Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA)
Expand Your Health Care Dollars.Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) allow you to set aside a portion of your paycheck to pay for qualifying expenses that may not be covered by your health insurance plan. With an FSA, you can expand the use of your dollars beyond your health coverage to suit your particular needs.
Qualifying FSA expenses can include:
- Over the counter medications
- Lasik surgery
- Elderly caregivers
- Childcare expenses
View our more complete list of eligible health care expenses.
In order to enroll you must complete a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Authorization form.
To receive reimbursement for your expenses, you must submit a Flexible Spending Account Reimbursement Request form along with your receipt(s). PayPlans & Benefits is pleased to offer you a reimbursement convenience - Direct Deposit. You can have your Medical or Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA) reimbursement automatically deposited in your checking and/or savings account. Direct Deposit is safe, convenient and easy. To take advantage of this service, please complete the Direct Deposit Authorization Agreement form and return it to PayPlans & Benefits.
The most frequently asked questions about Flexible Spending Accounts
To ask us a question not listed below, email us using the form on our Contact Us page.
- What is a Flexible Spending Account
- I did not enroll in the Medical Care FSA (MCFSA), or Dependent Care FSA (DCFSA) during Open Enrollment. Will I have an opportunity to enroll at a later date?
- May I make changes to my MCFSA or DCFSA after Open Enrollment?
- What is a Qualifying Life Event
- Can I elect to allot money to a DCFSA but not a MCFSA, or vice-versa?
- Are there any negative factors to the tax savings through an FSA?
- I have Medical Insurance coverage. Can I still submit expenses for other memebers of my family?
- Are there limitations that apply when both spouses have and account?
- What happens if I go on a period of Leave Without Pay (LWOP) and incur an expense?
- What happens if I leave or retire before the end of the benefit period?
- Do I have to submit all my claims before the end of the year?
- How do I submit my claims forms?
The FSA Program is a valuable benefit that allows eligible employees to reduce their out-of-pocket expenses for everyday health and dependent care expenses and stretch their hard earned dollars.
I did not enroll in the Medical Care FSA (MCFSA), or Dependent Care FSA (DCFSA) during Open Enrollment. Will I have an opportunity to enroll at a later date?
No, unless you are a new or newly eligible employee, experience a Qualifying Life Event (QLE), you can only enroll in the FSA during the annual Open Enrollment.
No, you can change or revoke your election only if there is a change in your employment or a Qualifying Life Event that is specified by the plan.
A Qualifying Life Event is an event defined by the Internal Revenue Service in Section 125 that allows you to change your FSA election. QLEs include:
- Change in your legal marital status (i.e., marriage, legal separation, divorce, or death of your spouse)
- Change in your number of tax dependents
- Birth of a child or date you adopt a child, or placement for adoption
- Death of a dependent
- Change in your dependent's eligibility (for example, your child reaches age 13 where he/she is no longer eligible under a DCFSA
- Change in child care/elder care provider or cost or coverage, such as a significant cost increase charged by your current daycare provider, or a change in your daycare provider. This applies to a DCFSA only. It does NOT apply to a MCFSA.
- Change in employment status (for employee, spouse, or employee's dependent) that affects eligibility for health insurance benefits.
Yes, you can enroll in both or just one of the accounts.
While almost all employees benefit from the tax savings, your pre-tax contributions may slightly reduce your Social Security benefits at retirement. However, the value of your current year tax savings will more than offset the very slight reduction in Social Security benefits that occurs in future years. You should consult a tax professional for specific questions about your situation.
I have individual Medical Insurance coverage. Can I still submit expenses for other members of my family?
Yes, as long as you are able to claim them as a dependent on your Federal Tax return. Your MCFSA dependent is different than your Medical Insurance dependent.
Unlike DCFSAs, there is no maximum MCFSA allotment specified by law. While the maximum permitted under your employer's plan you or your spouse may have another FSA available through another employer plan the combined MCFSA allotments for a working couple may exceed the maximum allowed by one employer's plan per individual employee.
If you go on a period of Leave Without Pay (LWOP) or other non-pay status during the Benefit Period, your employer will not withhold your allotment during the period you are on leave. If you go into a period of LWOP and have not pre-paid your allotment, your FSA account will be frozen and you will not be eligible for reimbursement of any health care expenses incurred during that period until you return to pay status and your allotments are successfully restarted. However, if you have a DCFSA, only dependent care expenses you incur during your leave that meet IRS guidelines for eligible expenses (i.e., you must incur the expenses in order to allow you and your spouse to work or attend school) may be reimbursed up to your account balance. When you return to pay status, we will recalculate your allotments based on the number of pay dates remaining in the Benefit Period.
Options for coverage during a period of LWOP are based on whether your LWOP is related to a QLE. During your period of LWOP, you can continue coverage that reflects your current election so that allowable expenses you incur during your period of LWOP will be eligible for reimbursement.
The balances in your MCFSA and DCFSA are treated differently if you separate or retire before the end of the Benefit Period. In order to take advantage of the grace period for any account, you must be actively employed and making allotments through December 31 of the Benefit Period. You may elect COBRA continuation upon a qualifying COBRA event. Employees, who choose to continue their MCFSA or DCFSA under COBRA, will have to contribute 102% of their current accounts monthly contributions. Those contributions will be post-tax and then you will be able to get 100% of claims reimbursed.
Your MCFSA will terminate as of the date of your separation or retirement. There are no extensions. Any eligible health care expenses incurred prior to the date of separation will still be reimbursed but those incurred after the separation date are not reimbursable, even if you accelerated your allotments. If you used your entire elected amount before your employer has deducted it from your pay, you will not be responsible for the remaining allotments.
You can continue to use the remaining balance in your DCFSA to pay for eligible dependent care expenses until the end of the Benefit Period or until your account balance is depleted, whichever comes first.
All FSA participants should refer to their plan document for year-end deadlines.
You may fax, e-mail or send your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Request for Reimbursement and receipts through the U. S. mail directly to PayPlans and Benefits. Eligible expenses will be reimbursed bi-weekly.