Human Resources

Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (DC-FSA)

This is a summary of the Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account program (DCFSA).  The actual administration is governed by the Plan Document. If you have specific questions regarding the application of a Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account, please contact Health Equity directly at 877-694-3938 or by visiting www.HealthEquity.com.

General Information

The Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (DCFSA) allows you the opportunity to pay Dependent Care expenses on a pre-tax basis by setting aside a predetermined dollar amount each pay period to cover allowable expenses. You may think of a Flexible Spending Account as a special savings account from which you can draw to reimburse yourself for Dependent Care expenses. Because the contributions to a Flexible Spending Account are untaxed (no Federal, State and Social Security) at deposit and untaxed at withdrawal, you decrease your taxable income, while increasing your spendable cash.

  • Choose an annual amount for your DCFSA account. Best to underestimate!  For assistance with determining your annual contribution to your DCFSA, contact Health Equity.
  • A proportionate amount will be deducted from your paycheck on a pre-tax basis and accumulate in your DCFSA account.
  • You may be reimbursed up to your account balance at any time by submitting a completed claim form and proper documentation to Health Equity.
  • The annual maximum is $5,000 for employees married filing jointly or $2,500 for single employees or married filing separately.
  • USE IT OR LOSE IT! If you have not submitted enough expenses to equal your annual DCFSA account, you will forfeit the balance remaining in your account.  For specific details regarding how to submit for reimbursement, please see the DCFSA Claim form or contact Health Equity Directly.

Enrollment

You may enroll or make changes to your Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account:

  1. Before the start of each calendar year during Open Enrollment.
  2. Within 31 days of one of the following Qualified Life Events:
    • Becoming eligible to participate (newly hired, or mid-year status change to a benefits-eligible employee),
    • Marriage or divorce,
    • Birth or adoption of a child,
    • Death of a spouse or child,
    • Termination of your spouse's employment, or
    • Change in daycare provider or childcare expenses.

If you expirience one of these Qualified Life Events and would like to enroll, you must complete the Benefits Enrollment & Change form and return it within 31 days of the date of the Qualified Life Event to BenefitsQA@whoi.edu or WHOI Benefits MS#15.

Eligible Expenses

Under the Plan, you will be reimbursed only for Dependent Care expenses meeting all of the following conditions:

  • The expenses are incurred for services rendered after the date of this election and during the calendar year to which it applies.
  • Each individual for whom you incur the expenses is:
    1. an eligible dependent child under age 13 whom you are entitled to claim as a dependent on your Federal Income Tax Return
  • The expenses are incurred for the care of a dependent described above or for related household services and are incurred to enable you to be gainfully employed.
  • If the expenses are incurred for services outside your household, they are incurred for the care of a dependent who regularly spends at least 8 hours per day in your household.
  • If the expenses are incurred for services provided by a dependent care center (i.e., a facility for more than 6 individuals not residing at the facility), the center complies with regulations.
  • The expenses are not paid or payable to a child of yours who is under age 19 at the end of the year in which the expenses are incurred.
  • The expenses are not paid or payable to an individual for whom you or your spouse is entitled to a personal tax exemption as a dependent.

Last updated: March 11, 2017