Health Care FSA - Human Resources at Ohio State

Health Care Flexible Spending Account

A Health Care FSA allows you to set aside pre-tax money to pay for eligible health care expenses for you and your qualified dependents. Examples of eligible expenses may include health plan deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance; eye exams, contact lenses, and glasses; prescription drugs; dental care, including orthodontia; and over-the-counter (OTC) products with a physician’s prescription.

You can contribute anywhere from $100 up to $2,550 annually to a Health Care FSA, and your entire annual election is eligible to be reimbursed prior to you having the full amount deducted from your pay.

Download ToolsDownload Tools

Health Care FSA Details

Your Health Care Debit Card offers easy access to the funds in your Health Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA) and eliminates the need to file a claim for reimbursement. Simply use your card to pay for eligible health care services and, in most cases, this is all you need to do. However, you may be asked to verify certain expense with receipts later on, so be sure to save them.

In many ways, your Health Care Debit Card works like a debit card, with three important differences:

  • Its use is limited to specific merchants for FSA and HRA eligible expenses.
  • It cannot be used at an ATM, or to obtain “cash back” when making a purchase.
  • If a merchant requires a PIN, you can request a PIN toll free at (866) 898-9795. The PIN is associated with all cards issued for the account.

Your Health Care Debit Card can be used at many locations, including:

  • Health care providers, such as doctors, dentists and vision care facilities and other providers of medical services and products.
  • Discount stores, groceries and pharmacies, that utilize an Inventory Information Approval System (IIAS)
  • Merchants without an IIAS system that sell prescriptions or qualified over-the-counter products. You will be required to submit receipts for these purchases.

Examples of eligible expenses may include health plan deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance; eye exams, contact lenses, and glasses; prescription drugs; dental care, including orthodontia; and over-the-counter (OTC) products with a physician’s prescription. Review a comprehensive list of eligible and ineligible expenses

In a situation where an incurred health expense could be reimbursed from either the Health Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or the university’s Health Reimbursement Account (HRA), the Health Care FSA will pay first. All Health Care FSA funds must be exhausted before HRA funds will be used.

If you realize you used your card for an ineligible expense, call (855) FLEX-OSU (353-9678) as soon as you become aware of the mistake. Representatives will tell you how to reimburse your account for the ineligible item. If your Health Care Debit Card does not work or the full amount is not approved, it is most likely because all or some of your items are ineligible. If you are purchasing items that are not eligible, the store clerk will ask for another form of payment for those items.

Yes. Save all your itemized receipts. Some expenses require additional information in order to comply with IRS rules. If you do not supply documentation when requested, the expenses will be considered ineligible and you’ll have to reimburse your account. Your card may be inactive until your account is reimbursed. Promptly provide documentation when requested so you can use your card without interruption.

You may have both an Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) and a Health Care FSA to pay for qualified health care expenses with tax-free dollars. Health Care FSA funds will always be used first to reimburse eligible healthcare expenses because those funds are not eligible to be rolled over to the following year. However, they are separate accounts and it is important to understand the differences when using them. Ohio State’s administrator for both accounts is TASC.

Health Care FSA and HRA Comparison
Question/Topic Health Care FSA HRA
What is it? An account that can be used to pay for eligible health care expenses, as defined by the IRS. An account that can be used to pay for eligible health care expenses, as defined by the IRS.
Who can contribute? Only employees contribute to Health Care FSAs under Ohio State’s program. Only the employer can contribute to an HRA.
How do I get an account? You can sign up for a Health Care FSA during Open Enrollment. In 2017, once you complete Level 1 in the YP4H Incentive Program, an HRA will be opened for you and funded with your first credit amount. Additional HRA funding is also available when you complete Levels 2 and 3 and when your enrolled spouse/SSDP complete any of these incentive levels.
Do I need to be enrolled in an Ohio State medical plan to use this account? No Yes
Is there a limit on how much can be put in the account? Yes, the IRS limits how much you can put into an FSA each year. Your contributions can range from $100 to $2,550 per year. In 2017, you can earn up to $150 in HRA funding, and your enrolled spouse/SSDP can earn an additional $150.
Can I save unused contributions to use in future years? No. You must incur eligible expenses to be reimbursed from your 2017 FSA during the period of January 1, 2017, through March 15, 2018. Any remaining funds after that time period will be forfeited. Yes. Any unused HRA funds will roll over to the next year.
Can I cash out my account for anything other than eligible health care expenses? No No
How do I get reimbursed for eligible health care expenses? You can use your Health Care Debit Card when you are paying for expenses at the point of service. Be sure to keep your receipts in case they are requested later to verify the claim. You may also submit reimbursement requests from your smart phone or computer, along with verification of the expense. You can use your Health Care Debit Card when you are paying for expenses at the point of service. Be sure to keep your receipts in case they are requested later to verify the claim. You may also submit reimbursement requests from your smart phone or computer, along with verification of the expense.
Can I choose the account from which I want to be reimbursed? No, Health Care FSA funds will always be used first to reimburse eligible health care expenses because those funds are not eligible to be rolled over to the following year. Once any Health Care FSA funds are exhausted, you may begin to access HRA funds. No, available HRA funds can be used to reimburse eligible health care expenses only after any Health Care FSA funds have been exhausted. Unused funds at the end of the year are eligible to be rolled over as long as you continue to be enrolled in an Ohio State faculty/staff medical plan.
What happens if I terminate my Ohio State medical coverage and I have funds remaining in my account? Funds in your Health Care FSA continue to be available for reimbursement of eligible health care expenses until the filing deadline if you remain employed in an eligible position with Ohio State. For information on availability of FSA funds following a change in eligibility or employment termination see the FSA Specific Plan Details. Unused credits in your HRA will continue to be available until the filing deadline only for reimbursement of eligible health care expenses incurred prior to the date your Ohio State medical plan terminates. Unreimbursed credits in your HRA after your medical plan termination date remain with Ohio State unless you elect COBRA medical coverage.