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Does anyone know if this surgery would qualify under the Flexible Spending Accounts in the US? It's a pre-tax benefit that could save a good deal of $$. I've emailed my flex-admin but I'm impatient and wondered if anyone had any experience with this?

I believe it depends on your specific plan as all plans are different. I know there is another member on this forum who found out that her fills did not qualify under her FSA. The best thing to do is wait for an answer from your plan administrator.

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Yes, it should count and you should be able to use it, this Surgery counts under medical with IRS and that the same rule FSA

have to go by so I would say yes it counts and if you don"t have enough in your FSA to cover all of it. Then the rest can go on you tax return as medical expense subject to 7.5% of your adjusted gross income.

Hope this helps

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Thanks everyone! You gave me hope!

I did receive an answer back from my Flex-Admin...

"Good Morning,

In order for us to accept the lap band surgery, we must have a letter of medical necessity from your referring physician. Please make sure the funds are converted from pesos to US dollars. Also, any travel expenses would not be eligible. For example, you could not claim the airfare or the hotel expenses as it is not necessary that the procedure be performed in Mexico . I have attached a letter of medical necessity template for your convenience. Thank you. "

I'm not sure what they're going to accept as the referring physician since I know my GP would not approve, but I'm going to give it a try. A $2000 savings is worth the fight!

Mandy

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Thanks everyone! You gave me hope!

I did receive an answer back from my Flex-Admin...

"Good Morning,

In order for us to accept the lap band surgery, we must have a letter of medical necessity from your referring physician. Please make sure the funds are converted from pesos to US dollars. Also, any travel expenses would not be eligible. For example, you could not claim the airfare or the hotel expenses as it is not necessary that the procedure be performed in Mexico . I have attached a letter of medical necessity template for your convenience. Thank you. "

I'm not sure what they're going to accept as the referring physician since I know my GP would not approve, but I'm going to give it a try. A $2000 savings is worth the fight!

Mandy

Mandy,

That is great news! Just curious, why do you think your GP would disapprove? When I brought it up to my GP she was all for it and very supportive to my suprise. She told me that in this country she has to fight with the insurance companies tooth and nail just to get a chest ray authorized and understands that my options in the US were limited at best. She gave me paperwork from my file to give to Dr. Ortiz. I was suprised at her support because I have a low BMI and most doctors are not as understanding (in my case anyway) when you have a low BMI.

But if you have a history with your GP he/she should be familiar with your struggle and all the red tape involved in this country. Maybe you will have a sympathetic ear in the end. Give it a shot and let us know how it goes.

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My BMI is 33.36 and I have a family history of diabetes and heart disease. My cholesterol is in the number range of my mother's when she had both of her heart attacks. Maybe I could talk her into it; however with that being said, about 9 mos. ago I asked her for an appetite suppressor and she wouldn't do it and stated that all I needed to do was cut back on my eating, eat healthier, exercise, yada yada yada If I could do that by myself, then I wouldn't be in my current situation. I know what to do, I just don't have the will power to be hungry/not satisfied all the time.

Yes. I am fully aware that the band is a tool and not a quick fix! :)

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I agree that you may want to find another GP that understands you and your needs. Your family history AND your struggles are relevent to the care you receive. It sounds like she is not giving you credit for having already trying to loose weight by traditional means and you deserve more than that in my opinion. Taking your family history into consideration I am a bit worried for you now and I hope you at least get a second opinion from a different practioner. Please let us know how it goes.

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My flexible spending account (FBMC), along with my wife's (DPAS), paid for the entire cost of my surgery. I'm an employee of the state of Arkansas, and she's an employee of the City of Little Rock. Two different plans, and neither had a problem with it. Dr. Ortiz completed the letter of medical necessity mine required. Her plan didn't ask for one. It's fairly routine for FSA's to ask for these though (they also ask for them for orthodontics). By the way, we're contributing the max amount to both plans again this year and she's planning to have surgery at OCC. Good luck to you!

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My flexible spending account (FBMC), along with my wife's (DPAS), paid for the entire cost of my surgery. I'm an employee of the state of Arkansas, and she's an employee of the City of Little Rock. Two different plans, and neither had a problem with it. Dr. Ortiz completed the letter of medical necessity mine required. Her plan didn't ask for one. It's fairly routine for FSA's to ask for these though (they also ask for them for orthodontics). By the way, we're contributing the max amount to both plans again this year and she's planning to have surgery at OCC. Good luck to you!

So there you go :D Get a letter from Doctor Ortiz asap and submit it and you should be ready to go. I am sure his office can fax something over to you this week. This letter should be fairly simple given your family history.

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Ok, so maybe I was wrong about my GP. I called and made an appt. for a fasting bloodwork and then left a message with her nurse explaining that I have tried cutting back, diet, exercise over the past several mos. and it wasn't working and asked if she could write the letter. Her nurse called back and said to bring it in with me at my appt. It shouldn't be a problem. I told the nurse that I was currently signing up for next year's benefits and if she said no then I would be out the money, so let's hope that even if she doesn't agree that she will feel committed now! LOL So now I guess the next step is to sit down w/ Hubby to figure out a date. :-D

BTW, I didn't mention (and don't plan to) Mexico! At least not until after I get the letter in my hand!

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