Flexible Spending Accounts General Information
How a Flexible Spending Account Works
A flexible spending account (FSA) allows you to set aside money pre-tax to use for medical expenses (a health-care FSA) or for child-care or elder-care fees (a dependent-care FSA). An FSA can save you money by reducing your taxable income, and you can be reimbursed for expenses up to your annual contribution amount, even if it exceeds the current balance in your FSA account. Choose either or both a health-care FSA or a dependent-care FSA, depending on your situation. These plans work on the calendar year: January 1 (or new hire effective date) through December 31. You must re-enroll each year in order to continue participation for the next calendar year.
Estimate your family's annual health and/or dependent-care expenses, and enroll, electing the amount you wish withheld for the plan year. It is important to make conservative estimates of your expenses. You can only roll over up to $500 of unused health-care FSA funds for use in the following plan year, and you forfeit any funds over $500. Dependent-care FSA elections cannot roll over from one plan year to the next, so you will forfeit any unused dependent-care FSA funds.
When you incur a qualified expense, you submit a claim form and proof of payment to the plan administrator, ASIFlex, who will then issue you a reimbursement check or deposit the reimbursement directly into your bank account.
You will have until April 30 of the following year to submit claims to ASI for eligible expenses incurred during the calendar year. Any expenses that you do not claim by this time will not be reimbursed.
You can use a health-care FSA to pay for co-pays; deductibles; eligible medical, dental, and vision expenses not covered by health plans; over-the-counter drugs (with a prescription); and illness-related transportation expenses for you and your eligible dependents.
Employees who are enrolled in the Aetna Health Savings Account Option (HSAO) medical plan may not enroll in the full Health-Care FSA, but may enroll instead in the Limited Health Care FSA. You can use the Limited Health Care FSA only to pay for expenses related to dental, vision, or out-of-network preventive care services for you and your eligible dependents.
You may contribute up to $2,650 to a Health-Care or Limited Health-Care FSA in 2019. You may also choose to use a no-fee debit card.
Optional Debit Card for Health-Care FSA
If you enroll in the Health-Care FSA, you have the option of signing up for an FSA debit card. The debit card can be used to pay directly for eligible expenses incurred at doctors’ offices and at certain grocery stores and pharmacies. For a complete listing of locations that accept the debit card, please visit ASIFlex’s website. The debit card is not available with the Limited Health Care FSA or the Dependent Care FSA.
The debit card can reduce paperwork for most co-pays and over-the-counter purchases. However, depending on the expense, ASI could request follow-up documentation to confirm that the charges are qualified medical expenses. Always keep your receipts or other documentation, even if ASI does not request it.
ASI will mail a debit card application along with your FSA enrollment confirmation to your home address in late December/early January. If you wish to sign up for the debit card, you will need to complete the application and return it to ASI. It will take approximately two weeks to receive your debit card once ASI has received your application.
The Dependent Care FSA is used for daycare or in some cases for elder-care expenses incurred while you and your spouse work or attend school full time. The dependent care FSA cannot be used for medical expenses.
The IRS limit for annual dependent care expenses is $5,000 per family ($2,500 if married filing separate federal income tax returns). You must provide a tax ID number or Social Security Number for your daycare center or private provider for tax purposes. Your provider cannot be one of your own children under the age of 19.
The FSA plan documentation refers to "dependent" and "qualifying person"; these terms are interchangeable and may differ from the definition of dependent for other health-care programs.
For purposes of claiming expenses under the FSA Dependent Care plan, a qualifying person must be
- Your dependent child who was (a) under age 13 when the care was provided, (b) for whom you have custody more than 50% of the year, and (c) whom you can claim as an exemption on your federal income tax return; or
- Your dependent (child older than age 13, spouse, parent, or other family member for whom you have custodial responsibility) who (a) is physically or mentally unable to care for himself or herself, (b) shares the same residence with you, and (c) has an income less than the federal exemption amount.
Enrollment and Changes to Elections
Newly hired/newly eligible employees must enroll in this plan within 30 days of hire date (or benefit-eligibility date).
All benefits-eligible employees who wish to participate in an FSA for the upcoming calendar year must enroll during the annual open enrollment period (usually October–November). FSA elections do not carry over from year to year.
You cannot make changes to your elections during the calendar year, unless a qualifying life event occurs (e.g., birth of a child or change in employment status). You must request FSA changes within 31 days of a qualified life event change.
Participant Plan Information (describes plan provisions as well as qualifying and non-qualifying expenses)
Qualifying/Non-qualifying Expenses (for both dependent-care and health-care FSAs)
IRS Publication 502 (filing for medical and dental expenses)
IRS Publication 503 (filing for childcare and dependent-care expenses)
Claim Form (Flexible Spending Account claims should be submitted using your EmplID. To learn your Health Insurance ID, visit UAccess Employee and select Employee/Manager Self Service > Self Service > Benefits > Insurance Summary.)