TSS - Flexible Spending: EBPA Health Care and Dependent Care

Flexible Spending: EBPA Health Care and Dependent Care

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First Published  :Sun Oct 23 21:44:26 GMT 2016
Last Modified  :Tue Jan 02 14:36:37 GMT 2018
Last Published  :Tue Jan 02 14:36:37 GMT 2018
Summary :  information about the new FSA program with EBPA


Primary Information

    Note the information here applies to 2018 Benefits administered by EBPA. 

    Health Care and Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) allow you to set aside a portion of your pay on a pretax basis to pay for eligible health, dental, vision, child care and adult/elder care expenses. The money you contribute to these plans reduces your taxable income, thereby reducing your overall income tax. Each year, employees must actively enroll in the Health Care and Dependent Care FSAs via eServe during the open enrollment period to participate for the next calendar year.

    2018 IRS maximum limits are as follows:

    Health Care FSA: $2,650/calendar year per employee for health, dental and vision expenses

    Dependent Care FSA: $5,000/calendar year per family for dependent child(ren) (under age of 13) or adult/elder daycare expenses (spouse, dependent or qualifying relative provided they are physically or mentally incapable of self-care and have the same principle residence as the employee.)  Dependent care can include a day camp even if the camp specializes in a particular activity.

    Once enrolled in a Health Care and/or Dependent Care FSA Account for the 2018 calendar year, you will receive a debit card from our new vendor, EBPA, and information on how to create an online account. This benefits debit card can be used for eligible expenses for the Health Care FSA and Dependent Care FSA, (and Commuter Benefit for Transit/Parking if that is something you elected).

    • Healthcare FSA funds are front loaded onto the card in full
    • Dependent Care funds are added to the card as they are accrued; costs exceeding the balance on the card must be paid for out of pocket and a claim will need to be submitted

    Note that the minimum amount to participate in either of the FSA plans is $50 per year.

    Per IRS Rules, the FSA follows the “use it or lose it” rule, with the exception of the $500 rollover amount described below for health care expenses (not for Dependent Care). Be cautious when selecting annual contribution amounts for health care and/or dependent care expenses.  IRS guidelines permit employees to carry over up to $500 of unused contributions from your Health Care FSA to the following plan year, to be used in that following plan year (if funds are not used in that next calendar year either, the $500 can be carried to the subsequent year)*. The amount carried over will not count against the $2,650 limit for the following year. The unused amounts that are carried over into the next plan year/rollover must be used to pay for or reimburse eligible health care expenses in that plan year (different from "run out" which is described below). Unused amounts over $500 for FSA (and all unused Dependent Care FSA amounts) are forfeited under the “use it or lose it” rule described above.
    *Starting at the end of calendar year 2018 going into 2019, if you are ending the plan year with a balance but not re-enrolling for the next year, you must have a minimum of $50 in order to rollover.

    The IRS allows employees additional time after the calendar year ends (up to April 30th) to submit claim reimbursement requests for eligible expenses incurred during the prior calendar year (for both FSA and Dependent Care FSA). This is referred to as "run out" as opposed to rollover.

    Registering on the EBPA website:
    Please go to www.ebpabenefits.com and click "Sign In" under "Member Access." Then enter "Tufts" for the "Employer Name." On the next page click "Flexible Spending Accounts." Then on the next page select "New User" to register. Here, for the Employee ID, make sure to use your Social Security Number. On the dropdown for "Registration ID", you either choose "Employer ID" and enter CBA10803 or choose "Card Number" and enter the number from the front of your EBPA Debit Card.

    Eligibility-If you do not enroll within 31 days of the date you are first eligible, you will not be able to enroll until the next annual open enrollment, unless you experience a Qualified Status Change. See Change in Benefits Election after Change in Life Status (Qualified Status Changes. *Note If your share of the cost of Health, Dental, or Vision coverage, or daycare provider cost under the Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account, significantly increases or coverage is significantly curtailed, you may change your current election and elect similar coverage offered by the University for the balance of the plan year. Cost increases imposed by a daycare provider who is your relative are not considered significant and your Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account election cannot be changed for the balance of the plan year on account of such expense. 

     All active, regular employees at the University are eligible, provided that you are an exempt or non-exempt employee regularly scheduled to work 17.5 hours or more a week, with a minimum 90 days employment period. 
    or faculty member with at least a half time (as determined by the academic department), two- semester appointment
    See pages 5-8 of the Summary Plan Description for Benefits Eligible Employees for full Eligibility information for Staff, Faculty, Dependents, and Retirees.

    Post-Doc Eligibility:
    All post-doc scholars at the University are eligible if they meet the below requirements:

    • Postdoctoral Scholars holding twelve-month appointments may contribute to the Tufts University Health and/or Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA), however they must have a Social Security Number and pay U.S. taxes in order to take advantage of the FSA programs.


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