Human Resources

Flexible Spending Accounts


Faculty and staff members who are eligible for the Emerson College group health and dental plans may also establish IRS Section 125 Flexible Spending Accounts.  

 

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA)

Flexible Spending Accounts allow employees to set aside a specific dollar amount each calendar year, on a pre-tax basis, to pay for healthcare or dependent care expenses. The College contracts with WageWorks to assist with the administration and payment of claims.

These reimbursement accounts provide tax savings, but it is important to estimate your annual election amount carefully since IRS regulations stipulate that these are “use it or lose it” accounts.

 

Healthcare Flexible Spending Accounts

Eligible employees can set aside up to $2,700 per calendar year (minimum of $120/year) in a Healthcare Flexible Spending Account (FSA) to cover eligible out-of-pocket medical, dental and vision care expenses for themselves and their eligible dependents.  Qualifying expenses include costs for out-of-pocket costs for your medical and dental care, such as co-pays and deductibles; expenses not covered by the health or dental plans; vision care expenses; and prescription drugs.

Participants in these accounts may pay any out-of-pocket expenses (doctor visits, prescription co-pays, mail order prescriptions, eyeglasses, etc.) at the point of sale by using their Flex Debit Card. The card is pre-programmed for your annual election amount and pre-approved for vendors such as doctors, prescriptions, etc.

Because the IRS governs these accounts, you must make a new election each year if you want to participate.  

2020 Healthcare FSA Accounts: To be reimbursable, you must incur eligible expenses between January 1 and December 31, 2020. You have until March 31, 2021, to submit your 2020 account claims. Under the Healthcare FSA, you may carry over up to $500 in account balances from one plan year to the next; so up to $500 of your remaining 2020 plan balance will carry over into the 2021 plan year. Per IRS rules, you will forfeit any remaining balance above $500.

2019 Healthcare FSA Accounts: To be reimbursable, you must incur eligible expenses between January 1 and December 31, 2019. You have until March 31, 2020, to submit your 2019 account claims. Under the Healthcare FSA, you may carry over up to $500 in account balances from one plan year to the next; so up to $500 of your remaining 2019 plan balance will carry over into the 2020 plan year. Per IRS rules, you will forfeit any remaining balance above $500.

Some expenses may require substantiationso it is important that participants save all receipts. Paper claims may also be filed for reimbursement of eligible expenses. Reimbursement is made by check or by direct deposit.

If you participate in the Harvard Pilgrim High Deductible PPO Health Plan, you may participate in a "Limited Purpose" Healthcare FSA. 

Healthcare FSA Claim Reimbursement Form

If an employee terminates their employment with the College, only services rendered prior to the employee's last day may be eligible for reimbursement under the reimbursement plans. Any unused money will be forfeited.

 

Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts

Eligible employees may set aside up to $5,000 per year in a Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA) to pay for eligible dependent care expenses. To be reimbursable, you must incur eligible expenses between January 1 and December 31 of each year. You have until March 31 of the following year to submit your claims for reimbursement. You will forfeit any unspent funds at the end of each year.

Participants in the Dependent Care FSA must file claims online or on paper. There is no debit card option. Reimbursement is made by check or by direct deposit.

Dependent Care FSA Claim Reimbursement Form

If an employee terminates their employment with the College, only services rendered prior to the employee's last day may be eligible for reimbursement under the reimbursement plans. Any unused money will be forfeited.

 

Limited Purpose Flexible Spending Account

Participants in the High Deductible PPO Health Plan may also participate in a Limited Purpose FSA plan. These accounts may be used for dental, vision and long term care insurance expenses. After meeting the deductible in the health plan, they may also be used for medical expenses. The maximum annual contribution to these plans is $2700.

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