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Flexible Spending Accounts

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) allow you to put aside pre-tax dollars to use toward eligible health care and dependent care expenses. Essentially, you pay yourself back with tax-free money for expenses you’d have anyway, such as for doctors’ office visits and prescriptions, or child care expenses.

There are two accounts to choose from: a Medical FSA, used to pay for health care expenses, and a Dependent Care FSA, used to pay for child care expenses. Both accounts are administered through WEX (formerly Discovery).

Residents and Fellows who are partially funded on T32 grants received through the UC Path payroll system can make pre-tax deductions against their UC pay only. Monthly election amounts cannot exceed your monthly UC pay.

How to Enroll

New residents and fellows have 31 days from their program start date to enroll. Once you are set up in the UCPath payroll system, you can enroll in the FSAs by visiting UC Path > Benefit Enrollment. Click the Open button to make your FSA election. It may take a few seconds for you to see the FSA options. If you do not enroll during your new hire Open Enrollment, your next opportunity will be in November 2021.

Note: UC Path is for FSA enrollment only. To enroll in medical, dental, vision and other insurance benefits, you must visit PlanSource.

Medical Flexible Spending Account (FSA)

The Medical FSA lets you to set aside money, before taxes are taken out, to use for eligible health care expenses, such as:

  • Copays and coinsurance for doctors’ office visits, lab tests, hospital stays and more
  • Prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications, like allergy, asthma, cold/flu medicines
  • Birthing and Lamaze classes
  • Dental and orthodontia treatment
  • Vision care, including glasses, contact lenses and more

Contribution Limits

In 2021, you can set aside up to $2,062 in your Medical FSA. Consider your health care expenses from previous years to estimate how much you should contribute to your account, and keep this in mind:

Currently Enrolled Residents

  • The plan year runs from April 1, 2021, through December 3, 2021. Your payroll deductions won’t begin until April 1.
  • Beginning April 1, you can file claims for reimbursement of eligible expenses incurred on or after April 1, 2021.
  • The full amount you elect to contribute for the year will be available to you starting April 1, 2021.

You have until March 15, 2022, to submit claims for reimbursement of expenses incurred between April 1 and December 31, 2021.

New Residents

  • You can enroll as of your program start date, and then file claims incurred on or after the first of the following month.
  • The full amount you elect to contribute for the remainder of 2021 will be available to you starting July 1, 2021.
  • You have until March 15, 2022, to submit claims for reimbursement of expenses incurred between your plan effective date (usually your program start date) and December 31, 2021. 

Use it or (mostly) lose it! You can roll over up to $550 each year. Any balance over that amount is forfeited. Residents and Fellows exiting the program in June 2021 should carefully review a Flexible Spending account as an option for the remaining months you are with UC.

View more information about the Medical FSA.

Dependent Care FSA

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

Contribution Limits

You can contribute up to $5,000 each year. This maximum limit applies to your entire household, so if you are married or have a domestic partner who also contributes to a Dependent Care FSA, the combined total you both may contribute is $5,000. When considering how much to contribute, keep this in mind:

Currently Enrolled Residents

  • The plan year runs from April 1, 2021, through December 3, 2021. Your payroll deductions won’t begin until April 1.
  • Beginning April 1, you can file claims for reimbursement of eligible expenses incurred on or after April 1, 2021.
  • You can request reimbursement up to your account balance. You will likely need to hold your dependent care expenses and submit later in the year to build enough money in your account for reimbursement. Or you can submit all of your dependent care expenses at the end of the plan year for one lump-sum reimbursement.

You have until March 15, 2022, to submit claims for reimbursement of expenses incurred between April 1 and December 31, 2021.

New Residents

  • 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. You will likely need to hold your dependent care expenses and submit them later in the year to build enough money in your account for reimbursement. Or, you can submit all of your dependent care expenses at the end of the benefit year and receive one lump-sum reimbursement. 
  • You have until March 15, 2022, to submit claims for reimbursement of expenses incurred between your plan effective date (usually your program start date) and December 31, 2021. 

Use it or lose it! Any money remaining in your account after April 1, 2022, is forfeited. Residents and Fellows exiting the program in June 2021 should carefully review a Flexible Spending account as an option for the remaining months you are with UC.

View more information about the Dependent Care FSA and the claim form.

Paying for Expenses

Use Your Debit Card
Submit a Claim

Use Your Debit Card

After you enroll in a Flexible Spending Account, Discovery Benefits will mail you a benefits debit card that you can use to cover eligible expenses for the Medical and Dependent Care FSAs (if you enroll in both). Your debit card will be mailed on April 1.

Debit cards are good for three years. Discovery Benefits will mail you a new debit card 90 days before the expiration date of your current debit card.

You can also request a Discovery Benefits debit card for your dependents and/or spouse:

  1. Ensure they are added to your online account. You’ll see if they are by going to the Profile section of your online account.
  2. Once they are added, select Banking/Cards and request a card for each dependent. A dependent must be 18 years of age or older to receive a debit card.

If your card is lost or stolen, you can order a new card (free of charge) from the mobile app or by logging in to your account.

View more information about the Discovery Benefits debit card.

Submit a Claim

You can submit a claim via the Discovery Benefits mobile app, online or by mail.

To submit a claim through the mobile app, download the Benefits Discovery app 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 EOB or itemized receipt right from your mobile phone, too. View more information about the mobile app.

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

Claims are processed within two business days, and you can choose to be reimbursed through direct deposit or have 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 Discovery Benefits team; or call (866) 451-3399.

Documentation

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 of 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 Medical FSA or a Dependent Care FSA, you cannot change your election (unenroll from the FSA) or increase or decrease contribution amounts, unless you have a Qualified Status Change.

This includes a change in marital status, number of dependents, or a job status change. For the Dependent Care FSA, this includes daycare cost or a provider change.