Important Changes to Healthcare FSA rules:
Effective January 1, 2013
Under IRS regulations, effective January 1, 2013, the annual contribution limit into a Healthcare FSA is reduced to $2,500. Prior to 2013, WHOI allowed up to $5,000 to be contributed. Please note that this reduced limit does not affect the separate Dependent Care FSA which will continue to allow up to $5,000 to be contributed.
Effective January 1, 2011
Over-the-counter (OTC) medications/drugs (except insulin) are no longer eligible for reimbursement under a Health FSA, unless it is prescribed drug. Please see the sample list from Benefit Strategies of eligible and non-eligible items for reimbursement under a Healthcare FSA (list is subject to change).
Debit Card for Health FSA
We are continuing with the FlexExpress Card for 2013, which is the easiest way to be reimbursed for your (and qualified persons) IRS qualified health care expenses (see IRS publication 502). These expenses can include prescription/office visit co-pays, medical/dental deductibles*, eyeglasses, orthodontia, etc. The FlexExpress Card works like a debit card allowing you to pay for these eligible expenses at the point-of-sale and will only be accepted at specific health care providers such as pharmacies, hospitals and physician/dentist offices. There may be circumstances where the card may not be used in which case you would submit a paper claim in order to receive your reimbursement.
IMPORTANT: Please do not discard your FlexExpress Card if you are re-enrolling. Your card will be re-programmed for the new annual election unless expired (expiration dates are located on the reverse side of card).
Deadline for Submitting Expenses each year
If you still have money in your Flexible Spending Account at the end of the year, which ends on December 31, 2012, you have an extended 2 and 1/2 month grace period to incur expenses and claim your money. Any expenses not incurred by March 15th and claimed by March 31st, will be forfeited and cannot be refunded or carried forward to the next year.
* If you are enrolling in the High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) for 2013, you will want to take a moment to consider the amount you elect for your 2013 Healthcare FSA contribution. Under the HDHP, employees will receive a separate Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) which covers a portion of the deductible. So, if you enroll in the HDHP and the HC-FSA, you do not want to set aside any dollars that will be reimbursable to you under the HRA. Please contact Human Resources for more information or to assist you with your election. In addition, the Healthcare FSA worksheet will help you in determining your 2013 HC-FSA election.
To enroll, you must complete Section 3 of the Benefits Open Enrollment Form, and complete the separate Healthcare FSA Enrollment Form for Benefit Strategies (link to forms available in the Related Files section this page).
Accessing your Flexible Spending Account
Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (DC-FSA)
The Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (DC-FSA) can be used to pay for dependent care expenses that you and your spouse (if any), incur in order to work or attend school full-time. Eligible dependent care expenses for children 13 years of age and under, or for an adult that depends on you for care, can include the following: a licensed child care center, nursery school, daytime summer camp, adult day care center, and in-home care.
This account enables you to take advantage of tax savings by using pre-tax dollars for your out-of-pocket day care expenses for eligible dependents. Money set aside for this account generally needs to be used within the calendar year and must be re-elected each year during Open Enrollment. For help with determining your annual contribution into your DC-FSA, please use the Dependent Care FSA worksheet (pdf
To elect the Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account, simply complete Section 4(a) of the 2013 Benefits Open Enrollment Form (form available under the Related Links section of this page).
According to the Internal Revenue Service, you may not be reimbursed for dependent care expenses for your Same-Sex Spouse or Domestic Partner's child(ren) through a Flexible Spending Account unless they are considered your tax dependents under Internal Revenue Code Section 152. You may want to consult a tax advisor to confirm if any person meets the criteria for tax dependents.
Dependent Care Subsidy
The Dependent Care Subsidy benefit, paid by WHOI, is in addition to the Dependent Care FSA and needs to be elected by November 1st in order to receive payments under this benefit for the current plan year. Please see the Dependent Care FSA worksheet (pdf) to assist you in your election.