Living Large with FSAFEDS

The open season is over so, if you are a Fed and didn’t sign up for FSAFEDS, then just keep this in mind.

We buy lots of contact lens cleaner with our FSAFEDS money. And glasses. Well not lots of glasses, but we do buy glasses when the dentist fails to find an excuse to put a cap in our mouth. That or more fillings. And if dental bills, prescription glasses, and the several kinds of expensive contact lens cleaner the Help goes through doesn’t spend all our FSAFEDS cash, we get fancy.

I discovered that I could get reimbursed for Uber rides to and from the doctor a few years ago. When I was going through a health issue, the Help would drive me to the medical center, but that stopped after the valet service (normally we self park, but that day they were packing in cars) messed up the car’s clutch. After that, cabs were way cheaper than the $1,500 we paid to fix the clutch. I used a few cabs then one day I used Uber. And FEDSFEDS reimbursed me for the ride. So far it’s been UberX or Uber-taxi, I haven’t tried seeing if I’d get reimbursed for UberBlack.

Yeah, not as fancy as Uber, but in a walkable neighborhood, in a walkable part of the city these help. So go for the super fancy Dr. Scholl’s. Or you can test if they’ll reimburse for the Birkenstock arch supports. They should, but I haven’t tried it.

Now there have been some changes in 2015-2016 and so I plan to test the following out.

Acupuncture/ Chinese medicine/ Massage-
According to their site “You can use your FSA or HSA to pay for ALL services at Pekoe!” on 9th St NW.  I just submitted a claim for massage therapy elsewhere. I could have sworn that previously you needed a doctor’s recommendation to make massage therapy eligible. But I was recently going down the list to share with a co-worker what she could blow her money on from 2015 on besides another pair of glasses and saw massage and acupuncture listed. For massage there were no qualifiers but I chose a spot that advertised massage therapy. I do have an ache that needs soothing, so it is not for the fun of having a massage.

Re-hydration Liquids- or hangover cure
Pedialyte. I like some drinks, but as I get older more than one glass becomes problematic and that just doesn’t do when you are dining at Chez Fancy Pants with the wine pairing.

There are other things on the list of things we can buy adn get reimbursed for but they aren’t all that exciting (Breathe Right Strips anyone?) or they reveal a little too much about us.

If one wanted to they could maximize their FSAFEDS with a day at a place offering therapeutic massages, then a night on the town where next to your favorite bar/restaurant, you later pick up your prescription from the 24 hour pharmacy and a bottle of Pedialyte then from the pharmacy get an Uber home.

Live large and healthy my friends.

CDC comes up with something dumb

(Hattip to Frozen Tropics)
The CDC (Center for Disease Control), which I would like to trust for their timely health information has put something out that erodes that trust. Eroded, because Health Effects of Gentrification, is stupid.
I don’t deny that displacement because of neighborhood demographic changes is stressful and stress impacts ones health. According to the CDC:

These special populations are at increased risk for the negative consequences of gentrification. Studies indicate that vulnerable populations typically have shorter life expectancy; higher cancer rates; more birth defects; greater infant mortality; and higher incidence of asthma, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. In addition, increasing evidence shows that these populations have an unequal share of residential exposure to hazardous substances such as lead paint.

So is the CDC saying that gentrification, not poverty and poor housing is the cause of shorter life expectancy and asthma? Are all those new middle class residents moving in and fixing up vacant and run down houses polluting the air with lead paint? Is that what the CDC is saying? Because in poor neighborhoods in no danger of gentrification or reinvestment are healthy, lead free, utopias where the Popeye’s serve low fat vitamin rich meals and the corner mart has fresh fruit and lettuces. Oh wait, no. Those poorer neighborhoods in the other part of the District (think outside of NW) aren’t healthier because there is little to no gentrification there.
I see there was nothing for ‘Health Effects of Poverty’ because gentrification is a nice way to distract attention away from chronically poor neighborhoods.

Mt. Sinai missions

On Saturday I got a flier advertising the Mt. Sinai Baptist Church Nurses’ Ministry’s Church and Community Health Fair. What I really wanted to do Saturday was ask questions of what I’m assuming is some clothing ministry that was out on the corner of 3rd and Q that day. But I was running errands and trying to catch buses so that didn’t happen.
If you haven’t seen them or ever walked by that corner when they are out, every so often (it seems monthly or quarterly) on a Saturday there will be free clothing offered. The couple of times I’ve passed there have been people fingering through the racks of clothes. When I walked by this weekend there were “gently used” (got that phrase from EBay) women’s and children’s shoes. There were children’s clothing as well as adult clothing. And then there is the big chalkboard saying “Free Clothes” just so it is clear of what’ going on and offered.
The flier I got is for free health screenings and some shots & tests that are to occur on the 26th from 10AM to 3PM. The screenings are for prostate cancer, glucose (for diabetes, body fats or lipids), and blood pressure. The tests are for HIV, urine, and hearing. The shots are for the flu and tetanus. This is to occur in their lower auditorium. I’m guessing that’s the same area where we have the BACA meetings.
For more information I gather one would contact Mt. Sinai and their office # is 2/ 667-1833.


Local Shaw blogger Jimbo tells us to relax about the swine flu and you know, I’ll do my part too. I will change my ways and not be the Typhoid Mari I usually am, coming to work sick. At the slightest hint of illness, at least this Spring, I will stay home. I’ve got about 300 hours of sick leave built up, I guess I can use it.
So read Jim’s post, wash your hands, and cover your mouth when you cough.