FLEXIBLE SPENDING ACCOUNT (FSA) & HEALTH REIMBURSEMENT ACCOUNT
Flexible Spending Account Plans
Flexible spending accounts give employees the benefit of allocating money pre-tax to reimburse out of pocket healthcare, dependent care and parking expenses during the plan year. Employees who enroll in a FSA determine the dollar amount to contribute to each account based on estimated expenses for the upcoming Plan Year. Contributions are deducted in equal amounts from each paycheck, pre-tax, throughout the year. The more employees contribute to these accounts, the more they reduce their taxable gross salary and increase their take-home pay. The three types of flexible spending accounts: Healthcare, Dependent Care and Parking are listed below.
Flexible Spending Account - Healthcare
- The Healthcare Flexible Spending Account (FSA) allows employees to allocate money pre-tax for reimbursement of out-of-pocket medical expenses incurred by the employee and dependents during a plan year. Eligible expenses include, but are not limited to, prescriptions, medical and dental deductibles, co-pays, co-insurance, vision and hearing care. Please note insurance premiums are NOT eligible for reimbursement. Employees do not need to participate in the City’s health insurance plan in order to participate in the Healthcare FSA. Employees can contribute a minimum of $104 or a maximum of $2,700 in the Healthcare FSA.
Flexible Spending Account - Dependent Care
- A Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account allows employees to pay for dependent care services, such as preschool, summer day camp, before or after school programs, and child or elder daycare. The IRS states that an eligible dependent for the purpose of a Dependent Care reimbursement Plan is a child under 12 years old and younger and living at home with the employee. Employees can contribute a minimum of $104 or a maximum of $5,000 (per family) in the Dependent Care FSA.
Flexible Spending Account - Parking
- The Parking Flexible Spending Account gives employees the benefit of allocating money pre-tax for out-of pocket parking expenses. Eligible parking expenses are expenses incurred for parking while at work. Dependents or any person other than the employee may not use this account. Employees can contribute a minimum of $104 or a maximum of $3,180 ($265/ month) in the Parking FSA. Parking contribution are never lost! Parking expenses must occur in the calendar year and must be claimed by February 15 of the following year. Once the current year has closed, any money left in an employee's FSA-Parking Account will be rolled over into the following year’s FSA-Parking Account.
New Hires, Rehires, *Employees with IRS-eligible Status Changes:
Eligibility begins on the 1st of the month after your start date, or date of qualifying event (marriage, divorce, death, birth, adoption, etc.).
Employees can enroll in a FSA during the City’s open enrollment period or outside of open enrollment if they are a new or rehired employee or if they experience a qualifying event (marriage, divorce, death, birth, adoption, etc.). During open enrollment employees enroll using the PeopleSoft Self Service program. After open enrollment, newly hired employees use the Self Service Program to enroll and employees may also complete a paper form to enroll.
FSA Debit Card:
- The $500 rollover of 2018 FSA Healthcare Funds are available as of January 1, 2019 for 2019 expenses.
All employees enrolled in flexible spending receive a debit card. If employees already have a debit card, and elect an account for 2019, this card is valid through the expiration date on the card. The debit card issued for all Flexible Spending Accounts and all plans is linked to the same card. Employees can request additional debit cards for a spouse and/or dependents at no additional cost.
2018 FSA Deadlines:
- 04/26/2019: To claim 2018 FSA Healthcare and Dependent Care expenses with 2018 funds.
- 02/15/2019: Parking reimbursement requests for 2018 Funds. Reminder: Employees reimbursed parking expenses by their department are not eligible for FSA-Parking benefits. Once the current year has closed, any money left in an employee's FSA-Parking Account will be rolled over into the following year’s FSA-Parking Account.
2019 FSA Deadlines:
- 12/31/2019: Healthcare Funds must be used with the exception of up to $500 of which can be rolled over and used for the calendar year of 2020.
- 12/31/2019: Dependent Care Funds must be used.
- 02/15/2020: Parking reimbursement requests for 2019 Funds. Reminder: Employees reimbursed parking expenses by their department are not eligible for FSA-Parking benefits. Once the current year has closed, any money left in an employee's FSA-Parking Account will be rolled over into the following year’s FSA-Parking Account.
- 04/26/2020: To claim 2019 FSA Healthcare and Dependent Care expenses with 2019 funds.
Questions regarding rollover deadlines should be addressed to the Department of Employee Relations at 414-286-8111 or e-mail email@example.com. All other questions regarding FSA should be directed to Benefit Advantage toll-free at (800) 686-6829.
Retirement or Other Separation from City Service:
30-Day Rule - No Exceptions!
Reimbursement requests must be made to Benefit Advantage within 30 days of retirement or separation of service. No exceptions are allowed.
Flexible Spending Account - Healthcare, Dependent Care, and Parking
Coverage for FSA Healthcare ends on the separation date. Employees must claim reimbursement of eligible expenses within 30 days of the date of separation from the City. Expenses incurred after coverage ends are not eligible for reimbursement. Please call (414) 286-8111 for further information or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact Information (Benefit Advantage):
HEALTH REIMBURSEMENT ACCOUNT (HRA)
What is a HRA and How Does it Work?
A HRA is a plan selected by the City and administered by Benefit Advantage to reward employees for participating in the City’s Healthy Rewards Program. Healthy Rewards is the City’s incentive based wellness program where participants can earn three levels of points (75, 100 and 125) for a $150, $250 or $350 HRA ($700 with spouse/partner participation). Employees and spouses must complete the Health Appraisal process to be eligible to participate in the Healthy Rewards Program. Participants earn points through biometrics from the Health Appraisal and by completing a variety of other health and wellness activities. The program starts July 1st of each year and ends June 30 of the following year. For more information visit: www.milwaukee.gov/HealthyRewards or click here to view the HRA flyer.
The HRA is funded by the City and allows employees to offset medical, dental, prescription and vision expenses. Plus, HRA reimbursements are tax free and employees get the full value of the reward amount! The City will automatically enroll employees in the HRA when 75, 100 or 125 points are earned through the Healthy Rewards program. Once points are earned, employees and spouses/partners will each receive $150, $250 or $350 (total reward possible) toward an HRA.
If an employee is not enrolled in the City’s Flexible Spending Account, they will receive a debit card in the mail that can be used to pay medical, dental, prescription and vision expenses. If two city employees are married to each other, all HRA funds are deposited into the employee’s account that carries the City’s health insurance. HRA funds do not expire and rollover from year to year if not used. Participants have up to three years after separating/retiring from the City to use HRA funds. The same expenses that are eligible for reimbursement under the FSA are eligible for reimbursement under the HRA. These include medical and dental deductibles, copays, coinsurance, prescription and vision expenses.
Filing claims is easy with multiple options available. Employees receive a debit card, which can be used to pay eligible expenses at the point of purchase at healthcare, dental and vision provider offices as well as retailers and pharmacies. Employees can also submit claims online, via the mobile app, through email, fax or mail. Some purchases may require documentation and Benefit Advantage will notify participants when further expense documentation is needed. Once the claim is validated and processed, Benefit Advantage will provide reimbursement. All qualified claim requests will be processed and issued within 5 business days.
Benefit Advantage Online Self-Service and Phone App
Employees can setup an online account at www.benefitadvantage.com to view their HRA account balance and claim history, file claims and sign up for direct deposit for faster reimbursement. When logging in, participants should use their employee ID number, not their social security number. All City FSA/HRA accounts are organized by employee ID. Employees can also download the Benefit Advantage Mobile App to manage their account. Benefit Advantage can be reached at 1-800-686-6829 or email@example.com regarding employee questions or issues. If Benefit Advantage is not able to resolve the issue, employees can call DER/Employee Benefits at 414-286-8111.
*Please Note: Employees may participate in both a HRA and FSA but cannot submit the same expenses to both plans or they may be subject to penalties through the IRS.