Ellen and I have enjoyed the Flex Direct option offered by CFI for some years and have been successful in spending the entire account before the year's end every year during which we have been enrolled. Every year until last year that is.
We made a mistake and are still trying to get it worked out; so I thought I would write about it here in an attempt to warn everyone else, just in case you are headed into the same trap in which we have found ourselves.
As you know each year you make a promise to provide a certain amount of money into the fund during the year. The amount is slowly taken out of your pay account every week until the amount promised is met. If you don't use all the money in your flex direct account you loose it so we all plan to spend the lot.
At the end of the year you are given 3 months, a good amount of time, to balance last year's account but here's the trick. There are two ways to validate any payments you make with your card, you can either download the form from the flexdirect website or you can take a picture of the bill and upload that to the flex' site. Uploading a picture of the bill is referred to as the "automatic method" by the people at ADP. Printing out the forms and faxing them with the bills to ADP is referred to as the "manual method".
If you are trying to balance your account from last year there is only ONE option and that is the MANUAL METHOD!! If you use the "automatic method" those unverified expenses will remain on your flex direct website dashboard making you wonder why they haven't been cleared. If you leave them too long you will run out of time and ADP will turn off your card.
Here's the problem. If you send ADP some paperwork for last year and you use their so called, automatic method the money will be taken from this year. Obviously you can't use this year's money to pay last year's bills so they will deny the payment.
We have been working on the problem for a few months now and our account is frozen until such times as we finish exchanging letters with ADP's appeals department. Had we been aware that the "manual method" was the only option during the three months of the new year we wouldn't be in this mess.
So, be aware and don't make the same mistake we made. We believe this is a very helpful option to our healthcare plan but this knowledge beforehand would have saved a whole lot of stress and tears.