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Flex Spending Accounts General Info

Flex-Spending Account Benefits

Save money on every paycheck by reducing taxes through covered expense

Types of Flex Spending Accounts Available

AdvanStaff offers many types of FSA account so employees can lower taxes and take home as much money as possible.

The FSA plan types are as follows:

Increase Your Take-Home Pay by Reducing Your Taxable Income!

A Flexible Spending Account (FSA) allows you to save up to 30% on your eligible healthcare, dependent care, business parking, and commuting expenses every year by using pre- tax dollars.

Consider how much you spend each year on the following:

  • payroll-deducted premiums for qualified employer benefit programs
  • prescription drugs/medications/vaccinations
  • medical/dental office visits
  • eye exams and prescription glasses/lenses
  • daycare tuition
  • Business parking and commuting

Why not reduce these expenses by using pre- tax dollars instead of after-tax dollars?

With rising healthcare costs, every penny counts! By using pre-tax dollars, you are taxed on a lower gross salary, thereby saving money that would otherwise be spent on federal, state and FICA taxes, and so you increase your take home pay!

FSA Frequently Asked Questions

The FSA is offered through your employer and administered by AdvanStaff HR. When you choose to enroll in a Healthcare FSA and/or Dependent Care FSA, you decide the dollar amount you want to contribute to each account based on your estimated expenses for the upcoming year. The funds will be deducted pre-tax in equal amounts from each paycheck throughout the plan year. For every dollar you put into these accounts, the more money you save by paying less in taxes.

As you incur eligible expenses, you simply submit a request for reimbursement to TASC to receive reimbursement from your FSA, up to the amount of your annual contribution. For additional convenience, your employer has provided you with a TASC Card to purchase eligible medical and dependent care expenses with your FSA funds at the point of purchase, which eliminates the need for reimbursement.

Accessing the pre-tax funds in our account is easy. Use the FSA/HSA mobile app to do the following:

  • View account and check balance
  • Make an HSA contribution or distribution
  • Enter and track expenses
  • Make a payment from your account
  • file FSA/HRA claims with receipt images
  • Scan or view eligible expenses, and more!

At the time of enrollment, or during annual open enrollment, you are eligible to make an annual election on how much to save from each paycheck.

AdvanStaff will deduct those equal amounts each pay period BEFORE taxes are paid, so you wont be paying taxes on the amounts. We will then deposit the amounts into a special account linked to a VISA debit card for you to conveniently use for covered expenses.

FSA accounts are generally funded by the employee. Employers may make contributions to your FSA, but aren’t required to.

HSA accounts are generally funded by the employer and/or the employee.

  • Understand the IRS contribution limits
    for your Plan during the Plan year (available at the online enrollment site).
  • ]Review the eligible and ineligible expense lists for Healthcare FSA and Dependent Care FSA. Note the changes to OTC drugs as of January 1, 2011.
  • Determine which eligible expenses you expect to incur during the Plan year and how much you will spend.
  • The total amount you project to be spent on eligible healthcare and/or dependent care expenses during the Plan year is the amount you should contribute to your FSA.

Important Considerations

FSA Funds do not Rollover:

It is important to be conservative in making elections because any unused funds left in your FSA at the close of the Plan Year are not refundable to you. You are urged to take precautionary steps, such as tracking account balances on the FlexSystem website and/or using the Interactive Voice Response System, to avoid having funds remaining in your account at year-end.

Using the Grace Period, or purchasing eligible over-the- counter items are ways to utilize leftover FSA funds.

The IRS sets new limits each year for all types on flexible spending accounts. Elections are always made annually at open enrollment which generally takes place every Dec for the the following calendar year.

Tax-Advantaged Plan Limits and Thresholds

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs)20212020
Healthcare FSA Max Election (per year)$2,750$2,750
Dependent Care FSA Max Election (per year)$5,000$5,000
Standard Mileage Rate (for Medical Care)tba$.17/mile
Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)
HDHP Min Annual Deductible – Single$1,400$1,400
HDHP Min Annual Deductible – Family$2,800$2,800
HDHP Out-of-Pocket Max – Single$7,000$6,900
HDHP Out-of-Pocket Max – Family$14,000$13,800
HSA Max Contribution Limit – Single$3,600$3,500
HSA Max Contribution Limit – Family$7,200$7,100
HSA Catch-Up Contribution Limit (age 55)$1,000$1,000
Transportation Benefits
Parking Account$270/mo$270/mo
Transit Account$270/mo$270/mo

Source: https://www.tasconline.com/biz-resource-center/benefits-limits/

The plan year is one full year (365 days) and generally begins on the first of a month. Many employers design their flexible spending plan to run on the same plan year as their insurance program. Short plan years are allowed in certain instances.

The grace period is a timeframe up to 75 days after the end of the official plan year during which employees may use up any funds remaining at the end of the plan year.

For example, if the plan year runs from July 1-June 30, the grace period for that plan may continue up to September 15. If an employee incurs an expense after June 30 but before September 15, they can utilize the remaining funds from the previous plan year and submit requests for reimbursement. In addition to the 75 day grace period, plan participants have an additional 90-day run-out period in which they can submit requests for reimbursement for expenses incurred during the dates of service within the plan year and grace period

This rule states that any funds remaining in the participating employee’s FSA account at the end of the plan year will be forfeited to the employer. Although the rule is clear, many users of an FSA largely misunderstand the result of the rule: loss of funds can be easily avoided.

Let’s look at an example: Joe Smith chooses to participate in the Medical FSA and elects to fund $500 for the year. After the plan year and grace period are complete, Joe finds that he spent only $400 of the original $500 he put away. He fears he has lost $100, but due to the taxes he saved on the $500 he has not. Let’s say Joe is in the 28% tax bracket. By putting $500 away in his Medical FSA, he saved $140 in taxes (money that was not taken out of his paycheck and given to the IRS). In sum, even if Joe leaves $100 in his Medical FSA account, he has still saved $40! This vital key issue must be explained completely to potential FSA participants.

Plus, with the new Carryover provision implemented on October 31, 2013, employees can carryover up to $500 of unused Medical FSA funds from one plan year to the next with no fees or penalties. Carryover enures the participating employee a safety net when determining how much money to set aside in a medical FSA each year. Employees can contribute funds with more confidence, knowing that they will not lose their funds (maximum carryover is $500) at the end of the plan year.

Employees who participate in an FSA should determine the amount to fund by looking at the expenses they will incur in a year; this amount is not an arbitrary number. In this example, let’s say Mary Johnson is married with two children. One child is in daycare, Mary has glasses, and her husband Tom has allergies. When adding up how much to put away in her Medical and Dependent Care FSA accounts, Mary looks ahead for the year and determines that one child is going to need braces (add $2,000), that Mary is going to need glasses (add $500), and that Tom has a regular prescription for allergy medicine every month (add $120: $10 per month co-pay). Adding it all up, she determines her expenses add up to $5,000 for day care and $2,620 for medical expenses. Since the limit on the medical FSA for 2015 is $2,550 ($2,500 for plan years with a start date in 2014), Mary will elect $2,550 for the Medical FSA and $5,000 for the Dependent Care FSA. The total amount she will put away toward her FSA is $7,550. These are expenses she knows will be incurred. Once again, at an average 28% tax bracket, Mary will save $2,114 by using her FSA! That is equivalent to getting her child’s braces for free! She has no doubt that she should take advantage of her FSA and save this money.

Cafeteria Plans are qualified, non-discriminatory benefit plans, meaning a discrimination test must be met based on the elections of the participants combined with any contribution by the employer.

You may change your FSA elections during the Plan year only if you experience a change of status such as:

  • a marriage or divorce
  • birth or adoption of a child, or
  • a change in employment status

Refer to the Change of Election Form (available from your employer) for a complete list of circumstances acceptable for changing elections mid-year.