Flexible Spending Accounts
*Read More About the COVID-19 FSAs Changes Adopted in 2021
Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) can help you save money on health care and dependent care expenses throughout the year. By participating in one or more of these flex accounts, you use tax free dollars deducted from your paychecks to pay for certain out-of-pocket expenses. The FSAs provide tax savings because you are not taxed on the money used to pay for such expenses. FSAs reduce your overall tax burden, and are a smart, simple way to save money while keeping you and your family healthy and protected. Loyola offers the following FSAs:
*COVID-19 FSA Changes (Adopted in 2021)
- Temporary Changes to Health and Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts FSAs - (Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021)
- American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 - (Temporary changes related to Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts)
- This IRS notice was issued clarifying that Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) qualify as a 213(d) medical expense. This means the purchase of PPE, such as masks, hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes, are qualified medical expenses if used for the primary purpose of preventing the spread of coronavirus.
The Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Vendor is BenefitExpress
Member portal: www.loyolaexpress.com
If you are a full-time University benefit-eligible faculty or staff (.80 FTE or higher), you are eligible to enroll in flexible spending accounts. Employees who enroll in PPO 3 HSA are eligible to enroll in a limited flexible spending account (dental and vision only) in addition to a health savings account, instead of a full health care flexible spending account. Dependent care flexible spending accounts are available regardless of health care plan option chosen, as long as you have at least one eligible dependent.
You must enroll through Employee Self-Service during Open Enrollment, or within your first 31 days of employment. Elections cannot by changed during the calendar year unless you experience a qualifying life event. If you have a qualifying life event, please contact the Benefits team directly at email@example.com to make changes.
Any money in excess of the $550 rollover limit not used for allowable expenses within the 2020 calendar year will be forfeited and will not be refunded. Do not assume all expenses are covered. Note: You have until March 31, 2021 to submit receipts for reimbursement. But the expenses must occur in 2020.
Loyola will allow 2020 Health Care FSA and Limited FSA participants to carry over up to $550 of any amount remaining unused as of the end of the year (2020) to the following year (2021). Please visit the IRS website to learn more.
Enroll Every Year
All flexible spending accounts require re-enrollment every year during Open Enrollment in the fall. Your current election does not automatically carry over from one year to the next.
Manage Your Account
BenefitExpress administers the FSA plan for Loyola University Chicago. Once you are enrolled, it is easy to access information and download forms through their website at www.loyolaexpress.com. Claim forms may be faxed to BenefitExpress at 253.793.3766. For additional information, call 877.837.5017.
If you are a full-time University benefit-eligible faculty or staff (.80 FTE or higher), you are eligible to enroll in our flexible spending accounts.
Note: If you are enrolled in PPO 3 HSA, you will be eligible to enroll in a limited flexible spending account (dental and vision only) instead of a full health care flexible spending account. Dependent care flexible spending accounts are available regardless of health care plan option chosen, as long as you have at least one eligible dependent.
The University recognizes the need to provide a program that helps you pay for expenses not covered by your health plan, and expenses related to dependent care. Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) for health care and/or dependent day care expenses, used properly, can help save you money on these expenses.
Benefit Express administers the FSA plan for Loyola University Chicago.
Once you are enrolled, it is easy to access information and download forms through their website at: www.loyolaexpress.com.
Claim forms may be faxed to Benefit Express at 253.793.3766. For additional information, call 877.837.5017.
By participating in either or both of these flex accounts you use tax-free dollars deducted from your paychecks to pay for certain out-of-pocket expenses. The dollars you save are from the following payroll taxes:
Federal income tax;
State income tax (in most cases); and
Social Security (FICA) tax.
Under the guidelines of this program, the IRS Code specifies that:
- Any money not used for allowable expenses within the calendar year is forfeited and will not be refunded.
- Requests for reimbursement of dollars expended within the benefit calendar year must be submitted to Benefit Express along with the required documentation, prior to March 31 of the following year.
- Expenses reimbursed through these accounts cannot be claimed as deductions or credits when you file your income tax returns.
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Health Care Flexible Spending Account is a pre-tax benefit account used to pay for eligible medical, dental, and vision care expenses that aren’t covered by your insurance plan or elsewhere. It’s a smart, simple way to save money while keeping you and your family healthy and protected. The minimum amount you can contribute per calendar year is $240 and the maximum is $2,750 (subject to change yearly, based on IRS regulations).
Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account is a pre-tax benefit account used to pay for dependent care services, such as preschool, summer day camp, before or after school programs, and child or elder daycare. The minimum amount you can contribute per calendar year is $240 and the maximum is $5,000 (subject to change yearly, based on IRS regulations).
Limited Flexible Spending Account is a pre-tax benefit account similar to a Health Care FSA, however the LFSA only reimburses for eligible dental and vision expenses. This account will be available to you if you will have a Health Savings Account (HSA) in the current year. The minimum amount you can contribute per calendar year is $240 and the maximum is $2,750 (subject to change yearly, based on IRS regulations).
If you are a benefit-eligible new hire, you may participate in either or both the health care (or limited) and dependent care flexible spending accounts. You must enroll within your first 31 days of employment. If you do not enroll at this time, the next opportunities to enroll are during the annual benefits Open Enrollment period (generally held during the fall) or if you experience a qualifying event, such as marriage.
Each year during the benefits Open Enrollment period, you decide if you want to participate in health care/limited and/or dependent care flexible spending accounts for the following year.
If you decide to enroll in the program, you also will have to decide how much to contribute to each account.
You cannot stop, start, or change this election amount during the calendar year unless you experience a qualifying event, as defined by the IRS and the plan. Yearly enrollment is an IRS regulation.
You can select your annual FSA amount via the Employee Self Service portal.
You will track your spending on the BenefitExpress portal.
Access the BenefitExpress portal at loyolaexpress.com using your Loyola username and password.
The BenefitExpress debit card can simplify the process of paying for eligible health care FSA expenses. You can use the card at qualifying merchant locations, pharmacies and doctors’ offices that accept MasterCard. It is your responsibility to ensure that your FSA MasterCard is used only for qualified health care expenses, and for checking your account balances to make sure you have sufficient funds available.
When you activate your card, it is loaded with the amount you have elected to contribute to your benefit program. As you use the card to pay for items eligible for reimbursement, corresponding deductions will be made from the card balance. We recommend that you keep all receipts for the entire plan year in the event that supporting documentation is requested.
The FSA debit card allows you to pay for eligible expenses at the point of service. Additional benefits include:
- Immediate access to your FSA account; you avoid paying with cash or check.
- Immediate payment of the expense; you avoid waiting for the reimbursement check.
The ease of use at the point of sale reduces the burden of having to pay money out-of-pocket, and eliminating the wait for a reimbursement has proven to be extremely convenient for plan participants.
If you are not using the debit card for some or all expenses, you may submit requests for reimbursement to Benefit Express, along with the required documentation of expenses incurred, after the date you became an eligible participant in the plan. You may choose to receive your reimbursement check through the U.S. mail directed to your home, or you may sign up for automatic direct deposit to your savings or checking account. The request for direct deposit can be accessed through BenefitExpress by visiting the website at: www.loyolaexpress.com.
You are required to use the FSA Reimbursement Request Form for submitting all eligible expenses to BenefitExpress.
BenefitExpress forms, along with directions for completion of the form, can be printed from their website. When submitting it, please furnish documentation of expenses incurred either through an itemized statement from the provider, your explanation of benefits form, or ask your doctor, dentist, or pharmacist to complete and sign in the section titled Provider’s Signature on the form.
The form allows you to list several expenses at once.
There is a minimum of $25 in expenses before the reimbursement will be processed. Remember to sign the form and attach your supporting documentation.
The easiest way to submit the form for reimbursement is by fax at 253.793.3766. Whether the form is faxed or mailed, you should always keep a copy of all information submitted for your records.
To avoid forfeiture of your yearly elections, carefully consider the dollar amount to set aside.
- Review your out-of-pocket expenses for the previous two or three years. Identify how this might change in the current year, and elect amounts that will cover realistic expenses. Estimate your expenses accordingly.
- Determine how much to set aside in your account during enrollment so that you do not have money remaining in the account at the end of the year.
- Enroll via Employee Self Service during Open Enrollment, or within 31 days of your hire date or qualified life event. Access the Employee Self Service Portal using your Loyola username and password to enroll or log in.
Please see the Benefits Booklet, located in the Resources section (upper right), for additional information.
Enroll Every Year—If you are participating in a health care, limited or dependent day care flexible spending account, you must enroll every year. Your current election does not automatically carry over from one year to the next. Access the Loyola Employee Self Service portal using your Loyola username and password. You may elect to enter, exit or change your FSA election only if you experience one of the following:
- Change in legal marital status (marriage, divorce, death of a spouse);
- Change in number of tax dependents (birth of a child);
- Employment status change for you, your spouse or dependent;
- Dependent satisfies, or ceases to satisfy, eligibility requirements;
- Residence change by you, your spouse or dependent; or
- Change in cost of covered day care.
A change in benefit elections because of a qualifying event can only be made if it is consistent with the change in family or employment status and if the Human Resources department is notified within 31 days of the change. Remember...
- Reducing your taxable income may affect your future Social Security benefits.
- The IRS will not allow you to take the Dependent Care Tax Credit for expenses reimbursed through your FSA account.
- Depending on your personal situation, the Dependent Care Tax Credit may be more advantageous than the pre-tax flexible spending account.
- Consult your tax advisor.
Your Dependent Care FSA ends with you last paycheck and may not be continued, and you may be reimbursed for eligible expenses you incurred through the end of the pay period for which you made your last contribution. You have 90 days following your termination date to submit claims which were incurred prior to your termination date.
The same above rules apply to the Health FSA (and Limited FSA), but you may continue to participate in the Health FSA for the remainder of the plan year under COBRA. Learn more about COBRA here or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.