Benefits : Flexible Spending Accounts

The Flexible Spending Account Program allows you to pay for certain expenses on a pre-tax basis. This means that your money goes farther. For example, if you put aside $5,000 for day care expenses in a Dependent Care account, you get to spend the whole $5,000 on day care. If you take the $5,000 in pay, you will only have roughly $3,500 left after taxes to spend on day care! For most individuals whose adjusted gross income is greater than $25,000, this program may be more beneficial than the federal dependent care tax credit – consult a tax professional for an assessment of your personal situation. The FSA Medical Reimbursement account can also help offset the cost of out-of-pocket health care expenses such as copayments, deductibles, coinsurance, and over-the-counter medications.

Chard Snyder is the administrator for your Flexible Spending Account program. Features of the program include:

  • A pre-paid benefits debit card that will provide you an easy, automatic way to pay for qualified health care/benefit expenses. The pre-paid card lets you electronically access the pre-tax amounts set aside in your accounts.

  • Full array of web services including on-line enrollment, claims submission, account balances, and claims history and detail.

  • Tri-weekly reimbursement of approved claims.

 

Medical Reimbursement

Full-time salaried employees are eligible to participate in the medical reimbursement program. You must submit an application within 60 days of your hire date or during open enrollment. This account allows the participant to set aside pretax dollars to pay for medical, dental, and vision care, or other eligible expenses that are not covered by the health insurance plan. In addition to claiming out-of-pocket expenses for the participant, expenses for eligible dependents such as spouses, dependent children and other persons considered to be an eligible dependent for Federal income tax purposes may be included. The maximum amount that you may place in this account is $5,000 per plan year. The minimum contribution is $240 per year.

Dependent Care

Full-time salaried employees are eligible to enroll in the dependent care reimbursement account, as of the first day of the month following the date of hire or during a subsequent open enrollment period. This account allows the participant to set aside pretax dollars to pay for eligible dependent care expenses, such as childcare. In order to participate in a Dependent Care FSA, you must meet at least one of the following qualifications:

  • Single parent who works full-time

  • You and your spouse both work, and your spouse's annual income is greater than the amount you are claiming for dependent care

  • Your spouse is enrolled full-time at an institution of higher learning (If your spouse is a full-time student at least five months a year or is disabled, federal law limits the maximum amount you may contribute on a pretax basis to $3,000 for one dependent and $5,000 for two or more dependents)

  • Your spouse is medically disabled and cannot care for your dependents (If your spouse is a full-time student at least five months a year or is disabled, federal law limits the maximum amount you may contribute on a pretax basis to $3,000 for one dependent and $5,000 for two or more dependents)

  • If divorced, you must have custody and be claiming the child as a dependent on your tax return

Money must be in the account before you can be reimbursed. The maximum amount you may place in your account is $2,500 during a plan year if you are married and filing tax returns separately from your spouse. If you are single, or married and filing jointly, the maximum is $5,000. The minimum contribution is $240 per year.

 

Enrollment Rules

Participation in FSA Accounts must be renewed every year during the annual open enrollment period. Generally, you may not change the amount of money set aside until the next annual enrollment period. However, the IRS will allow you to make changes during the Plan Year due to a qualifying event. Qualifying events (or family status changes) include:

  • a marital status change due to marriage, divorce, or death of a spouse

  • birth, adoption, or death of a child

  • employee obtaining permanent custody of a child

  • termination or commencement of employment by the employee, spouse, or dependent

  • employee or employee's spouse taking or returning from an unpaid leave of absence

  • change in employment status for employee or spouse

  • dependent satisfying or ceasing to satisfy the requirements for unmarried dependents

  • and significant change in coverage or costs or a change in daycare provider

Status change applications for change must be accompanied by documentation and received in Human Resources within sixty (60) days of the family status change.