FLEXIBLE SPENDING ACCOUNTS
The City’s Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) offer a tax smart way to pay for certain health care and dependent care expenses.
You now have until March 15th after the end of the year to INCUR expenses and until April 15 to SUBMIT claims. In other words, the FSA plan now gives you a 2 1/2 month grace period to accumulate expenses before funds are forfeited.
How the FSAs Work
There are two Flexible Spending Accounts
During open enrollment you decide how much you want to contribute to either or both accounts. You may contribute up to $5,000 per year to the healthcare account, and/or up to $5,000 (or up to $2,500 if you are married and file separate tax returns) per year to the dependent care account. You cannot change your contribution amounts during the plan year unless you have “Qualified Status Change”.
Your FSA contributions are deducted from your first 24 paychecks in equal amounts during the year. Because contributions are made before taxes are withheld, they are not subject to Social Security tax, federal income tax and, in most cases, state and local income taxes.
When you have an eligible expense, you submit a claim for reimbursement. The Health Care Account and the Dependent Care Account function separately.
Automatic Claims Submission and Direct Deposit
The FSA’s Automatic Claims Submission (ACS) feature allows your unpaid balances of certain eligible heathcare claims to roll directly to the FSA reimbursement system, so you don’t have to file multiple claims to the Health Plan(s) and the Health Care FSA Plan for the same expenses. Certain expenses that are not linked to your health plan (including HMO expenses, dental expenses, and dependent care expenses) still require you to file traditional claim forms.
With Direct Deposit, your FSA reimbursements are automatically deposited into your checking or savings accounts, so you no longer have to wait for a check to arrive in the mail.
Submitting Eligible Expenses
You should save all bills and receipts for eligible health care and dependent care expenses to use as proof of payment. Separate reimbursement request forms must be completed for health care (if ACS is not applicable) and dependent care expenses.
Eligible Healthcare expenses are those that are not covered by other insurance plans, such as deductibles, co-payments, co-insurance, prescription drugs, hearing care, dental, and vision expenses.
Eligible dependent care expenses are those that enable you (or you and your spouse, if you are married) to work or attend school full-time. They include daycare, preschool programs and after school care for qualifying children and qualifying relatives under age 13. Eligible expenses also include elder care, or care for qualifying dependents and qualifying relatives of any age who are not capable of caring for themselves.
For More Information Call Anthem Blue Cross at (888) 209-7976.