Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA)
Save Money While Keeping You and Your Family Healthy
What are Flexible Spending Accounts?
The COLB Flexible Spending Account lets you set aside money—before it's taxed—through payroll deductions. If you enroll in the plan, the contributions you make to your account are deducted from your pay before federal, state and FICA taxes are calculated. Your taxable income is reduced, and consequently, your taxable income reflected on your annual W-2 statement is reduced. The money in your FSA account(s) can be used for eligible healthcare and dependent day care expenses you and/or your family expect to have over the next year.
For new hires, eligible expenses that occur either on or after your effective date are eligible for reimbursement. Expenses that occurred prior to your effective date will not be reimbursed under the City's flexible spending plan.
For ongoing employees, the effective date is January 1st of each calendar year.
Key FSA Dates:
- January 1 – December 31: These are the plan year dates. Expenses must be incurred during this time frame or during the grace period
- Grace Period January 1 – March 15: Follows the end of the plan year. Unused funds from the prior plan year can be used during this timeframe.
- April 15th of each year: Deadline to submit claims for the prior plan year.
Please note: If you wish to participate in this plan, you must enroll each year you want to participate. Annual enrollment will NOT automatically renew. Pre-tax payroll deductions are processed for the first 24 pay periods of the year, unless you enroll in the plan mid-year. If you enroll in the plan after the January 1 effective date, your department Payroll/Personnel Assistant (PPA) will advise you of the remaining pay periods left in the year, so that you can plan accordingly.
Health FSAEnrollment in a health FSA allows you to access your entire annual election from the first day of the plan year and you can set aside up to $2,650 for plan year 2019. In addition, the City's third party administrator offers a Health FSA Debit Card that allows you to pay for your out of pocket expenses by swiping the card at the point of service (i.e., doctor's office, pharmacy, FSA store, etc.).
Expenses eligible for reimbursement under a health FSA are expenses that are medically necessary but not covered by your own, or another insurance plan, and are expenses incurred by you, your spouse, and your dependents (you may claim reimbursement for expenses paid for your registered domestic partner if your registered domestic partner is a dependent) as defined under IRS Code 152. Eligible expenses include medical, dental, or vision costs such as plan deductibles, co-pays, coinsurance amounts, and other non-covered healthcare costs allowed by the IRS.
Dependent Care FSA
Expenses eligible for reimbursement form the dependent care FSA include certain expenses for dependent care if the care is required in order for you (your spouse or domestic partner) to work. Eligible expenses may include daycare centers, in-home child care, and before or after school care for your dependent children under age 13. Other individuals may qualify if they are considered your tax dependent and are incapable of self-care.
If you use the dependent care reimbursement account, the IRS will not allow you to claim a dependent care credit for reimbursed expenses. Consult your tax adviser to determine whether you should enroll in this plan.
Current FSA Plan Administrator and Reimbursement Process
WageWorks® is the administrator of the Flexible Spending Account Plan. For information about your account, call their interactive telephone system 24 hours a day, seven days a week at (877) 924-3967. WageWorks'' customer service representatives can also assist you Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time or go to wageworks.com.
When you enroll in either the WageWorks Health or Dependent Care FSA, you can take advantage of the following payment and reimbursement tools available on the WageWorks Web Portal or EZ Receipts mobile app:
- “Pay Me Back” – allows you to request reimbursement for eligible expenses.
- “Pay My Provider” – payments are made directly to a provider from your FSA account(s).
- Fax or Mail Claim Form – use these options when a computer or mobile device is not readily available to you.
Additional information on WageWorks Health and Dependent Care FSA:
- Introduction to WageWorks Health FSA
- FSA Health Eligible Expenses
- Introduction to WageWorks Healthcare Debit Card