Human Resources

Human Resources

Healthy Choices: How a Flexible Spending Account can save you money

 2018 open enrollment FSA

As you may know, Open Enrollment is earlier this year; it begins on Oct. 3 and ends Oct. 20. This year, Open Enrollment is passive, meaning the health, dental and vision benefits you elected in 2017 will automatically roll over for 2018 if you do not make any changes. The IRS mandates that employees who want to participate in a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) must enroll in the FSA each year. If you want to contribute funds to a health care or dependent care FSA in 2018, you must log in to MyVUMC Benefits and enroll for 2018. 

Remember: While your 2017 health, dental and vision benefits will automatically roll over for 2018, your FSA enrollment(s) will not. If you want to enroll in an FSA, you must log in to My VUMC Benefits and enroll. 

About FSAs

  • Flexible spending accounts allow you to pay for many out-of-pocket health care and day care expenses with tax-free dollars. You designate the amount you want to put into an FSA, and the money is taken out of your paycheck in equal installments.
  • There are two types of flexible spending accounts: Health Care FSA and Dependent Day Care FSA.
  • With a Health Care FSA in 2018, you can contribute up to $2,600 per year to a health care flexible spending account to help pay for out­of­pocket medical expenses for you and your dependents.
  • The Dependent Day Care FSA allows you to contribute up to $5,000 per year, per household to a dependent day care flexible  spending account to help pay for out­of­pocket day care expenses for eligible dependents.
  • Flexible spending accounts are “use-it-or-lose-it” plans, meaning you have one calendar year to spend the amount you’ve contributed to the FSA or it is forfeited. You have a grace period of 2 ½ months, which means you have until March 15, 2019 to incur a claim on your 2018 FSA. You have until April 15, 2019 to file a claim on your 2018 FSA.
  • If you are a new employee and enrolled in a FSA for 2017, you will need to re-enroll for 2018. Any remaining funds after the grace period ends will be lost.

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