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Save money by enrolling in FSAs during Open Enrollment

Oct. 24, 2019, 4:07 PM

Flexible Spending Accounts graphic

Open Enrollment for your 2020 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.

Learn more about Open Enrollment and sign up for 2020 benefits now at vu.edu/oe.

Open Enrollment ends at 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 31. Elections are effective Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2020, unless you have a qualifying event, such as getting married or having a baby.

To have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) in 2020, 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 FSA reimburses items such as eyeglasses, co-payments, prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs—any eligible health care expenses that are not covered by a benefit plan. The annual election minimums and maximums are $104 to $2,700 per employee. If both spouses work, both can claim $2,700.
  • Dependent Day Care FSA reimburses the cost of day care expenses for your children (under the age of 13) or other eligible dependents. The day care must be used as a means to allow you and/or your spouse to be gainfully employed. The annual election minimums and maximums for Dependent Day Care FSA are $104 to $2,500 per employee. If both spouses work, both can claim $2,500, for a total household limit of $5,000.

Use it or lose it

FSAs are “use it or lose it.” For 2020, you can claim expenses incurred through March 15, 2021, and you must file any claims by April 15, 2021. 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 you 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.

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