Flexible Spending Accounts
Flexible Spending Accounts are administered by PayFlex.
See tips for using PayFlex's HealthHub website.
New PayFlex card requirements:
- As of April 1, 2013 you will need to set up a Personal Identification Number (PIN) for your PayFlex card. To set up your PIN, call PayFlex toll-free at 1.888.999.0121. You will reach an automated call center and will need to provide your card number, zip code and the 3-digit number on the back of the card. Note: if you call before April 1, you will hear a message telling you to call back on or after April 1.
- As of May 1, 2013 if you get a new or replacement PayFlex card, you will need to activate the card before using it. Note that this only applies to new or replacement cards. To activate a new or replacement card, call PayFlex toll-free at 1.877.261.9951.
If you have a Flexible Spending Account (Health Care and/or Dependent Care):
- March 15, 2013 is the last day to incur a claim on your 2012 account.
- April 15, 2013 is the last day to file a claim for reimbursement from your 2012 account.
- You can check the balance in your 2012 FSA by logging in to the PayFlex website and clicking on the link for Accounts. You can also call 1.800.284.4885.
- FSAs are a use-it-or-lose-it benefit. According to IRS rules, all claims for 2012 eligible expenses must be submitted by April 15, 2013 or you will lose any funds remaining in your 2012 FSA.
- The PayFlex website has guidelines about allowable FSA expenses.
- Tips for Logging in to PayFlex's HealthHub Website
- FSA/HRA Frequently Asked Questions
- How to Keep Your PayFlex Card Active
- Notice for Highly Compensated Faculty and Staff Who Elect a Dependent Care FSA
- IRS 2½-Month Extension Allowed for FSAs
Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) enable you to set aside some of your pay, on a pre-tax basis, into an account to pay for eligible health care or dependent care expenses. "Pre-tax" means you do not pay federal income or FICA taxes on the amount of money you put in the FSA. You save money by paying less tax. For reimbursement from your FSA account(s), you submit a claim form and required documentation to the spending account administrator, PayFlex Systems USA, Inc.
There are two types of Flexible Spending Accounts at Vanderbilt:
- Health FSA reimburses items such as eyeglasses, co-payments, prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs — any eligible health care expenses that are not covered by a benefit plan. The annual election minimums and maximums are $104 to $2,500 per employee. If both spouses work, both can claim $2,500 - for a total household limit of $5,000.
- Dependent Care FSA reimburses the cost of day care expenses for your children (under the age of 13) or other eligible dependents. The day care must be used as a means to allow you and/or your spouse to be gainfully employed. You can contribute up to a family maximum of $5,000 (for married couples filing jointly) or a minimum of $104 each calendar year to a Dependent Care FSA.
The money contributed to your FSA account must be used during the calendar year; it does not carry over from year to year. Money not used will be forfeited. Please plan your election amount carefully.
How to EnrollFor New Employees
If you want to enroll in an FSA, you must enroll within three months of your hire date. Then your FSA start date will be the first day of the month after three months of eligible employment. You can file and be reimbursed for claims for eligible services received on or after your FSA start date. Payroll deductions begin upon the first paycheck after eligibility. For example, if you were hired on July 10, your payroll deductions would start with your November paycheck. The amount you elect will be deducted evenly from each paycheck for that year, beginning with the first paycheck after three months of employment.
For Current Employees
To continue an FSA each calendar year, you must request FSA enrollment during the benefits Open Enrollment period each fall. The FSA start date will be January 1 of the next calendar year. You can file and be reimbursed for claims for eligible services received on or after your FSA start date. Payroll deductions begin upon the first paycheck after eligibility.
For More Information
- Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Summary Plan Description
- Quick Reference Guide
- Reimbursement Account Claim Filing Instructions
- Read Internal Revenue Service Publication 502 "Medical and Dental Expenses "
- Read Internal Revenue Service Publication 503 "Child and Dependent Care Expenses"
- Read Internal Revenue Service Publication 969 "Health Savings Accounts and Other Tax-favored Plans" (refer to Publication 969's page 14 for our Flexible Spending Account and page 15 for our Health Reimbursement Account)
PayFlex Systems, Inc.
Customer Service: 800.284.4885
Toll-free fax: 800.450.0016
The Internal Revenue Code (IRC) allows pretax contributions to FSAs as long as the benefit does not favor highly compensated employees (HCEs). You are considered "highly compensated" if your gross earnings are above the annual amount set by the Internal Revenue Service (in 2013 that amount is $115,000).
In accordance with IRC regulations, Vanderbilt's Office of Benefits Administration examines Dependent Care FSA elections each year to ensure that the benefit does not disproportionately benefit HCEs and that the Plan remains compliant. If the benefit is found to "discriminate" against non-highly compensated employees, Vanderbilt University will reduce contributions made by HCEs to a level that enables compliance with the IRC. If the Dependent Care FSA fails the test for the year, HCEs will be taxed on the pretax deductions contributed to their Dependent Care FSA during that calendar year. Non-highly compensated employees are not affected by this rule.
The Internal Revenue Service allows expenses incurred during a two-and-a-half-month grace period after the end of the plan year to count against the previous year's FSA. This means that expenses incurred between January 1 and March 15 can be claimed against your prior year balance.
Participants cannot use the Health Care debit card after January 1 to access the prior year's funds. To access prior year funds, you must pay for the eligible expense out-of-pocket and then file a paper claim form by the April 15, 2013 deadline.