Open Enrollment – Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) - Human Resources at Ohio State

2018 Open Enrollment

November 1-14, 2017

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA)

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) are available to set aside pre-tax dollars that can be used to reimburse eligible health or dependent care expenses. When enrolling, you determine how much money you want to contribute to each account for the plan year. The funds are then withheld from your pay and reduce your taxable income. As you incur eligible health care expenses, you can use your health care debit card to pay for them, where applicable, or you can submit claims and be reimbursed from either your health care or dependent care account, based on the type of expense you submit.

Health Care FSA

You must enroll for a Health Care FSA during Open Enrollment to have an account during 2018.With a Health Care FSA, you set aside pre-tax dollars from your pay to be used for eligible health care expenses that you, your spouse or your eligible dependents incur. Your contributions can range from $100 to $2,600 per year, and the funds that you contribute cannot roll over from year to year. You can use both a Health Care FSA and an HRA, but they are different accounts. It is important to understand the differences and the rules for utilizing both accounts. (see below)

You must have eligible health care expenses January 1, 2018, through March 15, 2019, to be reimbursed from amounts you contribute to your Health Care FSA in 2018. You will forfeit any funds that are not reimbursed from your FSA by March 31, 2019.

Your myBenefitsMentor mailed statement and myBenefitsMentor online (in Employee Self Service) can help estimate your 2018 out-of-pocket health care costs when determining the amount to contribute to your Health Care FSA.

An HRA is similar to a Health Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA), you are eligible to have both an HRA and a Health Care FSA to pay for qualified health care expenses with tax-free dollars. However, they are separate accounts and it is important to understand the differences when using them.

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 2018, once you complete level one 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 subsequent levels 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 $2,600 per year. In 2018, you can earn up to $250 in HRA funding, and your enrolled spouse/SSDP can earn an additional $250.
Can I save unused contributions to use in future years? No. You must incur eligible expenses to be reimbursed from your 2018 FSA during the period of January 1, 2018 through March 15, 2019. 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 your 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 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 incurred prior to your date of termination. Unreimbursed funds in your FSA after your termination date remain with Ohio State unless you elect COBRA FSA coverage. 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.

Dependent Care FSA

A Dependent Care FSA cannot be used for your dependents’ health care expenses. Enroll for a Health Care FSA instead for these types of expenses.

You must enroll for a Dependent Care FSA during Open Enrollment to have an account during 2018. A Dependent Care FSA allows you to set aside pre-tax dollars from your pay that can be used to reimburse expenses that you incur for the care of eligible dependents to enable you and your spouse to be gainfully employed. Your contributions can range from $250 to $5,000 per year per household.

Eligible expenses under this program must be incurred for the care of a dependent who lives with you and may include child care for children under age 13 or adult day care for parents (does not include long-term care expenses).


 

Open Enrollment Information