Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account

What to Know

The Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA) allows you to put aside pretax dollars to use toward eligible care expenses for your dependents. Essentially, you pay yourself back with tax-free money for expenses you’d have anyway, such as child care. It is administered by WEX Benefits.

Understand the Flexible Spending Accounts

Watch a video presentation to learn more about how the FSAs work.

Dependent Care FSA Highlight

The Dependent Care FSA gives you the opportunity to put aside money from your paycheck, before taxes, that you can use to pay for eligible out-of-pocket child care expenses, such as day, after-school programs, and day camps for dependents up to the age of 13. It also covers care costs for disabled dependents of any age, including your spouse.

Watch the 2024 FSA video to learn more.

Contribution Limits

The annual contribution limit is $5,000 for individuals and for married couples filing jointly. For a married person filing separately, the annual limit is $2,500.

That means, for a married couple, each parent can contribute $2,500 to their own Dependent Care FSA, for a total of $5,000.

Current Residents and Clinical Fellows

When considering how much to contribute, keep in mind:

The plan year runs from Jan. 1, 2024, through Dec. 31, 2024. Your payroll deductions begin January 1. However, UC offers a grace period so your elections for the 2024 plan year can be used for expenses incurred from January 1, 2024, through March 15, 2025.

Claims for expenses incurred during this time period must be submitted by April 15, 2025. You cannot carry over funds and will forfeit any funds remaining in your account.

2024 Dependent Care FSA

Beginning January 1, you can file claims for reimbursement of eligible expenses incurred on or after January 1, 2024.

You can request reimbursement up to your account balance. To build enough money in your account for reimbursement, you will likely need to hold your dependent care expenses and submit them later in the year. Or, you can submit all your dependent care expenses at the end of the plan year for one lump-sum reimbursement.

New Residents and Clinical Fellows

You can enroll as of your program start date, and then file claims incurred on or after the first of the following month.

You can request reimbursement up to your account balance. To build enough money in your account for reimbursement, you will likely need to hold your dependent care expenses and submit them later in the year. Or, you can submit all your dependent care expenses at the end of the benefit year and receive one lump-sum reimbursement.

You have until April 15, 2025, to submit claims for reimbursement of expenses incurred between your plan effective date (usually your program start date) and March 15, 2025. You cannot carry your funds over and will forfeit any funds remaining in your account.

View more information about the Dependent Care FSA [PDF]; the claim form can also be found within the PDF.

How to Enroll

New Residents and Clinical Fellows

New residents and clinical fellows have 30 days from their program start date to enroll in an FSA. You must be set up in the UCPath payroll system to enroll in an FSA. View enrollment instructions [PDF].

Current Residents and Clinical Fellows

You can enroll in an FSA during Annual Flexible Spending Account Enrollment, typically held in the fall of each year. View enrollment instructions [PDF].

Reminder: Annual Flexible Spending Account Enrollment is for Medical FSA and Dependent Care FSA plans only. Open Enrollment for your medical, dental and vision plans is held in June each year.

Paying for Expenses

Submit a Claim

You can submit a claim via the WEX mobile apponline or by mail.

To submit a claim through the mobile app, download the Benefits by WEX app [PDF] from the App Store or Google Play. Then log in to your account via the app, select File a Claim and follow the steps. You can take a picture of your Explanation of Benefits or itemized receipt right from your mobile phone too.

You can also submit a claim through your online account by following similar steps and uploading your documentation. You can also submit the Out-of-Pocket Reimbursement Request form online, available on the WEX Benefits website.

Claims are processed within two business days, and you can choose to be reimbursed through direct deposit or by having a check mailed to you. There is no fee to you if you choose to have the money directly deposited into your bank account.

Questions?

Log in to your account and select the live chat feature; email the WEX Benefits team; or call the WEX Benefits team.

Documentation Required

All claims must be accompanied by a receipt or other documentation, such as the Explanation of Benefits (EOB) you receive from the medical, dental or vision insurance carrier after a visit. Your EOB contains all the necessary information for your claim to be processed. 

Additional documentation that is accepted must contain the following information:

  • When the service was received
  • Where the service was received
  • Who received the service
  • What service was received
  • The amount/cost of the service received

IRS FSA Rules

Once you elect to enroll in a Dependent Care FSA, you cannot change your election (disenroll from the FSA) or increase or decrease contribution amounts, unless you have a qualifying life event.

This includes a change in marital status, number of dependents, job status, or day care cost or provider.

Provider Contact Information

WEX (Flexible Spending Accounts)

(866) 451-3399
Website
Mobile apps