Flexible Spending Accounts
Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) allow you to contribute a portion of your pay on a pre-tax basis up to IRS contribution limits to pay for eligible health care and/or dependent care expenses. The funds you contribute to these plans are deducted from your paycheck before taxes are withdrawn.
The rule regarding using funds during the calendar year apply and your FSA may be subject to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) “Use it or Lose It” rule as noted below.
FSAs expire every year on December 31. You must re-enroll each year during Open Enrollment to participate in this program.
For 2023 Health Care FSAs, you may only carry over $100-$610 of unused contributions into 2024 Amounts under $100 or over $610 will be forfeited. For 2024 Health Care FSAs, you may only carry over $100-$640 of unused contributions into 2025 Amounts under $100 or over $640 will be forfeited. No unused funds can be carried over in your Dependent Care FSA.
How To Enroll in an FSA
Once you enroll in an FSA, you will receive an EBPA benefits debit card along with step-by-step instructions to set up an online account. Please note: When registering, you will need to enter your Social Security Number for the Employee ID. You will also need to change the drop down next to Registration ID from Employer ID to Card Number (which you will not have until you receive your Debit Card in the mail). The Employer ID is CBA10803, if you do not want to use your card number.
Eligibility for Health Care and/or Dependent Care FSAs
- Benefits-eligible Faculty and Staff:
- Staff: Regularly scheduled to work at least 17.5 hours a week for a minimum 90-day period
- Faculty: Half-time or more with an appointment of at least two semesters (as determined by the academic department)
- Postdoctoral Scholars: Regularly scheduled to work at least 17.5 hours a week with at least a twelve-month appointment, have a Social Security number (or ITIN), and pay FICA taxes
- International Employees with a Social Security number (or ITIN), and pay FICA taxes
Health Care FSA
The Health Care FSA lets you pay for eligible health care expenses for you and your eligible tax dependents using pre-tax dollars, such as:
- Copayments can all be reimbursed from your Health Care FSA.
Note: Your health plan premium is not an eligible expense. Please note that you may not contribute to both the Health Care FSA and the Health Savings Account (HSA) in any given year.
Effective January 1, 2020, many Over-the-Counter (OTC) medications are eligible for reimbursement through your Health Care FSA. Due to the CARES Act, many OTC items no longer require a prescription, letter of medical necessity (LMN), or doctor’s directive. You can use your EBPA debit card, or you can pay for the OTC medications out-of-pocket and submit receipts for reimbursement to EBPA. For more information please visit the FSAstore.com.
You may contribute an amount up to the annual limit set by the IRS:
- For 2023: the Health Care FSA limit is $3,050 per employee.
- For 2024: the Health Care FSA limit is $3,200 per employee.
Minimums and Carryover Provision
- $100 minimum annual enrollment contribution required to enroll in a Health Care FSA.
- For 2023: IRS guidelines permit active employees to carry over between $100 and $610 of unused contributions from their Health Care FSA into 2024. The amount carried over will not count against the IRS limit for the following year.
- For 2024: IRS guidelines permit active employees to carry over between $100 and $640 of unused contributions from their Health Care FSA into 2025. The amount carried over will not count against the IRS limit for the following year.
- Unused Health Care FSA contributions that are carried over into the next plan year must be used to pay for or reimburse eligible health care expenses for you and your tax dependents.
- Unused amounts under the previously stated minimum or over the maximum permitted for the plan year are forfeited under the IRS “Use It or Lose it” rule. This means that you may carry over a minimum of $100 and a maximum permitted for the plan year of unused contributions in your Health Care FSA into the next year.
The Dependent Care FSA lets you pay for day care, elder care, and other eligible dependent care expenses using pre-tax dollars. Per the IRS, use it when dependent care is necessary to allow both you and your spouse/domestic partner to work or your spouse/domestic partner to attend school full-time. The limit applies to each family for dependent children (less than age 13) or adult/elder daycare expenses.
Since your individual situation determines if this account is appropriate for you, we suggest that you consult a tax advisor before enrolling in the Dependent Care FSA.
- Contribute any amount up to the annual limit set by the IRS.
- For 2023: the Dependent Care FSA limit is $5,000.
- For 2024: the Dependent Care FSA limit is $5,000.
- $100 minimum annual enrollment contribution required to enroll in a Dependent Care FSA.
- For dependent care services (child daycare), you must verify that your child is under age 13.
- No carryover provision for Dependent Care FSA. The IRS “Use it or Lose it” rule applies; if you do not incur eligible expenses during the calendar year in which you were enrolled, you forfeit the funds in the subsequent year.
How to Submit a Claim
Use your Benefits Debit card to pay for eligible expenses or pay out of pocket and submit your claim online for reimbursement.
- EBPA Benefits Card FAQs (PDF)
- How to Submit Claims Online (PDF)
- FSA-Health Care Reimbursement Form (PDF)
- FSA-Dependent Care Reimbursement Form (PDF)
Important Reminders for FSAs
- When you initially enroll in a Health Care and/or Dependent Care FSA, you will receive a letter from EBPA, our FSA vendor, that explains how to set up an online account and use the Benefits Debit Card. You will receive a debit card the first year you enroll. Each year after that, your card will be electronically updated with your new FSA election.
- If you contribute to a Health Savings Account (HSA), you cannot contribute to a Health Care FSA. To learn more about Health Savings Accounts visit the Health Plans section of Access Tufts.
- The IRS allows you to submit requests for reimbursement until April 30 for eligible FSA expenses that you incurred during the prior calendar year.
- Expenses incurred before your FSA participation commences or after you cease participation cannot be reimbursed.
- If you leave the university or your benefits eligibility changes, you will have a 120-day run-out period following your benefits termination date to submit eligible FSA expenses incurred during the year of your participation in the plan.
For More Information
If you have questions about your FSAs or you (or a family member) need an extra Benefits Debit Card, call EBPA at 888-678-3457.
Provided by Human Resources