You can set up a pre-tax Flexible Spending Account (FSA) to pay for routine out-of-pocket health care or dependent care expenses. After you sign up for either or both FSAs, an equal amount of money from the contribution you designate will be put into your chosen FSA each pay period.
Health Care FSA
Eligible claims include health care expenses not covered by your medical and dental plans, such as copays and deductibles. It also includes vision care expenses for prescription eyeglasses and contact lenses, as well as medicines that require a prescription. However, if you enroll in a Medica HSA, your claims are limited to out-of-pocket costs for eligible dental and vision expenses (known as a “limited-purpose health care FSA”).
Use the HSA Bank Eligibility List to find out if an item or service is covered. That will help you decide how much to put into the FSA.
Dependent Care FSA
Use your pretax dollars to pay for eligible expenses provided by a qualified dependent care provider to care for your child, disabled spouse, elderly parent, or other dependent who is physically or mentally incapable of self-care, so you can work, or if you’re married, for your spouse to work, look for work, or attend school full time.
Use the HSA Bank Eligibility List to find out what types of facilities are covered for dependent care services so you can decide how much to put into the FSA.
Deadlines to Incur Expenses and Submit Claims
Watch the dates to avoid losing your money. According to the IRS, if you do not use all of the money for expenses incurred between the date your coverage is effective and the grace period on March 15 of the following year, you lose the unused portion (the "use it or lose it" rule). The deadline to submit claims is March 31 of the following year.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you have additional questions, reach out to either WEX or HSA Bank, depending on which account your question is regarding. Contact information for both vendors are listed on the Benefit Vendor Contacts page.
Who is eligible for an FSA?
Health Care FSA
If you’re a University employee who works at least 20 hours per week, you’re eligible to enroll in a health care FSA.
You can use your health care FSA for expenses you incur and those incurred by an eligible dependent even if that dependent is not covered under your medical or dental plan. Browse dependent eligibility on the Get Benefits webpage.
Please note: If you enroll in Medica HSA for your medical plan, you may use the Health Care FSA only to cover out-of-pocket costs for eligible dental and vision expenses.
Dependent Care FSA
If you’re a University employee who works at least 20 hours per week, you’re eligible to enroll in a Dependent Care FSA if you are also:
- A single working parent; or
- Married, filing jointly; or
- Head of household with a dependent child
Your child and dependent care expenses must be for the care of one or more qualifying persons. A qualifying person is:
- Your qualifying child who is your dependent and who was under age 13 when the care was provided
- Your spouse who wasn't physically or mentally able to care for themselves and lived with you for more than half the year; or
- A person who wasn't physically or mentally able to care for themselves, lived with you for more than half the year, and either:
- Was your dependent, or
- Would have been your dependent except that:
- They received gross income of $4,700 or more,
- They filed a joint return, or
- You, or your spouse if filing jointly, could be claimed as a dependent on someone else's tax return.
What's the benefit of an FSA?
- Peace-of-mind. With the money set aside, you’ll be ready for large health-related costs such as new prescription glasses or your weekly daycare costs.
- Easy to use. You’ll receive a debit card and it’s as easy to use as the bankcard you use every day. Or you can submit your health and dependent daycare claims online or mobile app.
- Save money on taxes. Because your FSA contributions are taken out before taxes, you lower your taxable income. FSA users save about 30 cents for every dollar deposited into their FSA, depending on their tax bracket. Use HSA Bank's Healthcare Tools library, including an FSA calculator, to help you crunch the numbers to determine the amount of money to set aside from each paycheck and the amount of savings you’ll get back in return.
Here's an example that shows the tax savings:
|FSA pre-tax contribution
|Federal Income, Social Security, and Medicare taxes
|After-tax dollars spent on eligible expenses
|Real spendable income
|Savings with an FSA
* Sample tax savings for a single taxpayer with no dependents. Actual savings will vary based on your individual tax situation. Please consult a tax professional for more information.
What are the contribution limits?
You may contribute a minimum of $100 and a maximum of $3,050 from your pay before taxes to a health care FSA in 2024.
For a dependent care FSA, you may contribute a maximum of $5,000 per household from your pay before taxes each calendar year.
Note: With household maximums, the University is not able to monitor your total contribution amounts and halt contributions if you reach the limit. For example, since the University cannot track if your spouse is also contributing to a dependent care FSA, it is important to be aware of and factor in your household’s total contributions when electing benefits.
What is the "use it or lose it" rule?
Calculate your expenses and contributions carefully! If you do not use all of the money in your FSA for expenses incurred between the date your coverage is effective and the grace period deadline on March 15 of the following year, you lose the unused portion. All of your claims must be submitted by March 31 of each year.
What resources are available to help me use my FSA?
Use the HSA Bank Eligible Expenses search to find out if an item or service is covered. It’s also a good idea to be familiar with the IRS rules for FSAs:
How do I get reimbursed from my FSA?
Health Care FSA
You will receive a secure VISA®-branded, pre-paid debit card, with your annual election amount loaded onto the card. Follow the instructions to sign and activate your card. Use your debit card to pay for:
- Copays on the day of service at a doctor’s office, walk-in clinic, urgent care, emergency room, and other providers that require a copay
- Prescription medication
- Eyeglasses or contact lenses
Sometimes you won’t be able to use your card for expenses and services such as deductibles on some medical services and dental services. You can submit those claims by online submission, through the mobile app, or via a physical form.
If you still have 2023 funds available with WEX, use their Out-of-Pocket Reimbursement Request Form (pdf) and submit your claim to WEX.
Dependent Care FSA
2023 Funds with WEX
Having your dependent care provider sign the Out-of-Pocket Reimbursement Request Form (pdf) is the preferred method to file for reimbursement for 2023 funds with WEX.
If you wish to file a claim online, you may have your provider sign the form and upload it to the claim system OR you may have them provide an itemized document for you to upload to the claim system.
This itemized document should include dates of service (that have already passed), description of services, dollar amount charged for services received, and provider name.
2024 Funds with HSA Bank
Dependent Care Funds are deposited to your account following each payroll deduction. When you incur a qualified expense, you may file a claim to be reimbursed from your account. This can be done online, through the mobile app, or by using a paper claim form.
To start, change, or stop recurring charges using funds with HSA Bank, you can fill out the Recurring Dependent Care Request Form (pdf). One-time charges can be submitted using the Reimbursement Request Form (pdf).
For some dependent care expenses, you also have the option to use your HSA Bank Debit Card. You will need a receipt that shows the date of service, provider name, amount, recipient, and description of services to file a claim, as well as to substantiate your card transaction. Once HSA Bank has reviewed your documentation and substantiated a card expense, future transactions during your plan year for the same amount with the same provider will not need further receipts.
Did you know?
- Under IRS guidelines, you can only get reimbursed for dependent care that already took place.
- Unlike a health care FSA, your full dependent care election isn't available January 1. You can’t get reimbursed for more than you have currently in your account.