Benefits Summaries & Orientation
Flexible Spending Account
Grand Valley State University Flexible Spending Accounts
Under the Personalized Benefits Program, you may take advantage of GVSU's Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA). The Flexible Spending Account(s) option makes your earnings go further by allowing you to set aside pre-tax earnings to pay for eligible health and dependent care expenses. Your pre-tax dollars are deposited to your Flexible Spending Account(s) and are not considered taxable income. This saves you from paying Social Security, federal, state, or local income taxes on that portion of your income. Flexible Spending Accounts should be used for predictable expenses, since the Internal Revenue Service mandates that funds remaining in your account(s) at the end of the calendar year cannot be returned to you.
Health Care Accounts
The maximum annual amount you may deposit in your Flexible Health Care Spending Account is $2,500.
Any item allowed as a medical deduction on your income tax return is eligible for reimbursement under the Flexible Health Care Spending Account as long as you do not also deduct those expenses on your income tax return.
Dependent Care Accounts
Your Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account may be used to pay for certain expenses connected with taking care of your eligible dependents, as defined by the Internal Revenue Service for tax purposes, provided the care is necessary for you and your spouse to work. Working couples as well as single persons may use the account for any of the following dependent care expenses, as long as they are incurred during working hours:
You cannot be reimbursed for dependent care payments you make to your spouse, to your child who is under the age of 19, or to any person you claim as a dependent on your income tax return. You are responsible for obtaining the taxpayer ID number of the care provider. This number is necessary to validate costs in the event of an audit.
There are two important limitations on the amount you may deposit for dependent care expenses. If you are married, your dependent care reimbursements cannot exceed the earned income of the lower-paid spouse, unless the spouse is a full-time student or is disabled. Also, you are limited in the amount you may deposit to your dependent care account to $5,000 annually.
In some circumstances you may realize greater tax savings if you use the federal child care tax credit instead of the Flexible Spending Account. Generally, persons with family incomes of $24,000 or more each year benefit more from using a Flexible Spending Account. However, GVSU cannot provide you with tax advice. You should seek the guidance of a professional tax consultant.
Careful Planning Maximizes FSA Benefits
You should carefully determine how much you want to set aside for the coming year for these expenses, because Internal Revenue Service rules mandate that any funds left in your account 120 days after the end of the plan year must be forfeited. Dates of service for eligible claims must be for the calendar year of the FSA election. You are limited in the amount that you may deposit to your dependent care account to $5,000 annually. Your annual health care limit is $10,000.
Your Flexible Spending Account(s) should be used only for predictable expenses that you know you will incur, because the Internal Revenue Service has made strict rulings governing the use of your account.
Change in Family Status
Once you have enrolled and specified the amount to be deposited to your Flexible Spending Account(s) from each paycheck, you cannot change or stop it unless you have a significant change in family status. This is also true if you have enrolled in a specific medical or dental plan: the plan you select will remain in effect until December 31 unless you have a major change in family status. Such changes include the following:
You must notify Human Resources within 30 days of any of the above events to be eligible to make any changes in your coverage.
Each year during the re-enrollment period, you should review any changes made in the medical plans (they are subject to change on an annual basis). Modifications, if any, may prompt you to select another medical plan.
Requesting Reimbursements From Your Account
To receive reimbursements for health care expenses, you must submit the expenses to the appropriate insurance carriers before being reimbursed through your Flexible Spending Account. Simply present a copy of the explanation of benefits received for a medical or dental claim along with a Request for Reimbursement Form.
To receive reimbursement for dependent care expenses, you must submit a Childcare Provider Invoice and a Request for Reimbursement Form. You may request these forms by printing them from the HealthWellness web site at www.gvsu.edu/healthwellness contacting the benefits office, ext. 12220, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org . Reimbursement requests must be sent to:
United Medical Resources, Inc.
Automatic Flexible Spending Account reimbursement is available to faculty and staff covered under the GVSU Standard PPO Plan, because UMR administers this plan and the accounts. If you use the automatic reimbursement option, you do not have to submit additional forms for medical claims already submitted to UMR. If you, your spouse, or your dependents are covered under a non-GVSU plan, you may not use the automatic reimbursement option.
If you enroll in the GVSU High Deductible Health Plan with HSA your Flexible Health Care Spending Account election will be classified as a Limited Purpose Flexible Health Care Spending Account. The Limited Purpose Flexible Health Care Spending Account is limited to eligible dental and vision expenses only.
Auto Reimbursement is also available to faculty and staff who elect a Dependent Care Spending Account and use The Children's Center on the Allendale Campus. If you use the automatic reimbursement option, you do not have to submit additional forms for dependent care claims. The Accounting Office will submit these claims on your behalf. If you do not use The Children's Center on the Allendale Campus, you may not use the automatic reimbursement option.
Issues to Consider
Listed below are some questions to consider when making your decision regarding your Flexible Spending Account(s).