- What is a flexible spending account and how does it work?
A flexible spending account is a benefit offered by your employer to help you pay for eligible health or dependent care expenses on a pre-tax basis. You can make monthly contributions to either a medical reimbursement and/or a dependent daycare account.
Elections for the plan year are made prior to the beginning of the plan year.
Annual elections remain in effect for the entire plan year. The only way to make a change is to have an eligible change in family status such as marriage, divorce, birth or adoption of a child, death of a spouse or child, or your spouse or dependent child losing or gaining employment. The election change must be consistent with the change in family status.
Flex plans have a "use it or lose it" rule. If a participant contributes more than he is able to use on eligible charges incurred during the plan year, or grace period at the end of a plan year, if offered by the employer, any funds left in the account at the end of the plan year are forfeited to the employer.
If applicable, your taxable income will be reduced for Social Security purposes; therefore, there may be a corresponding reduction in Social Security benefits.
- What is the maximum amount I can contribute to my flexible spending account plan?
Your plan sponsor determines the maximum benefit that may be elected for a medical reimbursement plan. Please note that due to the current Healthcare Reform, the medical reimbursement annual maximum is $2,600.00.
A dependent daycare account has a calendar year maximum of $5,000.00 for a married couple or $2,500.00, if married but filing separate tax returns.
- Can I roll over funds from my FSA to the next plan year?
Employers that offer FSA programs that do not include a grace period will have the option of allowing employees to roll over up to $500 of unused funds at the end of the plan year. If your employer offers the 2½ month grace period, you may not carry over any funds.
- What is the 2½ month grace period?
If your employer elects to sponsor the grace period, you have an additional 2½ months at the end of your current plan year (if unused funds are remaining in your account) to continue to incur eligible expenses to use these funds.
- What is eligible for reimbursement under the unreimbursed medical plan?
Medical, dental, vision, and prescription charges such as co-pays, deductibles, co-insurance, lab fees, chiropractic services, etc. are eligible for reimbursement. Charges must be incurred during the plan year and while actively participating in the plan. Cosmetic surgery, expenses incurred prior to the plan year or after termination from your employer, prepayment of services, insurance premiums, teeth whitening, and over -the-counter drugs without a prescription are all ineligible charges. Basically, eligible expenses include charges incurred for the diagnosis, cure, and treatment for you, your spouse, and eligible dependents to age 26.
- If my employer offers a First Financial Benefits Debit card, do I have to send in receipts for services I pay for with my card?
The IRS requires flex debit card transactions to be substantiated so First Financial Administrators, Inc. may send a request by mail for an itemized receipt or an explanation of benefits,( EOB), which can be obtained from your healthcare provider. We ask that every time you use your flex debit card you request an itemized receipt at the point of swipe in case documentation is requested.
- What happens if I fail to submit the requested itemized receipts for documentation?
If the documentation is not received within the allotted time frame, usually 60 days, your flex debit card privileges will be suspended until the documentation is received and the charge(s) can be substantiated. Your card will remain inactive for each subsequent plan year you elect flex coverage or until the requested documentation is received.
- What happens if I use my First Financial Benefits Debit card to pay for an ineligible expense?
The IRS requires you to either pay back the ineligible amount or submit eligible receipts that you have not previously submitted for payment to offset the ineligible charge. If you submit a payment for the ineligible charge, it is deposited into your account to use for other eligible charges incurred during the plan year. Should your card be inactivated for the ineligible transaction, it will not be reactivated until the issue is resolved. Should you submit claims for reimbursement with a pending ineligible charge, those charges will first be applied to offset the pending ineligible amount prior to receiving reimbursement.
- What is a Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account?
A Dependent Care FSA allows you to pay for day care expenses for your qualified dependent/child with pre-tax dollars while you (and your spouse) are working, seeking employment, or attending school as a full-time student (at least 5 months during the year).
Eligible dependents must be claimed as an exemption on your tax return. These dependents can include step-children, grandchildren, adopted children, or foster children. In a divorce situation, you must have custody of the child in order for the child to be considered an eligible dependent. Under IRS regulations, eligible dependents are further defined as: under the age of 13 and/or physically or mentally unable to care for themselves, such as a disabled spouse, disabled child, or elderly parents that resides with you and are tax dependents.
Eligible dependent care expenses are those expenses you must pay for the care of a dependent so that you and your spouse can work. The care may be provided in your home or at a licensed center outside of your home. If the care is in your home, the service cannot be provided by another child of yours under the age of 19, by your spouse, or by your dependents.
Common eligible expenses for Dependent Care are day camps, before and/or after school care, babysitters, day care centers, nursery and nursery school. Common ineligible Dependent Care Expenses are registration fees, kindergarten, care for child while not working, pre-school, books and supplies, and food/activity expenses if separate from cost of care. You can visit our website here: Eligible Expenses for a complete listing of eligible charges.
- How do I submit claims for reimbursement?
To obtain a reimbursement from your account, you must complete a reimbursement voucher, which can be obtained from our web site, www.ffga.com. , and submit an itemized receipt or an explanation of benefits (EOB). Our mailing address and fax numbers are on the voucher. Unreimbursed Medical accounts are pre-funded; therefore, you are eligible to receive reimbursement up to your elected contribution from the beginning of your FSA plan year. Dependent Care FSAs are not pre-funded; therefore, you will only receive reimbursement up to your year-to-date contributions from payroll deductions. The remainder of the reimbursement request is paid when additional funds are received from payroll deductions.
- How do I access my account information?
You may access your account information by clicking the link below to log in on our website. You may also contact our Flex Customer Service Department at 1-866-853-3539, Monday through Friday, 7:00 am to 5:00 pm, CST.
Frequently Asked Questions
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