Flexible spending accounts
A flexible spending account (FSA) is an account you set up with money you contribute from your paycheck before taxes are taken out. Then, when you have an eligible expense, you can pay for it out of your account. So you pay less for your expenses because you pay with before-tax dollars.
You can choose from two types of FSAs, or decide not to contribute to an FSA:
- Health Care FSA: Contribute up to $2,750.
- Dependent (Day) Care FSA: Contribute up to $5,000 (or $4,000 if you are considered a highly compensated employee).
Health Care FSA
Use your before-tax health care FSA for eligible expenses — such as health-related expenses not covered by your medical, dental or vision plan — for you and your eligible dependents. You cannot use funds in your Health Care FSA to reimburse yourself for dependent day care expenses, or vice versa.
While you contribute to the health care FSA each pay period, your full annual health care FSA contribution is available to you at the start of the year.
Limited Use FSA and the HSA
If you have a Health Savings Account (HSA), your health care FSA is considered a “Limited Use” Health Care FSA, and you can only use it on certain expenses, such as dental and vision care. You can only use it on eligible medical expenses after you meet your annual medical deductible.
There are two ways to access the money in your Health Care FSA:
- You may use a debit card issued by PayFlex to pay for your eligible health care expenses from your account at the time you have the expense.
- You can also pay for the expense out of your pocket and then file a claim for reimbursement from your account through payflex.com or the PayFlex mobile app.
Dependent (Day) Care FSA
You can use your Dependent (Day) Care FSA to pay using before-tax dollars for the cost of child care or elder care that allow you and/or your spouse, if applicable, to work full time. You can also use this FSA if your spouse is a full-time student or incapable of self-care. You cannot use the account to pay for dependent health care expenses or expenses incurred solely for your personal enjoyment, convenience or ease.
You pay your expenses as needed throughout the year, and then file claims for reimbursement through PayFlex. Your contributions to the Dependent (Day) Care FSA are available for use as they are deposited from your paycheck throughout the year.
Comparing the HSA and FSAs
|Health Savings Account||Health Care FSA 2||Limited Use Health Care FSA||Dependent (Day) Care FSA|
|Eligible expenses||Health care expenses, including copayments, prescriptions, dental and vision expenses||Health care expenses, including copayments, prescriptions, dental and vision expenses||“Limited” health care expenses, such as dental and vision expenses; medical expenses only after you meet the deductible||Day care services for your children and adult dependents|
|Deadline for using the money||None, balance carries over each year||
|Maximum employee contribution amount||
|Applicable medical plans||