Learn about health care Flexible Spending Accounts

Open Enrollment starts Oct. 15. Today’s tip is a reminder that Vanderbilt employees are eligible to fund two different types of flexible spending accounts, also known as FSAs. FSAs are funded with your pre-tax dollars and are used to pay for out-of-pocket health or dependent day care expenses.

You can contribute up to $2,500 per year to a health care FSA. Enter the dollar amount you want to put in the health care FSA when you enroll on the My VU Benefits website. The site will automatically calculate and show how much will be taken out of each paycheck.

Money will be taken out of each paycheck over the year to fund the health care FSA, but you will have access to the full amount on Jan. 1, 2015. You can pay for your and your dependents’ health-related expenses using the Benefit Express Health Care MasterCard, or submit a claim and you will be reimbursed. Visit the HR website for a list of eligible health care expenses and for details on how to submit a claim.

FSAs save you money. Because your income is going into your FSA account pre-tax, you save money by not paying income tax on that amount. FSA funds have to be used by March 15, 2016, or they will be lost, so plan carefully. And remember: You must re-enroll every year.

Open Enrollment runs from 8 a.m. on Oct. 15 through 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 31. Selections are effective Jan. 1–Dec. 31, 2015, unless you have a qualifying event such as marriage, divorce or the birth of a child.

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