10:43 a.m., Nov. 8, 2010----The enrollment period for 2011 Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) begins Monday, Nov. 8, and ends Friday, Nov. 19, for eligible University of Delaware employees.
FSAs are voluntary accounts through which you can set aside pretax dollars to cover out-of-pocket health care and day care expenses. Visit the Office of Human Resources website for details about FSAs. The maximum annual amount you can contribute remains at $3,000 per employee for the Health Care Account and $5,000 per family for the Dependent Day Care Account.
Human Resources has announced that beginning Jan. 1, 2011, the third-party FSA administrator will be ASIFlex.
As in the past, the office is able to offer a Benefits Card -- which ASIFlex calls the “Benny Card” -- that is linked to an individual's health care FSA. You can use the Benefits Card to pay eligible health care expenses directly from your flexible spending account. You can access your FSA account either online or through ASIFlex Customer Service representatives to submit claims, check claim status, and to see claim payments, etc.
Note that during the transition to ASIFlex from Ceridian Benefits Services, there will be a claims "blackout" period between Jan. 1 and Jan. 15, 2011. During this period, no claims will be processed from either the 2010 or 2011 plan years so that ASIFlex can accept and process FSA balance information from Ceridian.
Representatives from ASIFlex will provide information about FSAs and the Benefits Card at the following sessions:
Wednesday, Nov. 10
11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Perkins Student Center Gallery
2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., Perkins Student Center Gallery
Thursday, Nov. 11
9 a.m. to 11 a.m., Perkins Student Center Collins Room
11 a.m. to noon, Perkins Student Center Collins Room
3 p.m. to 4 p.m., Perkins Student Center Collins Room
Important legislative change: Over-the-counter medications.
As a result of healthcare reform passed this year, in order to receive reimbursement for over-the-counter (OTC) drug expenses incurred on or after Jan. 1, 2011, you will be required to submit a prescription. Currently, you are able to receive reimbursement for these expenses without any additional documentation.
This change applies to OTC medicines and drugs only and does not affect OTC supplies or equipment, or other expense types.
The changes do not affect purchases of OTC medicines or drugs in 2010, even if they are reimbursed after Dec. 31, 2010. Please see this website for further information.
IRS regulations permit a 2-1/2 month grace period (through March 15, 2012) for participants to incur expenses that may be reimbursed from contributions made in the preceding year (2011). This provides additional time to take advantage of FSA contributions before the amounts are forfeited under the "use-it-or-lose-it" rule.
Please keep the following facts in mind when deciding how much to set aside in your FSA:
- FSAs do not automatically continue from year to year. You must re-enroll each year to continue your participation.
- The enrollment period for the University's medical, dental, life and disability benefits is scheduled for May 2-20, 2011. If you anticipate changing your medical plan coverage, consider how that future change may affect your current decision on how much to contribute to a 2011 Health Care FSA.
- Jan. 1 is the annual date when the prescription drug formulary is revised. The list includes both generic and brand name drugs. Medications added to the formulary are available at lower copays than nonformulary drugs; medications removed from the formulary are still available, but at higher copays. Please keep in mind how these changes may impact your out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs in the coming year. The formulary for 2011, in abbreviated form, will be posted on the Office of Human Resources website when it is available.
- FSAs are effective tools for saving taxes on out-of-pocket health care and day care expenses. However, it is important that you are somewhat conservative when choosing the amount of your FSA contribution; you will lose any balance not used during the plan year and subsequent grace period.
- The plan year for FSAs is January through December. Once your enrollment is finalized, you cannot change or stop your contribution for the remainder of the calendar year unless you have a qualified family status change (e.g., marriage, divorce, birth/adoption of a child).
During the open enrollment period, you can enroll in a Health Care and/or Dependent Day Care Account using a webform.
The Human Resources staff is available to help with any questions you have about FSA enrollment. You can reach a benefits representative by calling (302) 831-2171 or emailing [email@example.com].