Health Care Flexible Spending Account
As part of your benefit program, the University of St. Thomas offers you the opportunity to enroll in a health care flexible spending account that allows you to pay your eligible health care expenses on a pre-tax basis. You will save money when you use pre-tax dollars to reimburse your eligible health care expenses. If you enroll in the 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 flexible spending account is planning. You must anticipate what your medical 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 a 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 the 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 health care expenses for you and your eligible family members 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.
How to Use your Funds
As stated earlier, you can only use your funds toward eligible health care expenses. You may do that by either using your FSA debit card or submitting a reimbursement request to HR Simplified, our flexible spending account administrator.
HR Simplified will provide you with a debit card. The debit card can be used with most providers to directly pay for eligible health care services using the funds available in your FSA account.
For providers that do not accept debit cards, you can submit a reimbursement request using HR Simplified’s website. Note: If you elected to contribute for 2017 and 2018 and are submitting a reimbursement request during the grace period (January 1 through March 15, 2018), be sure to file it under the 2017 plan year if you have 2017 funds remaining to avoid forfeiture of 2017 contributions. Amounts not covered by your 2017 balance will be reimbursed using your 2018 account.