Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
Health Care and Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) are two separate accounts that enable you to set aside pre-tax dollars to pay for eligible health care or dependent care out-of-pocket expenses that arise throughout the year. Because your FSA contributions are deducted from your paycheck before taxes are calculated, FSAs can help you save money by reducing your taxable income. FSAs are regulated by the IRS; therefore, certain restrictions apply.
You may elect to participate in one or both of the Flexible Spending Accounts.
- Health Care Flexible Spending Account. You may contribute a minimum of $120 annually or a dollar amount up to a maximum of $2,600 annually to the Health Care Flexible Spending Account.
- Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account. You may contribute a minimum of $120 annually or a dollar amount up to a maximum of $5,000 annually per household to the Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account.
Once you make your Flexible Spending Account decisions during the annual Open Enrollment period or upon hire, you will not be able to change your elections until the next Open Enrollment period, unless you have a qualifying life event.
How Does an FSA Work?
Prior to enrolling in an FSA account, you should estimate the amount of eligible out-of-pocket health care and/or dependent care expenses you will incur during the upcoming year. Using this estimate, you can then decide how much you want to contribute to the health care and/or dependent care FSA account(s).
Anytime throughout the year, you can submit a claim form and supporting documentation to Meritain for reimbursement of eligible health care and/or dependent care expenses from the money you have set aside in your FSA account(s). You must accumulate at least $10 in expenses before submitting a claim, unless it is at year-end.In the past, it was an IRS regulation that eligible claims for a health care spending account must have occurred within the plan calendar year.Contribution amounts that remained in the account after that year were forfeited.This was known as the IRS"Use It or Lose It"rule.The IRS has changed this rule and now allows a 2-1/2 month grace period into the following plan year.
If dollars are still available in your health care spending account after December 31, eligible claims will still be reimbursed as long as they have a date of service prior to March 15 of the following year (2-1/2 month grace period). Faculty and staff will have until March 31, to submit claims that were incurred in the previous year or the grace period. Any remaining funds from the prior year will be reimbursed to you first.
If you end your employment with the University or are no longer eligible to participate, health care spending account claims must be submitted within 90 days of losing eligibility.
Many common health care expenses are eligible for reimbursement from your Health Care FSA, including medical and dental co-payments, deductibles, prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, orthodontia, and vision care. As a general rule, any health care expense you could deduct from your federal income tax is eligible for reimbursement from your Health Care FSA.
Reimbursements will be allowed “up front” for the entire amount of orthodontia expenses if dentist requires payment.
Note: If you participate in the Health Care FSA and have medical coverage through the University, Meritain will automatically process your medical plan co-payments and/or coinsurances through your FSA account to reimburse you for eligible out-of-pocket expenses. This process, known as auto-referral of claims, simplifies the process for you. You only need to submit receipts or itemized bills for eligible dental, prescription, over-the-counter medications, and vision expenses. When auto-referral occurs, you will receive an explanation of benefits from Meritain noting the unpaid balance referred to your FSA.
*If you wish to OPT OUT of the auto-referral of claims, you must do so each January. Please call Meritain customer service at 1-800-748-0003, opt. 2, and/or email your request to Flexonline@meritain.com.
A Dependent Care FSA reimburses you, for care provided by eligible caregivers to dependents so that you (and your spouse, if you are married) can work.Care can be for your dependent children (up to age 13), or a dependent of any age if he or she lives with you and cannot care for himself or herself, such as an elderly parent or disabled child.
The following are some expenses not covered under the Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account:
- 24-hour nursing home expenses
- Day Care with a primary purpose of education or enrichment
- Expenses you expect to claim as a dependent day care tax credit
- Services provided by one of your children under age 19
- Expenses for overnight camps
- Expenses that allow you or your spouse to perform volunteer work
- Transportation, entertainment, food, and clothing expenses
- Expenses incurred during a medical leave longer than one pay period
The Internal Revenue Code, section 129, does not allow participating in the Dependent Care FSA while on medical leave.Dependent Care expenses incurred during a medical leave are not eligible for reimbursement.Since your Dependent Care status has changed as a result of medical leave, you may elect to change your election for the balance of the year.
Terminated faculty and staff may continue to submit eligible expenses during the plan year if working or actively seeking other employment.
If dollars are still available in your dependent care spending account after December 31, eligible claims will still be reimbursed as long as they have a date of service prior to March 15 of the following year (2-1/2 month grace period). Faculty and staff will have until March 31, to submit claims that were incurred in the previous year or the grace period.
For specific information regarding the Dependent Care FSA, please contact Human Resources or your tax advisor.
Meritain Health administers both the Health Care and Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts. Meritain processes claims and reimbursements weekly. Claim forms and supporting documentation received by the close of business on Tuesday will be processed and paid the following week via direct deposit. Claim forms and associated documentation can be submitted to Meritain via fax at 1-888-837-3725 or mail at P.O. Box 30111, Lansing, MI 48909. To speak with an Meritain Customer Service Center representative, please call 1-866-448-1696. If you are currently enrolled in any of the Meritain Health medical plans, you may access both your medical and flexible spending account information through www.mymeritain.com. Employees, spouses, and dependents ages 18 and over, may create a username and password for access to the website. You will need your Meritain Health ID card in order to validate your identity when creating your username. Employees enrolled in both a medical plan and flexible spending account program need to use www.mymeritain.com instead of the direct flexible spending account website. If your www.mymeritain.com account is locked and you need assistance please contact our Flexible Spending Account Customer Service team at 800-748-0003, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are not enrolled in a Meritain Health medical plan, and only participate in Flexible Spending Account program you will continue to utilize the direct website www.mymeritain.com. The first time that you register you will be asked to create a new user name and password of your choice. Enter your 9 digit SSN in the user ID field. Enter your 4 digit FSA PIN assigned number in the PIN field. Our Customer Service Representatives are available to assist you with questions or concerns regarding the website, or access to your Flexible Spending Account. Please feel free to contact us at 800-748-0003, or via email at email@example.com.
Direct Deposit: FSA reimbursements are only made by direct deposit. To begin direct deposit, please complete a Direct Deposit Authorization Form (PDF), attach a voided check or savings account deposit slip and return both to Meritain.Orthodontic Claims Checklist: Before submitting your orthodontic claim for reimbursement, be sure that you have submitted all of the proper information as listed below:
- A detailed copy of the orthodontic contract (description of the fees for initial placement of the braces, x-rays, extractions, and the monthly adjustment fees).
- A copy of the itemized bill from the orthodontist.
- Submit a copy of your Explanation of Benefits (EOB) from your dental insurance company outlining what the insurance has paid.
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