FAQs- Flexible Spending and Health Reimbursement Arrangements
New online portal has arrived from PlanSourceThe Corporate Health Systems Reimbursement Accounts Online System has migrated to its new system, and the user portal is now available! The new, easy-to-use features include online claim submission and a convenient Benny® Prepaid Benefits Card. Even if you have not already been using PlanSource online system, if you carry flex or an HRA, you can log in here (instructions provided) and change your username and password to something you can remember.Do not throw your card away!
It will be reloaded each year when you elect a reimbursement plan.
- I had a flex account this year and I want to elect the same amount next year. I don't need to change anything, right?
- What is a the advantage of participating in an FSA?
- When can I enroll in Flexible Savings Account?
- How are the rules for FSAs determined?
- If I don’t use the money in the Health Savings Account, will I lose it?
- What is an HRA and who gets one?
- How are the HRA rules determined?
- Where are the HRA funds held?
- HRA, HSA, FSA-- what’s the difference?
- Are my HRA expenses coordinated with my Flexible Spending health care account?
- When are HRA funds available to me for reimbursement?
- When is my Health FSA ("flex") account available to me for reimbursement?
- If I participate in a Health FSA ("flex"), will those expenses still be eligible for credit on my personal tax return?
- When is my Dependent Care FSA ("flex") account available to me for reimbursement?
- How does participating in Dependent Care FSA affect my ability to claim these expenses on my personal tax return?
- Is there an age limit for reimbursement from Day Care Expense Account?
- What is a flex or other reimbursement account called on my paystub?
- One of the PEIP plans is called HSA-Compatible. How can I choose that plan if the district doesn't offer an HSA?
- I know the flex account is supposed to be used by the end of the calendar year, but it there a grace period?
- I have a mix of reimbursement claims to submit for the end of one year and the grace period during the next year. Does it matter what order I submit them in?
- The insurance company is telling me I do not have a flexible spending account, but I know I signed up for it this year and you’ve been taking it out of my paycheck. What’s going on?
- Does the IRS limit how much I can set aside in a Flexible Spending Account?
- I have health insurance through my spouse. Does that mean we have to have our flex plan through my spouse also?
- How do I check my flex (flexible spending account) balance?
- What happens to my HRA if I pass away?
- Whom should I contact specifically about reimbursement accounts?
I had a flex account this year and I want to elect the same amount next year. I don't need to do anything, right?
Actually, you must make a new election every year. If you wish to participate in flexible spending you MUST make a new election by completing the prefilled enrollment form enclosed in your packet. If you do not make a new flexible spending election, you will NOT be eligible to participate in the flexible spending plan for the new plan year.
An FSA allows you to pay for certain unreimbursed expenses prior to income tax calculations. By contributing to the plan you reduce your Federal and State income taxes as well as you FICA or Social Security taxes. These tax savings mean additional disposable income for you from each of your paychecks. Click here for an list of reimbursable expenses.
You can enroll during your initial enrollment period. You can also enroll during the annual open enrollment period, which is typically in the fall in anticipation of the January 1st Plan Year Anniversary Date. Elections are irrevocable; the ONLY other opportunity you may have to make or change and election is if you experience a qualifying Family Status Change.
We do not offer an HSA, or Health Savings Account. You may be thinking of an HRA or Health Reimbursement Account. The money in an HRA stays forever. You could leave it sit for 10 years and still be able to access it for reimbursement of medical expenses. There are HRAs associated with some plans in 2019; you will see as you look over the plan documents.
An HRA is in contrast to an FSA or Flexible Spending Account, which is money the employee puts in only for one calendar year and is “use it or lose it.”
An HRA, or Health Reimbursement Arrangement allows reimbursement for medical, dental, and optical expenses not paid by insurance and is funded by your employer.
For those bargaining units that have negotiated this option into their contract, in the event that you select a health insurance plan for which the monthly premium is less than the District contribution, the District will deposit into your HRA the difference between the District contribution and the amount of the monthly premium. The funds in this account can then be used for reimbursement of your family’s and your health, dental and optical expenses (i.e. deductibles, co-pays) and will be paid after the funds in your flexible spending account have been exhausted. Any unused monies in the HRA account at the end of the plan year will roll into the next plan year and will continue to accumulate and roll year after year.
The IRS determines the rules and regulations for the HRA. All HRA's must meet IRS Revenue Rulings and be in accordance with Sections 105 and 106 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.
Money can be put into a Health Savings Account by either the employer or the employee. ISD 273 does not offer an HSA. You may have one through your spouse, and you need to check the tax implications of using other reimbursement accounts in conjunction with an HSA. Instead, we have an HRA for employer contributions and an FSA for employee contributions.
An HRA, or Health Reimbursement Arrangement, is something we offer to employees whose premium is LESS THAN the district contribution for their group (if allowed in their master agreement). The extra goes into an HRA. Only employer dollars can be put into an HRA. This money rolls over from year to year.
An FSA, or Flexible Spending Account, is available to employees who are assigned to work an average of 17.5 hours or more per week, regardless of whether they are on district medical insurance. You make an annual election of how much you would like to set aside from your paychecks, pre-tax, and you can be reimbursed for medical and dental expenses. This account is “use-it-or-lose-it.” You can also have an FSA for dependent care (daycare). You choose these accounts separately and your election is always restricted to the calendar year.
Yes. If you participate in the Flexible Spending health care account, expenses must first be submitted and processed under the Flexible Spending health care account and those monies exhausted prior to reimbursement under the HRA account. Both types of reimbursement are handled on the same claim form by Corporate Health Systems.
Once your Flexible Spending health care account is exhausted (if applicable), you can be reimbursed for money which your employer has already contributed to your HRA account. If your employer has not yet contributed an amount equal to your claim, Corporate Health Systems will reimburse you up to the amount contributed, pending the remaining amount until further contributions have been made. The remainder of the claim, up to the deposited amount, will be paid out automatically until the entire claimed amount has been reimbursed.
Your entire annual election is available to you on the first day of the plan year or on your first day of participation.
If I participate in a Health FSA ("flex"), will those expenses still be eligible for credit on my personal tax return?
By participating in the Health FSA and pre-tax portion of the plan, you are already receiving the tax savings on these expenses and are unable to claim them again on your tax return. Participation in a Flexible Benefits Plan may affect your Earned Income Credit amount.
You can only be reimbursed for money which you have already contributed to your account. Since your annual election is divided and deducted evenly over the number of payrolls in a year (or remaining in the year) it is likely that you may not have contributed an amount equal to your Dependent Care claim. When this happens, Corporate Health Systems will reimburse you up to the amount contributed, pending the remaining amount until further contributions have been made. The remainder of the claim, up to the deposited amount, will be paid out automatically until the entire claimed amount has been reimbursed.
How does participating in Dependent Care FSA affect my ability to claim these expenses on my personal tax return?
You may use a combination of Dependent Care FSA and the Federal Child Care Tax Credit, but you are limited by the maximum as defined under the Federal Child Care Tax Credit. Participation in a Flexible Benefits Plan may affect your Earned Income Credit amount.
Yes. According to IRS regulations, the children receiving day care must be under the age of 13 at the time the day care services are provided, or the person receiving care must be physically or mentally incapable of self care.
Look for these on your payroll detail on EAC, depending on what you have elected.
- FSA-Day Care
- FSA-Health Care
- Hlth Reimbrse Acct
One of the PEIP plans is called HSA-Compatible. How can I choose that plan if the district doesn't offer an HSA?
"HSA-Compatible" is PEIP's name for their high-deductible plan. It is compatible with both HSAs and HRAs, but the district offers only an HRA. For any teacher (or other EM/E) who signs up for a plan with a premium that is less than the district contribution, the district will contribute the difference to a Health Reimbursement Arrangement, administered by Corporate Health Systems, as we have in the past. The difference is that the premiums on the PEIP high-deductible plan are low enough to make the HRA available to employees on Single+1 and Family, instead of just Single as in the past few years.
I know the flex account is supposed to be used by the end of the calendar year, but it there a grace period?
Yes, the flexible spending plan offered by Edina Public Schools does include a Grace Period provision.
Our Grace Period is January 1 through February 28. During this period of time, you may:
- Incur and be reimbursed for new expenses from the prior plan year’s balance.
- Be reimbursed for expenses incurred in the prior plan year, from the prior plan year’s balance.
This grace period is still available to you through February 28, 2019, for the 2018 plan year, even if you don’t flex for 2019. The deadline to submit claims for January and February is March 31, 2019.
I have a mix of reimbursement claims to submit for the end of one year and the grace period during the next year. Does it matter what order I submit them in?
CHS does not determine which expenses are paid from the old plan year and which expenses are paid from the new plan year. CHS will process claims as they are received. It is important for you to submit all expenses you wish to have reimbursed from your prior year’s account balance before you submit new plan year expenses. CHS will NOT be able to reprocess claims.For example: you submit an expense incurred during the grace period and this claim reimburses all remaining prior year funds. At a later date, you submit an expense incurred prior to the grace period. This claim will be denied because no funds remain in your prior year’s account.
The insurance company is telling me I do not have a flexible spending account, but I know I signed up for it this year and you’ve been taking it out of my paycheck. What’s going on?
The insurance company does not administer that account. PlanSource manages that for us:
There are also forms available on their website and an FAQ page. If the insurance company is telling you that you need to "talk to your employer," most likely that will mean, PlanSource as the district's agent.
We have FAQs and forms on the benefits page of our staff handbook as well. Staff Handbook - Benefits
Yes, notice was given under the Affordable Care Act that the limit was reduced to $2,500 per plan for health flex beginning in 2013. That amount was increased to $2,650 in 2018. It is possible for a family to set aside $5,100 in flex if spouses each have their own flex plan.The daycare FSA limit is set by the IRS and is a calendar year limit of $5,000 per family.
I have health insurance through my spouse. Does that mean we have to elect our flex plan through my spouse also?
Some employees get their insurance through a spouse, but do their flex through ISD 273 because their spouse’s employer doesn’t offer flex. You may elect flex even if you do not carry the district’s insurance. Some employees qualify only for flex, and not for medical insurance.
You can go to PlanSource - Reimbursement site If you do not know your log-in information, this is the team at PlanSource who handles our health reimbursement and flexible spending accounts:
HRA can be used by surviving spouse or qualified dependents. If none exists, then the balance is forfeited and distributed to all participants in the plan (other employees and retirees).
You can also check your reimbursement accounts on the PlanSource website .
Your flex election must be determined before the calendar year begins, according to IRS regulations. It cannot be changed except in some cases of a qualifying family status change. For example, if you have a baby in April, you can add daycare flex. In other cases, a reduction of hours would be a qualifying status change that allows you to drop daycare flex.
Payroll Deductions, District
Insurance WebsiteSara RiegelCompensation & Benefits SpecialistDistrict Office952-848-4905
Enrollment/Status Changes/EligibilityJanet Bear-RivardPlanSourceDirect: (612) 256-0842Fax: 1-616-243-5606ORTammy KnappPlanSourceDirect: (612) 256-0843Fax: (407) 386-8142
COBRA/RetireeJoAnne LynchPlanSourceDirect: (612) 256-0844Fax: (952) 939-0990