Flexible Spending Accounts 2019

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 to help with high expenses for health care, childcare, or elder care.

FSAs expire every year on December 31. You must re-enroll 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 benefits-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 2019, the IRS limit is $2,700/calendar year per employee for health, dental and vision expenses for you and your tax dependents. 

Please note: There is a $100 minimum annual enrollment contribution required to enroll in a Health Care FSA. In addition, IRS guidelines permit employees to carry over up to $500 of unused contributions from their Health Care FSA into the following plan year. The amount carried over will not count against the limit for the following year. Unused contributions that are carried over into the next plan year must be used to pay for or reimburse eligible health care expenses. Unused amounts under $100 or over $500 are forfeited under the “use it or lose it” rule described above. In other words, you may carry over a minimum of $100 and a maximum of $500 of unused contributions in your Health Care FSA.

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 2018, the IRS limit is $5,000/calendar year per family for dependent children (less than age 13) or adult/ elder daycare expenses. The IRS has not yet announced limits for calendar year 2019.

  • 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.
  • There is a $100 minimum annual enrollment contribution required to enroll in a Dependent Care FSA.

How to Submit a Claim

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.

Important Notes to Remember

  • 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.
  • If you leave Tufts, you will have a 120-day run-out period following your benefits termination date to submit eligible expenses.

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For More Information

If you or your family need extra an Benefits Debit Card, 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.