Flexible & Dependent Care Spending Accounts
LSU has partnered with Diversified Benefit Services, Inc. (DBS) to offer employees Flexible Spending Accounts for 2017! This program will allow employees to put tax-sheltered dollars in an account for out of pocket medical and/or dependent care expenses that are incurred from January 1, 2017 through March 15, 2018 for the employee and any eligible dependents.
This benefit provides the opportunity to set aside tax-exempt dollars for out-of-pocket health care or dependent care expenses incurred by you and/or your eligible dependents. LSU offers two different Plans through our Tax-Saver Flexible Benefits that allow you to reduce your taxable income, the Heath Care Reimbursement Plan and the Dependent Care Reimbursement Plan.
Any active employee of LSU is eligible for benefits provided the following:
- Employed at 75% of full-time effort per pay period (avg. of 30 hours/week) or greater;
- Appointed for a duration of at least one semester or 120 days or greater
**Please note - Employees who participate in the Pelican HSA 775 option administered
through BlueCross BlueShield are not eligible to participate in the Flexible Spending
Health Care Flexible Spending Account
- The minimum contribution to participate in this Program is $100.00.
- The maximum contribution to participate in this Program is $2,650 for 2018.
How to Calculate Expenses
Use this worksheet to estimate your un-reimbursed health care expenses. IRS regulations state that if all the money in the account is not used by the end of the Plan Year, the remaining balance must be forfeited (known as the “Use-it-or-Lose-it rule”).
Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account
You may receive tax-exempt reimbursements for the care of certain individuals in your household, which includes your dependent children age 12 or younger and any other individuals who reside with you and who rely on your for at least half of their support or are physically or mentally unable to care for themselves.
- The minimum contribution to participate in this Program is $100.00 per Plan Year.
- The maximum contribution to participate in this Program is $5,000 or $2,500 if married and filing separately, or such other amount as may be established by law from time to time.
Eligible Dependent Care Account expenses include:
- Day-care costs
- Schooling costs, not including food and clothing, for either private or public schools, for children not yet in kindergarten
- If expenses for food and clothing cannot be separated from the total cost of child care, then they are eligible expenses
- Before/after-school care
- Babysitting and licensed day-care center costs
- Housekeeping services in your home that include day care
- Elder care if dependent is claimed on your tax return
- Costs of transportation, overnight camping, nursing care facilities, and the schooling costs of children in the first grade or above are generally ineligible expenses
Participation in Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts:
- If you are married, both you and your spouse must be employed in order to use this Plan.
- Your contribution may not exceed the lesser of your income or the income of your spouse.
- If you are married and file separate returns, your maximum contribution is $2,500.
- If you are married and file a joint return, your maximum contribution is $5,000.
Using the Money in Your Flexible Spending Account
You must determine an annual target amount (maximum limits apply) to be withheld by forecasting your out-of-pocket health care and/or dependent care expenses for the entire plan year (January 1 - December 31). If you enroll in the FSA, you will be provided with a Debit Card that is pre-loaded with your elected amount to use throughout the Plan Year. Dependent Care participants must file manual claims.
Your annual target is then deducted from your paycheck in equal installments. The deduction is made before taxes are computed, thus making the spending account dollars tax-free. There is no tax liability on the money put into either the health care or dependent care spending account or on the money reimbursed through these spending accounts.
There is a $4.70 monthly administrative fee for 12 month employees and $6.27 for 9 month employees.
To access the money in your account, you can either use your FSA Debit Card at the time of service, or you can file a claim form requesting reimbursement for eligible, out-of-pocket expenses. Please be aware that reimbursement checks issued from DBS have a 180-day expiration date.
Reimbursements for 2017 Dependent Care expenses can be accessed by mailing/faxing claim forms to DBS, submitting claim information online or submitting via DBS’ mobile phone application.
You can only make mid-year changes to these accounts if you experience a qualifying event as defined by the IRS.
Note: Remember, you must re-enroll in the Flexible Spending Account (FSA) each year during Annual Enrollment. Your FSA enrollment will not automatically carry over from year to year. If you choose not to re-enroll during annual enrollment, your account will automatically CANCEL on December 31.
There will be a grace period immediately following the end of the Plan Year for both Health Care and Dependent Care Spending Accounts. This extension will provide participants additional time to incur expenses for reimbursement from the previous year’s account. The grace period will be available after the end of the Plan Year from January 1st through March 15th. To use previous year funds you must pay for the services then file an FSA claim. The BENNY card cannot be used to pay for services with funds from the previous year.
Filing FSA Claims
Filing a claim is as easy as completing a claim form and attaching a receipt. Timely filing of a claim will result in a timely reimbursement. All claims incurred during the grace period must be filed no later than April 15th.
Enrollment and Effective Date of Coverage
Timely Applicant: If you enroll within your first 30 days of full-time employment, your coverage will be effective the first of the month following your first full calendar month of employment.
Existing Employee: Employees may enroll during annual enrollment which is within the month of October. Benefits will be effective January 1.
If you experience a life qualifying event, you may enroll by completing the Enrollment form and the Status Change form within 30 days of the event. Benefits will be effective the month following the date the form was signed.
To cancel your Flexible Spending Account during the plan year, it must be due to a qualifying event. Complete the Enrollment form and indicate “$0” for the amount and check the box indicating that you do not wish to participate. Return along with the Status Change form to 110 Thomas Boyd Hall.
If you leave LSU employment, you can continue to submit claims. However, you may only submit claims for expenses incurred on or before the last day of your employment. Claims must be filed within 30 days of the end of the month in which you terminate or within 30 days following the end of the plan year, whichever is sooner.