Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) provide a tax-advantaged way to pay for eligible health care and dependent care (include elder care) expenses. FSAs let you save for eligible health and dependent care expenses with dollars that are automatically withheld from your paycheck before taxes. The amount you save depends on your tax bracket.

There are two Flexible Spending Accounts:

  • Health Care Spending Account
  • Dependent Care Spending Account

Each year you choose to participate in one, both, or neither account; you are not automatically re-enrolled. You cannot transfer money between the accounts.

Using Your Flexible Spending Accounts

  1. Decide how much to contribute each year during Open Enrollment. Contributions are deducted from your paycheck in equal amounts on a pre-tax basis during the calendar year.
  2. When you have eligible expenses, you can use the Mastercard FSA debit card sent to you when you enroll. Or, you can submit claims receipts to TRI-AD for reimbursement. You must file claims for 2018 expenses by March 31, 2019 or the unused amount is forfeited.
Health Care Spending Account Limited Purpose Spending Account Dependent Care Spending Account
Contributions to a Health Savings Account (HSA) You are not making HSA contributions You/your spouse contribute to an HSA n/a
Eligible Expenses Out-of-pocket medical, prescription drug, dental and vision expenses Out-of-pocket dental and vision expenses Out-of-pocket expenses for dependent care, such as child day care, or eldercare while you are at work
FSA Contribution Maximum $2,700 per year $2,700 per year $5,000 per year ($2,500 if married and filing separate tax return)
Access to Contributions As soon as participation begins, you can be reimbursed up to your annual contribution amount, minus any reimbursements you have already received.

This reimbursement is made regardless of the amount currently in your account.

You can be reimbursed for expenses only up to the amount currently in your account

Eligible health care expenses include:

  • Medical,* dental and vision care not covered by insurance
  • Health care plan copayments, deductibles and coinsurance
  • Nursing home and in-home medical care
  • Over-the-counter drugs if prescribed by a doctor
  • Psychologist/psychiatrist care
  • Transportation to and from medical care
  • Treatment for severe learning disabilities

* You are generally limited to reimbursement for eligible dental, vision and preventive care expenses if you or your spouse contributes to a Health Savings Account (HSA). Contact TRI-AD for more information.

Eligible dependent care expenses include:

  • Nursery schools, day camps and licensed day care centers (all day tuition costs for kindergarten and higher grades for children age 5 and older are not eligible expenses)
  • Day care in your home, except if the provider is the child’s parent, your dependent or your child under age 19
  • Household services related to the care of an eligible dependent

The dependent must be under age 13 or otherwise meet the IRS guidelines.

You will be required to report the name, address and tax identification number of the care provider on your
federal tax return.