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Flexible Spending Accounts 2018

Flexible spending accounts(FSAs) allow you to set aside pre-tax money to pay for health care or dependent care costs. You may want to consider an FSA if you have high health care, childcare, or elder care costs.

FSAs expire every year on December 31. You must reenroll each year during Open Enrollment to participate in this program.

Go to eServe to enroll in a Flexible Spending Account within 31 days of becoming eligible, a qualifying life event, or during Open Enrollment.

Health Care Flexible Spending Account

The Health Care FSA lets you pay for eligible health care expenses for you and your eligible tax dependents using pre-tax dollars.

Your pledge cannot exceed the limit set by the Internal Revenue Service. In calendar year 2018, the IRS limit is $2,650/calendar year per employee for health, dental and vision expenses for you and tax dependents.

  • The minimum amount to participate in a Health Care FSA is $50 per year.
  • The Health Care FSA is a “use it or lose it benefit.”
  • Under IRS guidelines, you may carry over up to $500 in your Health Care FSA to the following plan year. Unused amounts over $500 will be forfeited. The amount carried over will not count against the IRS limit for the following year. The unused amounts that are carried over into the next plan year must be used to pay for eligible health care expenses. They may not be cashed out or applied toward any other benefit.

Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account

The Dependent Care FSA lets you pay for daycare, elder care, and other eligible dependent care expenses using pre-tax dollars.

You may contribute an amount up to the limit set by the Internal Revenue Service. In calendar year 2018, the IRS limit is $5,000/calendar year per family for dependent children (less than age 13) or adult/ elder daycare expenses.

  • If you set aside money for dependent care services (child daycare), you will need to verify that your children are under age 13.
  • There is no carry-over provision in the Dependent Care FSA account. If you do not use the funds for 2018 dependent care expenses, you forfeit those funds.

Important Notes to Remember

  • You can either use your Benefits Debit card to pay for eligible expenses or you can pay out of pocket and submit your claim online for reimbursement.
  • Once you 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.
  • The IRS allows you to submit requests for reimbursement until April 30 for eligible expenses that you incurred during the prior calendar year.

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For More Information

If you or your family need extra Benefits Debit Cards, call EBPA at 888-678-3457.

For questions regarding your Tufts University benefits, contact Tufts Support Services at tss@tufts.edu or 617-627-7000.