Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account
Effective September 1, 2013, the University of St. Thomas transitioned our health care and dependent care flexible spending account (FSA) and COBRA administration from OptumHealth to HR Simplified.
New Debit Cards Available
In connection with this change, HR Simplified will provide debit cards to all FSA participants. These debit cards can be used with most providers to directly pay for services from the funds available in your flex account. For those providers that do not accept debit cards, claims can be submitted manually using the Flexible Spending Account Claim Form or directly through HR Simplified’ s online portal. Claims are paid out each Wednesday when submitted by the previous Monday.
As part of your benefit program, the University of St. Thomas offers you the opportunity to enroll in a dependent care flexible spending account that allows you to pay your eligible daycare expenses on a pre-tax basis. You will save money when you use pre-tax dollars to reimburse your dependent care expenses. If you enroll in the dependent care flexible spending account, your elected contributions will be deducted from your pay and will not be subject to Federal Income Tax, State Income Tax, or Social Security (FICA) Taxes. When your taxable income is reduced, your taxes are also reduced.
The key to the effective use of the Dependent Care flexible spending account is planning. You must anticipate what your dependent care expenses will be for the coming year and set aside enough money to cover them. You decide how much money you will contribute annually (based on the calendar year) to your account. The annual amount will be divided by 24 pay periods and deducted on a pre-tax basis from the first two paychecks of each month during the plan year. Twice during the year, you will receive three checks during the month; there will be no deductions for your flexible compensation choices from that third check. The contributions you designate will be credited to a bookkeeping account on your behalf. This account will be used to reimburse you for eligible dependent care expenses for you and your eligible dependents which are not reimbursed by another source, such as insurance, another reimbursement plan, or a state agency.
Because your contributions are pre-tax, federal regulations limit your ability to change your elections during the calendar year. You may only change your elections during the calendar year if you experience a change in status event.
Before requesting a change to your current election during a plan year, contact a benefits team member to check your eligibility.