FAQ - Flexible Spending Accounts

Many employees are familiar with the university’s flexible benefits plan and the annual open enrollment process.  For those who want to learn more or are enrolling for the first time, the following information addresses the most commonly asked questions about the flexible benefits plans.  

What is a flexible benefits plan?

This is a plan approved by the government, which allows qualified benefits to be paid with pre-tax dollars. The plan allows an employee to have health insurance premiums deducted from his/her pay before taxes are taken out. Taxable income is less; therefore, income tax is less. A substantial amount of money can be saved over the course of a year.

With a Section 125 Flexible Spending Account, an employee can set aside a portion of each paycheck for Unreimbursed Medical Expenses and/or Dependent Day Care Expenses. This amount is deducted from your paycheck before taxes are calculated so the taxes you owe will decrease. In other words, you won't pay taxes on the money you spend on qualified expenses such as:

* Child Care;

* Eye glasses, contact lenses and contact lens solution;

* Prescription drugs;

* Fees for physicians (dentists, orthodontists, chiropractors, gynecologists, pediatricians, etc.) including co-pays and deductibles not covered in the medical insurance program.

What type of expenses are eligible for reimbursement?

Please click on the links below to view information as well as some eligible and ineligible expenses for the medical and dependent care flexible spending accounts. You should use this information to guide you when electing the amounts you choose to withhold for 2015.

Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account
Medical Flexible Spending Account
 

What are the effective dates of the plan?

Elections made during this enrollment will be effective for the 2015 calendar year and may not be changed during the calendar year. The only exception permitted is for a qualified change in family status as defined by the Internal Revenue Code. These changes include a marriage or divorce, the birth or adoption of a child, the death of a spouse or child, employee or spouse transfer from full-time to part-time work (or vice versa), or a spouse gaining or losing employment. Note: If a qualified change occurs, the Office of Human Resources must be notified within 30 calendar days..

Who is eligible for this benefit?

All employees who work at least 30 hours per week or teach 24 semester hours per academic year are eligible to participate.

What if I am already enrolled and don't want to make changes in my deductions?

The flexible spending accounts (medical and dependent care), will not automatically carry forward into 2015. One has to complete the enrollment process online in order to re-enroll in the flexible benefit plan. The IRS requires each employee to indicate election choices for medical and dependent care spending accounts annuallyChanges in the medical and dependent care spending accounts can be made while attending the Benefits Fair on October 21st in the Koury Athletics Center, Koury Concourse, from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m., during a scheduled appointment with an AFLAC representative, or any other time during the open enrollment period online. Staff from the Office of Human Resources will be available at the Benefits Fair to provide assistance. After the Benefits Fair, please call the Office of Human Resources to schedule an appointment if you need assistance with the online enrollment process.  

What do I do if I am enrolling for the first time or if I would like to find out more about flexible spending accounts?

Please contact the Office of Human Resources at ext. 5560 and we will be more than to assist you.

Still have questions about dependent care and medical flexible spending accounts? Click here.