Wesley Chapel woman receives over $800 medical overpayment refund; told she can’t use the money

Better Call Behnken

She was told flexible spending account rules don't allow spending money from 2020 expenses in 2021

WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. (WFLA ) – Bobbi Lee Howard was elated when she was notified by Florida Orthopedic Institute that its records indicated she was due a refund totaling $827.71.

But then her heart sank. It was Dec. 29 and she knew she had only two days left to spend the money because it would be refunded to her flexible spending account, which requires all balances to be spent within a calendar year.

“I knew I didn’t have much time,” Howard said.

She says she called Florida Orthopedic and was eventually told they could send her a check instead so she could use the money. But then she says days later she was notified that wouldn’t happen and that the money was refunded to her flexible spending card.

And now, she can’t access one cent. The money, she said, showed up in her account in multiple transactions in January. And she’s not authorized, under her plan, to use 2020 refund money for expenses in 2021.

“I can’t believe that it’s money I paid, that I overpaid, and I can’t use it,” Howard said.

She called Better Call Behnken for answers. A spokeswoman for Florida Orthopedic Institute said she would investigate, and then she sent this statement hours later.

“Upon investigation, it was determined that all accurate steps were taken to refund the balance due in accordance with FOI’s current refund process.”

That means Howard still doesn’t have access to her money that is sitting in limbo in her account.

Better Call Behnken is reaching out to her insurance company, Aetna, and to Florida regulators to see if there is anything else that can be done.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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