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 an FSA determine the dollar amount to contribute to each account based on estimated expenses for the upcoming plan year. FSA funds can only be used for current year incurred expenses. Funds cannot be used to pay off any prior year expenses even if employees are on a payment plan. Contributions are deducted in equal amounts from each paycheck, pre-tax, throughout the plan 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.
Important FSA Updates Related to COVID-19 (Updated 4.20.20)
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many employees anticipated flexible spending account needs have changed. Employees impacted by these changes are eligible to update their flexible spending contributions. See below for additional information:
Allowable FSA Changes Due to COVID-19
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. 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 $2,750 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 12 years old or 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. Only expenses incurred while parking for work are eligible for reimbursement. Dependents or any person other than the employee may not use this account. Employees can contribute a minimum of $104 or a maximum of $3,240 ($270/ month) in the Parking FSA. Parking contributions 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 Parking FSA will be rolled over into the following year’s Parking FSA.
New Hires, Rehires, Employees with IRS-eligible Status Changes:
Eligibility begins on the 1st of the month after an employee's start date or the date of a 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.). Employees enroll using the PeopleSoft Self Service program.
Create an account with Benefit Advantage to monitor your balance and file claims online. Login to an existing account or create an account
FSA Debit Card:
The $500 rollover of 2019 Healthcare FSA Funds are available as of January 1, 2020 for 2020 expenses.
All employees enrolled in flexible spending receive a debit card. If employees already have a debit card, this card is valid through the expiration date on the card. The debit card issued for all Flexible Spending Accounts are linked to the same card. Employees can request additional debit cards for a spouse and/or dependents at no additional cost.
2019 FSA Deadlines:
- 12/31/2019: Healthcare Funds must be used with the exception of up to $500, which can be rolled over and used for the 2020 calendar year.
- 12/31/2019: All Dependent Care Funds must be used by the end of the calendar year.
- 02/15/2020: The deadline to submit Parking reimbursement requests for 2019. 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: The deadline to submit Healthcare and Dependent Care reimbursement requests for 2019.
Questions regarding rollover deadlines should be addressed to the Department of Employee Relations at 414-286-8111 or email@example.com. All other questions regarding FSA should be directed to Benefit Advantage 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 the date of separation are not eligible for reimbursement. Call (414) 286-8111 for further information or email 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 earn three levels of points (75, 100 and 125) for a $150, $250 or $350 HRA ($700 with spouse 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 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 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.
If an employee has FSA and HRA accounts, HRA funds are set up to be used after all current year FSA funds have been exhausted. If using the debit card, funds will automatically be withdrawn from FSA, then HRA if FSA funds are insufficient for the debit card payment.
If the debit card is not used and an employee is filing for reimbursement via the online portal or using a paper form, two claims must be filed. One claim for the balance of the FSA account and another claim for the HRA account. For example, an employee has a $500 invoice to be reimbursed and there is $200 in FSA and $350 in HRA. The employee would file $200 for FSA and file a claim for $300 from the HRA account for the same invoice.
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.