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A Flexible Spending Account allows you to contribute money, on a pre-tax basis, to pay for eligible health care, dependent care, and commuter/transportation expenses. You do not pay federal income tax or social security tax on these contributions. All regular, full-time employees, and faculty members are eligible to participate in the program.

How the Flexible Spending Account works

You designate an amount to be deducted, pre-tax, in equal installments from your paycheck. You cannot change your contribution amount or suspend your payroll deductions during the year unless you have a qualified change in family status, as defined by the Internal Revenue Service. This type of plan is considered by the IRS to be a "use it or lose it" plan. This means that if you do not use the full amount that you elected, then you will forfeit the remaining balance.

As a result of The Consolidated Appropriation Act, 2021 there are a few temporary provisions to the plan for 2021 and 2022.

The Consolidated Appropriation Act, 2021

Also known as the COVID Relief Bill, the act allows the carryover of unused funds from plan year 2021 Flexible Spending Health Care Account (FSA) and the Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (DCFSA) into plan year 2022. The deadline to incur and submit eligible expense for the 2021 plan year is December 31, 2021. Claims for reimbursement of expenses may be submitted through March 31, 2022. Any unused funds will be carried over into the 2022 plan year and may be used through December 31, 2022.

Mid-Year Elections Changes

Changes are allowed without a qualifying event on a prospective basic as a result of the Consolidated Appropriation Act, 2021.  

Unused Balance

In accordance with federal tax law, any unused account balances at the end of the 2022 plan year will be forfeited if not used for qualified expenses. The University is not permitted to refund it to you.

Health Care Account

Summary

Health care expenses can include those incurred by yourself, your spouse, domestic partner, or any dependent that you claim on your income tax return.

You will receive a Health Care Card that will draw from these funds.

Some examples of qualified expenses are as follows:

  • Deductibles and co-payments for healthcare plans (medical, dental and vision)
  • Co-payments for prescription drugs
  • Amounts over usual and customary plan limits
  • Purchase of prescription sunglasses, contact lenses and cleaning solutions

Note

The maximum annual contribution qualifying for pre-tax reimbursement is $2,750 per employee for the 2021 plan year.

Dependent Care Account

Summary

Eligible expenses are only those expenses that you incur because you work, and are expenses for services received during the calendar year in which you are participating. If you are a two-parent family, both parents must be working in order to qualify for the Plan. 

Eligible dependents are defined as:

  • Children under the age of 13
  • Older, disabled dependents whom you can claim in your income tax return

Note

The maximum annual contribution qualifying for pre-tax reimbursement is $5,000 per family.

Commuter Transportation

Summary

Now is a great time to think green, leave the car at home, and make the switch to public transportation. Under the current regulations, the monthly limits for pre-tax free commuter benefits are:

  • Transit - The pre-tax spending limit for transit and vanpools is $270 per month for 2021.
  • Parking - The pre-tax spending for qualified parking is $270 per month for 2021.

Place your order based on how you currently get to work (regional rail, bus or subway) and HealthEquity|WageWorks will fulfill your order by mailing you a pass or recharging your commuter card just prior to the beginning of the month. The portion of your cost that is deducted pre-tax reduces the amount of earnings on which you have to pay taxes (this is how you save). If you choose the "Every Month" frequency, you will automatically get the same order each month until you change it, cancel it, or become ineligible for the program.

Note

There is no open enrollment period for the commuter benefits program and you can enroll or cancel your enrollment at any time.

Temple University also allows employees to pay monthly parking costs in any of the Temple lots on a pre-tax basis. Please visit the Parking Services for more information.

To Enroll

For additional plan details, easy-to-use calculators, and enrollment instruction, go to HomeEquity|WageWorks. Inquiries about how the program works should be directed to HealthEquity|WageWorks.

Current Employees

Open enrollment is during the months of November and December for the following calendar year. You must re-enroll each year to continue or change your participation in an FSA account.

New Hires

You have 31 days from the date of hire to enroll on-line for the current calendar year.

Note

Open Enrollment only applies to enrollment in Health Care and Dependent Care accounts.

Contact Us

For questions regarding Flexible Spending Accounts, call (215) 926-2270 or email benefits@temple.edu.