If you're looking for the funniest stuff, I suggest starting with the Steve, Don't Eat It Homage and then the travel category. You're on your own with the older posts that have yet to be categorized.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The Longest Yarn

It all started a couple months ago...(cue harp music)

I was think that I needed to start using up my Flexible Spending Account (FSA) money. I hadn't used any yet and didn't even remember how much I was putting in it. I checked an old paystub and computed that it was $360 for the year. I knew my contacts were $320 so that left $40.

I needed some meclizine and the only place I can find it in bulk is on the web. It's around $10 for 100 pills vs. the $6-$7 for 8 pills you normally get. I picked out a few more things on the website like ibuprofen, cold medicine, decongestant and when I went to check out, I found that a) I needed to send a copy of my driver's license because I was ordering pseudophedrine and b) I could use the FSA debit card and avoid all the paperwork hassles. I decided to do all that at home, assuming I could find the debit card.

I got home and found 2 cards. One says "Health Savings Account Card" and the other says "Spending Account Card". One is for the FSA and the other for the HSA. I figured the Spending card went with the FSA. So, I took a picture of my driver's license. Then I put all the same crap back into my cart and checked out with the debit card. Lastly, I emailed the DL pic to the online drugstore along with my order number.

Next, I went to order contacts. Uh oh, new price this year. They're now $360 instead of $320. That sucks; I just ordered all that crap and it could have waited until next year. I check but it was too late to cancel. Maybe I should get a half a year's worth of contacts for $200 and buy some prescription sunglasses with the other $120. Hmm, what to do.

A short time later I get an e-mail from the drugstore. My debit card was denied! Suddenly, it's not too late to cancel the order and I do. I order a years worth of contacts for $360.

Back at work, a little research shows that if you have the HSA plan you can't use an FSA debit card so that's why it was denied.

My company sends out an FSA balance statement. My planned yearly FSA deduction is $420. WTF? I check a paystub and sure enough, $35/month. This is really getting annoying. Now I've got $60 still to spend.

I'm at Target and I notice they have meclizine in big 32 count packs for a reasonable amount. I buy a couple packs (all they had), some ibuprofen (500!), cold medicine, decongestant (which I have to get from the pharmacist after showing my DL), the works. You can get a ton of OTC products for $60. Next day at work I submit the receipt to the FSA.

A week or so later I get a snail mail. "You're claim for OTC products has been rejected." Apparently, not only can you not use the debit card but you can't buy OTC products via the FSA if you have an HSA. Son of a b...

OK. Gotta spend this $60 on eye care. I guess I'll try out one of those online places that I wrote about. Of course, I can't find my prescription. I tear through everything, no luck. I call the eye doctor and they send me a copy.

I try the $29 place that my friend used. I'm looking for prescription sunglasses. They have a frame call "clip ins" which look like regular sunglasses. They're $59. Of course, my prescription is too strong for their regular lenses so I need to go for the Extra High Index lenses for an extra $35. Plus $14 shipping so those $29 glasses just went to $110 and I don't even get to try them on. Pass.

I got pretty far at the $39 place. Throw in an extra $9 for tint and $10 for polycarbonate lenses and why do they need my eye doctor's name and phone number? Are they going to call her? "Hey, your patient is ordering some el-cheapo glasses on the web. We just thought you should know. Put some extra lye in his drops next time." Forget that place. I don't need any lye drops.

I finally order from the $9 place, Zenni Optical. I got specs with the magnetic clip shade ($29) plus $20 for the 1.61 index lenses and $9 because of my ridiculous prescription (-8.25/-8.5). $58+$5 shipping.

They arrived today and not from Pakistan (that was the $26 place anyway). They work. They look decent. They don't give me a headache. Not bad for $60. Now, for the FSA...

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