Healthcare Flexible Spending Account FAQ's

How do I plan my deposits:

Each year you must decide, in advance, what your deposit to your Health Care Spending Account will be.  However, any changes you make to your amount must correspond and be consistent with the event permitting the election change.  For example: if you add a dependent, the deposit amount could increase.  Events permitting a change include:

  • Change in legal marital status, including marriage, death of spouse, divorce, legal separation or annulment.
  • The Judgment, Decree or Order requiring a change in health coverage for your child.
  • Change in the number of tax dependents, including birth, adoption, placement for adoption, commencement or termination of adoption proceeding, or death of dependent.
  • Change in employment status of the employee, spouse or dependent including:
    • Termination or commencement of employment;
    • Commencement or return from an unpaid leave of absence;
    • Commencement or termination of strike or lockout; or
    • Change from salaried to hourly which causes or terminates eligibility under a plan.
  • The dependent satisfies or ceases to satisfy the requirements for coverage due to attainment of age, student status or any similar circumstances as provided under the accident or health plan under which the employee receives coverage.
  • A change in the place of residence or work site of the employee, spouse or dependent.
  • A change in the spouse’s or dependent’s coverage under another employer’s plan including election and open enrollment changes.
  • Gain or loss of Medicare or Medicaid entitlement.
  • The taking of a leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
  • Termination of employment for a period exceeding 30 days.
  • Eligibility for COBRA continuation coverage by the employee, spouse or dependent under the University’s group health plan.
  • An addition or elimination of a fringe benefit under this Plan.

Should your family status change and you decide to begin, discontinue, or change the amount of your deposits, your forms must be returned within 30 days of the date of your family status change.  The IRS requires that any money remaining in your account(s) at year-end must be forfeited.  In order to maximize the tax advantages offered through the reimbursement accounts, you should estimate your health care and your dependent care expenses carefully before the beginning of each year.

What is the maximum allowable deposit?

If you decide to participate in this account, you must choose the amount of before-tax pay you want deposited to your account for the year. 

Your deposits to the flex health care account can range from a minimum of $100 to a maximum of $2,500 annually for year 2013. Deposits into the Dependent Care flex account can range from a minimum of $100 to a maximum of $5,000 annually.

Your deposits are deducted from your pay before federal, state, and Social Security taxes have been deducted.  This reduces your taxable income and your tax obligation.

How do I enroll?

Enrollment in these accounts will be possible only during the flexible spending open enrollment period which is normally late November to early December each year.  New hires may participate upon hire, however, a decision must be made and forms returned to Human Resources within 30 days of hire.  Only expenses you incur on or after the first day of the plan year, i.e., January 1 (or your participation in this plan, if later) will be eligible for reimbursement.

What happens if I separate employment?

Participation in the spending accounts will not end automatically on the date your employment with the University ends.  If at that time there are funds remaining in your Dependent Care Spending Account, you will be able to submit claims incurred prior to your termination date up to the amount remaining in your account.

Your Health Care Spending Account works similarly.  If at the time of your termination there are funds remaining in your Health Care Spending Account, you also will be able to submit claims incurred prior to your termination date but up to the total amount that you elected to deposit in your account, less the amount of any prior claims paid. 

Please see the Summary Plan Description for specific details.

How am I reimbursed? What expenses are reimbursable?

You will receive a take care ® VISA debit card to use at your health care provider and/or pharmacy for eligible services, goods, and prescriptions.   When you’re ready to pay, simply swipe the card!  Periodically, you will receive an e-mail from WageWorks asking you to substantiate the use of the card—this is known as a card use verification request.  This type of e-mail acknowledges that the VISA card was used to pay for an expense, but WageWorks will be asking you to provide them with a qualified receipt verifying your expenses.

If your provider does not accept the VISA debit card, you may pay your provider directly, then follow the online instructions on how to submit a manual claim.  Or, if you choose not to use the VISA card, you may pay your provider directly and submit your claim(s) for reimbursement.  You will have the ability to have the reimbursement check directly deposited into your bank account or have the check mailed to you. 

Click here for a list of qualified expenses.