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Flexible Spending Accounts
With Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), you can use pre-tax dollars to pay for certain allowed expenses. There are two different plans:
- The Health Care FSA plan is used for eligible out-of-pocket Health Care costs.
- The Dependent Care FSA plan is used for eligible dependent care expenses while you work.
You can choose to contribute to one or both of these FSA options. Enrollment is completed through the EasyEnroll system.
Here is how the plans work:
- You decide how much you want to contribute to one or both FSAs for the calendar year (during Annual Open Enrollment, when you are first eligible or following a Qualified Life Event).
- Your contributions are then taken out of your pay in equal amounts each pay period before taxes are deducted.
- You incur eligible expenses.
- You use your FSA Debit Card to pay for health care and/or dependent care expenses at participating locations, or file a paper claim.
- Your reimbursements are paid to you tax-free.
Advantages of FSAs
Flexible Spending Accounts are a great way to save money because your eligible expenses are paid using tax-free dollars. You don’t pay federal, FICA, or most state income taxes on contributions you make to the FSA. Depending on your tax bracket, you may save as much as $40 for every $100 you contribute to an FSA.
Additional Resources from GW's FSA Provider
PayFlex administers FSAs for GW employees and has prepared the following information for your reference.
- Making the Most of your FSA (PDF)
- Using the HealthHub Debit Card (PDF)
- Over-the-counter Purchases (PDF)
The Flexible Accounts Summary Plan Description (PDF) provides a summary plan description of the FSA Plan, and is intended to provide you with a general understanding of the Plan.
Filing a Claim
The PayFlex Claim (PDF) can be used to receive a reimbursement for a claim, either for you or a dependent.
Health Care FSA: 2016 FSA expenses for your health care account need to be incurred no later than March 15, 2017. Per IRS regulations, unclaimed funds are required to be forfeited to the plan. The deadline to submit eligible claims from Jan. 1, 2016 – March 15, 2017, is April 30, 2017.
Dependent Day Care FSA: 2016 FSA expenses for your dependent day care account need to be incurred no later than Dec. 31, 2016. Per IRS regulations, unclaimed funds are required to be forfeited to the plan. The deadline to submit eligible claims Jan. 1, 2016 – Dec. 31, 2016, is April 30, 2017.
Claims for 2016 FSA expenses submitted to PayFlex after April 30, 2017 will be considered ineligible.
Special Note for 2016 Health Savings Account (HSA) Participants:
If you have a health care FSA for 2015 and you have funds left in this account as of Dec. 31, 2015, they will carryover and be available during the FSA grace period which ends on March 15, 2016. As a result, your HSA will be effective on April 1, 2016*. Please visit PayFlex’s website for up to date health care FSA balance and claims status. (Under the plan, participants are not eligible to have an active HSA and health care FSA at the same time.) If you wish to have your HSA begin as of Jan. 1, 2016, please be sure to use all funds (balance must be zero) in your health care FSA by Dec. 31, 2015. If you have questions regarding your current health care FSA, please contact PayFlex at (800) 284-4885 or access your online account at www.payflex.com.
* If you have claims pending substantiation as of Dec. 31, 2015 (even if your HCFSA balance is zero), your HSA will also be effective on April 1, 2016.
Visit your PayFlex member website, and click Contact Us. PayFlex is available to help Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. CT and Saturday, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. CT.