Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA)
- EBPA website (Third-Party Adminstrator)
- FSA Summary Plan Description
- Submit Claims Electronically NEW!
- Reimbursement Claim Form
- Reimbursement Schedule
- FSA Direct Depost Form
- FSA Benefits Card
All employees who work at least half-time may choose to enroll in Health Care and/or Dependent Day Care FSA plans. The FSA plans are designed to let participants pay for eligible expenses with before-tax dollars. Funds in the FSA plans are not subject to federal or state income or social security taxes resulting in valuable tax savings. Participation in these accounts is entirely voluntary. Employees may sign up for one, both or neither option. Employees must re-enroll each year for the accounts, even if they participated the previous year.
USING THE ACCOUNTS
FSAs work much like checking accounts. Before the beginning of each calendar year, employees decide how much they want to deposit in each account for the following year. The money will be automatically deducted from paychecks each pay period in equal amounts – before any federal, state income or Social Security (FICA) taxes are taken out. (See also: Understand Your Pay Stub)
The maximum amount employees can contribute in a calendar year is:
- Health Care $4,000
- 2013 Health Care Limit is $2,500
- Dependent Day Care $5,000
The minimum amount employees can contribute to either account in a calendar year is $200.
Employees then continue to pay expenses as they do now (or use the FSA Benefits Card). After employees pay expenses that qualify under the program, they simply submit a claim form to EBPA, the University’s FSA administrator, along with receipts for expenses, and employees will be reimbursed in before-tax dollars (see Submitting Claim Forms below). For health care expenses, you may be reimbursed up to the amount of your annual deposit. For dependent day care expenses, employees can only be reimbursed up to their account balance as of their last paycheck.
Because you are restricted from changing your deductions after you enroll, it is important that you carefully plan your decision to participate in FSA Plans. Contribution amounts may only be changed in the event of a qualified status change as defined by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
PLANNING YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS
The IRS requires that any unused amounts left in FSAs at the end of the plan year be forfeited. Therefore, employees should be sure they do not set aside amounts in excess of what they can claim during the plan year. Employees cannot “bank” or “carry over” unused amounts into the new plan year. If participants are not reasonably certain that they will have the types of eligible expenses provided for under the program, then they should not enroll in FSA plans. If, however, employees determine that they are going to have eligible expenses that must be paid anyway, why not pay them with before-tax dollars?
If, at the end of the year, employees have outstanding claims that were incurred during the calendar year, they have until April 15 to submit these expenses for reimbursement. After that date, any money left in accounts is automatically forfeited.
HEALTH CARE EXPENSES
Employees can use their Health Care FSA to be reimbursed for health care expenses that are not paid or reimbursed by any other medical or dental insurance. Refer to the FSA Summary Plan Description for details. Examples include:
- Medical expenses not covered by insurance.
- Dental expenses not covered by insurance.
- Copays, deductibles or coinsurance amounts.
- Eye examinations (not covered by insurance), glasses, contact lenses, and supplies.
- Other health expenses, such as weight loss or smoking cessation programs prescribed by a physician.
- Eligible over-the-counter drugs
- If you use the Health Care Account for these expenses, you cannot also take a tax deduction on your income tax return.
- The premiums you pay for medical and dental coverage out of your paycheck are not eligible expenses.
- Flexible Spending Accounts may not be used for a non-federally tax qualified dependent in accordance with IRS rules.
DEPENDENT DAY CARE EXPENSES (Not Health Care)
Employees can use their Dependent Day Care FSA to be reimbursed for child or dependent day care expenses. Examples include:
- Expenses for dependent day care that enable employees (and their spouse) to work or to attend school.
- Services inside or outside employees' homes.
- Services in a dependent or child care center or nursery school.
DEPENDENT DAY CARE TAX CREDIT
Dependent Day Care FSA contributions cannot
also be claimed as federal income tax deductions. For most people, the Dependent Day Care FSA
will provide greater tax savings than the federal credit.
If employees choose not to use the new FSA Benefits Card, reimbursements can be obtained by completing a claim form, attaching appropriate receipts and returning to EBPA at the address listed on the claim form. Please refer to the reimbursement schedule for dates of reimbursements.
Please contact EBPA with questions regarding your FSA Account.
The above is a brief summary of benefits offered by the University of Maine System. If you have a question about benefits enrollment, call toll-free 866-269-9635 (or 973-3373) or email email@example.com. Have your Employee ID number for faster service.
Last Updated: April 4, 2013