Save money by enrolling in FSAs during Open Enrollmentby Nicholas Moore Oct. 23, 2017, 11:26 AM
Open Enrollment for your 2018 benefits is happening now. ALL benefits-eligible employees must complete Open Enrollment, even if you don’t plan to make changes or plan to waive coverage.
Open Enrollment ends at 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 31. Elections are effective Jan. 1–Dec. 31, 2018, unless you have a qualifying event, such as getting married or having a baby.
To have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) in 2018, you must elect it during Open Enrollment. FSAs save you money by allowing you to use pretax dollars to pay for qualifying expenses. When you set aside some of your salary into one or both of the FSA options, the contributions are not subject to federal, state, local or FICA taxes.
Fully benefits-eligible employees can fund two types of flexible spending accounts: a health care FSA and a dependent day care FSA.
Health care FSAs
You can contribute up to $2,650 for eligible health, dental, vision or certain over-the-counter expenses not covered by insurance. These expenses can be for you or your eligible tax dependents, whether or not they are covered on the Vanderbilt Health Plan (see a list of eligible expenses in My VU Benefits). You can pay for expenses using the Benefit Express Health Care MasterCard or submit a claim online and be reimbursed.
Dependent day care FSAs
You can contribute up to $5,000 (per household) for child and adult day care expenses that allow you and your spouse, if you are married, to work. It cannot be used for health care expenses. You can submit a claim online and be reimbursed as money deducted from your pay is deposited into your account throughout the year.
Use it or lose it
FSAs are “use it or lose it.” For 2017, you can claim expenses incurred through March 15, 2018, and you must file any claims by April 15, 2018. Choose your amounts wisely. Enter the dollar amount you want to put in each FSA when you enroll in My VU Benefits. The system will automatically calculate and show how much money will be taken out of each paycheck.
FSA elections do not carry over; you must re-enroll every year. Visit vu.edu/oe for additional information.
Learn more and enroll
Learn more about Open Enrollment and sign up for 2018 benefits now at vu.edu/oe. Remember to have your VUnetID and password ready and active before you enroll. If you need help with your VUnetID or your password, visit it.vanderbilt.edu/accessvu or contact your IT support provider or the Help Desk.