Flexible Spending Accounts
A Flexible Spending Account (FSA) allows you to use before-tax dollars to pay for eligible out-of-pocket expenses. Mount Holyoke College has established two types of flexible spending accounts:
Health Care Spending Account:
- Contributions of a minimum of $120 to a maximum of $2500.
- Can be used to pay for eligible health care expenses (including dental expenses).
Dependent Care Spending Account:
- Contributions of a minimum of $120 to a maximum of $5,000
- Can be used to pay for eligible dependent care expenses.
Flexible spending dollars are deducted during the calendar year (January - December).
A few years ago, the IRS permitted employers to offer an additional 'grace period' of 2 1/2 months in which a participant could use flexible spending dollars from the previous year to pay for expenses. MHC has offered this extension since it became available. That is, you may use 2013 funds to pay for expenses incurred on or before March 15, 2014. [And claiims using 2013 funds need to be processed no later than April 15, 2014.]
The Treasury Department recently announced that employers will now have the option of implementing a $500 rollover option to flexible spending accounts or the 2 1/2 month grace period from January 1 - March 15 of the next year.
Since the current plan design with the 'grace period' was the basis on which decisions for 2013 flexible spending elections were made, we will maintain that design for the remainder of 2013. For this Open Enrollment period, we feel it is more prudent to maintain the 2 1/2 month extension over changing the plan design.
We will work with American Benefits to determine which of the two available options may make sense for 2015.
Please feel free to contact the HR Benefits department if you have any questions.
Flexible Spending Account Contacts
Elizabeth M. Haber, Payroll Specialist, x3194
Cindy Legare, Benefits and Training Manager, x3196
Teresa Azahar, Benefits and Training Specialist, x3132
American Benefits Group
P.O. Box 1209, Northampton, MA 01061-1209
Telephone: 413-584-9923 or 800-499-3539