Medical Expense Tracking & HSA / DCFSA

Two part question :

I really want to go back and track Medical Expenses in YNAB.  At the moment, I track my HSA balance as a Tracking item.  I reconcile monthly and it goes up or down depending.  However, I really want to have the detail in YNAB for all those transactions.

I can get the details from my HSA account & manually enter them, but what is the best way?  I want to make sure that the HSA money isn't available as "to be budgeted" - so I'm thinking that I just have that HSA account deposits go directly to the Medical Expense line?  I wouldn't need to 'budget' anything to this monthly as the payroll money would just show up as a positive contribution to that line.  That line would stay positive, only lowering by the negative transactions?  I don't do any reimbursements to regular accounts, it all gets paid directly on the account.  Am I going to mess up all my history if I try to do this - any advice?

Secondly, I'd like to do the same with DCFSA - I use a credit card to pay, and then get reimbursed into checking. 

DCFSA 'Savings' Account = $500

Daycare Expense (DE) budgeted = 0, Activity +$500, Available +$500

Then the transaction occurs, my Credit card shows -$200 transaction that I apply to "DE"

DE budgeted = 0, Activity +300, Available +300

Finally when reimbursed into checking, it's a net 0 move from DCFSA Savings -> Checking which shouldn't effect my "to be budgeted" or the budget line items, right? 

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  • I can comment on the HSA stuff.  I'm assuming you're decently experienced and/or comfortable with YNAB.  I have a way to keep my HSA on budget, but it can get a little messy if you're a new user.  I use a a Medical category group, and the last item is "HSA Funds."  It is the ONLY category in my entire budget that is meant to match the amount in the HSA account (on-budget, NOT tracking).  If you are able to successfully search this board for HSA there are other methods people use, that are probably much simpler than mine, but after much experimentation I found this method works best for me.

    HSA additions from each paycheck, like today's, are scheduled in the HSA account directly to the HSA Funds category.  So let's say I have a prescription auto-shipped with payment from the HSA, that gets entered directly from the HSA account and is categorized to Medical:Prescriptions.  Uh oh, Prescriptions is red now.  I move money from the HSA Funds category to cover the red.  Now HSA account & category still match.

    As far as reimbursements, I've tried multiple ways to get this to work, and found the best way is to add a Medical Buffer category.  That's the first in my Medical group.  Budget a round number, from TBB funds, for how much you want to keep in there.  When you spend money from a regular account that will need to be reimbursed from your HSA (or insurance company first), you cover that expense from the Buffer category.  When you reimburse yourself from the HSA you move money from your HSA category back to your Medical Buffer.  

    If this sounds complicated, it is.  I'll leave out the workflow when insurance reimbursements are part of the equation :).  AND, I'll note that I keep all major tracking of medical transactions and reimbursements outside of YNAB entirely.  I use an app, many use a spreadsheet.  I reference the information available on the insurance company websites, but I don't solely rely on it, as I want to keep my own records too.  But I keep enough simple notes in YNAB transactions, like whose medical bill this is for what date, or what medication, etc.

  • Thanks for the reply - I appreciate it!

    I've read some other posts, and they actually seem a little more complex (mostly because they are dealing with reimbursements for HSA).  I may try that for the medical.  

  • Any thoughts on my plan for the Dependent Care FSA where I use a CC to pay, then get reimbursed?

  • What I do is I most of the time pay for my HSA-eligible purchases with an on budget credit card, so I can get my 2% cash back.  I budget transactions to my HSA category and I include transactions details in the memo.  Then I transfer money from my HSA directly into that category.  But I don't have a ton of HSA purchases, so this works for me.  It may be too much work if you have a lot of transactions.  You could also just zero out the HSA category once a month with one big transfer. 

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