Flexible spending enrollment

Open enrollment period for Flexible Spending Accounts runs through Nov. 21

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8:50 a.m., Nov. 5, 2012--The open enrollment period for 2013 Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) begins Monday, Nov. 5, and ends Friday, Nov. 21, for eligible University of Delaware employees.

FSAs are voluntary accounts through which UD employees 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. 

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The maximum annual amount that can be contributed is now $2,500 per employee for the Health Care Account and $5,000 per family for the Dependent Day Care Account. (This is a provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).)

Keep the following facts in mind when deciding how much to set aside in an FSA:

  • FSAs do not automatically continue from year to year. Employees must re-enroll each year to continue participation even if they do not want the deduction amount to change.
  • FSAs are effective tools for saving taxes on out-of-pocket health care and day care expenses. However, it is important that employees are somewhat conservative when choosing the amount of their FSA contribution; you will lose any balance not used during the plan year and subsequent grace period. Reminders will be sent to participants advising of the balances in the FSA accounts after the end of each calendar-year quarter (March, June, September, December).
  • The plan year for FSAs is January through December. Once enrollment is finalized, an employee cannot change or stop their contribution for the remainder of the plan year unless they have a qualifying family status change (e.g., marriage, divorce, birth/adoption of a child). Employees have only 30 days after the date of the qualifying event to submit a Family Status Change form, which can be downloaded here in PDF format
  • During the FSA open enrollment period, employees can enroll in a Health Care Account and/or Dependent Day Care Account by logging into Flexnet.
  • Health Care Flexible Spending Account participants have the option to elect an FSA Debit Card (Benny Card). This debit card provides a convenient method to pay for eligible out-of-pocket medical expenses at the time of service. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has stringent regulations regarding appropriate use of the Benny Card, including where the card can be used, and when follow-up documentation is required. Use of the card is convenient, but it does not eliminate all of the paperwork.  If you are a Benny Card holder in the 2012 plan year, you can request to have your card loaded with your 2013 Health Care FSA election when you enroll online.

The Human Resources staff is available to help with any questions about FSA enrollment. Employees can reach a benefits representative by emailing hrhelp@udel.edu.

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