Flexible Spending Accounts
Flexible spending accounts allow you to be reimbursed for certain expenses without having federal income and Social Security taxes deducted from your account contributions.
There are two types of flexible spending accounts:
- Health Care Flexible Spending Account
To reimburse health care expenses for yourself and your family that are not paid from some other source.
- Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account
To reimburse dependent care expenses that make it possible for you to work (if you're married, generally, both you and your spouse must work to participate).
Participating in a Flexible Spending Account
- Estimate your expenses for the Plan Year (July 1 - June 30) and enroll in an FSA for that amount. The money deducted from your paycheck will be pre-tax, so you don't pay FICA or Federal Income Tax.
- This benefit operates on a plan year basis. The service dates for expenses you claim from the spending accounts must be between July 1 and June 30.
- Open Enrollment is the time period before the start of each plan year to enroll in a flexible spending account. You must enroll each year to continue participation in the plan.
- You must enroll for the full plan year.
- You may change your election during the plan year only if you experience a qualifying event such as employment or family status change.
- You may begin to submit reimbursement requests for health care expenses when eligible expenses are at least $25 regardless of the balance in your account. You will be reimbursed for the amount of your request up to the total amount allocated to your account for the plan year.
- You may begin to submit reimbursement requests for dependent care expenses when both the balance in your account and your eligible expenses are at least $25. If your request exceeds the balance, you are reimbursed up to the balance in your account. The remainder is paid as funds become available.
- Following the end of the plan year, you have until October 31 to claim reimbursement of expenses incurred during the previous plan year. There is no minimum claim amount required for claims filed after the end of the plan year.
- There is a Grace Period of 2 1/2 months after the end of the plan year in which you may continue to incur claims. For the current plan year that ends June 30, this means you may submit claims for expenses incurred through September 15, 2013.
- Effective January 1, 2011, over-the-counter drugs will no longer be eligible for reimbursement unless they are prescribed by a physician. Go to Eligible Expenses for the Health Care Account for more information on which expenses are eligible.
- Complete a claim form below and attach the proper documentation to receive reimbursement. The documentation needs to show the date of service, cost and the type of expense you are claiming. Bills from providers or statements from your insurance company are acceptable forms of documentation. Cancelled checks, credit or debit card receipts are usually not acceptable.
- Fax or mail the claim to Flex-Plan Services at (425) 451-7002 or Flex-Plan Services, PO Box 70366, Bellevue, WA 98007.
- Claims are processed weekly and reimbursement checks will be mailed to your home address, or deposited to your bank account if you choose the direct deposit option.
- You may choose to get the Benny Card, a debit card that allows direct electronic payment of qualifying medical expenses.
If you terminate employment or become ineligible for benefits before the Plan Year ends
- Eligibility in the Flexible Spending Account plan is contingent on your employment and continued eligibility for benefits. If you terminate employment (or become ineligible for benefits) before the end of the plan year on June 30, your eligibility in the flexible spending accounts ends.
- You may incur eligible expenses up to the end of the month in which your benefits end. For example: if your last day of employment is March 15, you may claim expenses from your flexible spending account(s) if they were incurred no later than March 30.
- You have until October 31 of that year to submit a claim for those expenses as long as they were incurred during your benefits-eligible period.
- If you wish to continue the accounts after your employment (or your benefits eligibility) ends, you may do so by continuing to make the monthly contributions through the end of the plan year. Information about this will be included in your COBRA packet. Alternatively, you may pre-pay the difference between your annual election amount and your year-to-date contribution from your final paycheck. Contact Human Resources for more information.