALL on that entire side of my mouth and now I'm a bit concerned. I kept telling myself to give it a couple more days to see, but it's at the point where it throbs and aches so badly that it's keeping me up at night, the pain has radiated into my jaw and behind my ear and is causing (I think) horrible headaches.

So, I've told myself that I HAVE to call today. I have to have it looked at. (I won't get my permanent crown until 12/28). Yet, here I sit hesitating. I think I dread the possibility of a root canal. The only consolation is I have plenty of money left in our FSA account to pay for it, something that wouldn't have been likely a year ago.

I bet December is a big month for dentists and maybe optometrists too. People having dental work they've put off done or getting contacts and eye glasses just to meet the end of year deadline for tax deductible expenses. While that's usually not the case for us, this year it seems to be, in part due to the overestimation of our medical expenses and the surplus of cash we have to spend on medical treatment/supplies.

How about you? Do you make the rounds with your doctors in December?

1 comment:

Joanne said...

I actually just had a dentist appointment today, but it was only my routine 6-month cleaning. We pretty much stick to our routine stuff, with dentists and annual physicals, wherever they fall in the year. But now that you mention it, the dentist office was busy this morning, so your theory may be spot-on!