A Flexible Spending Account (FSA) is a tax-favored program that allows employees to pay for
eligible out-of-pocket health care and dependent care expenses with pre-tax dollars. By using
pre-tax dollars to pay for eligible health care and dependent care expenses, an FSA gives you an
immediate discount on these expenses that equals the taxes you would otherwise pay on that
- The Medical Expense Flexible Spending Account can be used to pay for qualified medical
costs and health care expenses that are not paid by your health insurance plan or any
other insurance. PLEASE NOTE: This cannot be used to pay for any type of insurance
premiums, including long-term care insurance premiums.
- The Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account is to pay for eligible dependent care
expenses such as child care for children under age 13 or day care for anyone who you
claim as a dependent on your Federal tax return who is physically or mentally incapable
of self-care so that you (and your spouse, if you are married) can work, look for work, or
attend school full-time.
Your participation in the Flex Spending Account is completely voluntary, and it's important to
remember that unlike other benefits, your FSA election is only effective for one Benefit Period.
In other words, you must enroll each year that you choose to participate. If you do not enroll
during Open Enrollment [December 1-31], you will not participate in the next Benefit Period,
unless you experience a qualifying life event that allows you to make an election outside of
Open Enrollment. The Benefit Period will always run from January 1 of the current Benefit
Period through March 15 of the following year. This includes a 2 ½ month grace period from
January 1 through March 15 of the following year. During the grace period, eligible expenses
incurred from January 1 through March 15 of the following year can be applied towards your
prior year's balance. The intent is to help account holders avoid forfeiting any of the funds they
deposited in FSA accounts. It is important to carefully consider the amount you choose to elect.
Eligibility to participate is contingent on an employee's funding source and employment status;
therefore please contact the Office of Human Resources to enquire about your ability to enroll.