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Flexible Spending Account Frequently Asked Questions

What is the reimbursement schedule?
Claims submitted to HealthSmart by Friday are reimbursed the following Wednesday.

How do I know how much money to contribute to my FSA?
It is recommended thatyou take a look at last year's out of pocket expenses to get the best idea of how much to defer for this year.

How does the Benefits Card factor in?  What do I have to do to get the card?
Your Benefits Card is loaded with the entire amount of your annual election so that you can begin using it right away for medical expenes.  Simply pay for your medical expenses at the point of sale with your Benefits Card.  You will not be paying out of pocket, therefore you will not need to fill out a claim form and wait for reimbursement.  You will automatically receive your Benefits Card in the mail around the beginning of the plan year.

How does the FSA work?
Your annual election will be divided equally among the number of pay periods and that amount will be deducted from your check prior to being taxed.  With a Healthcare FSA, your entire election is available to you as of your effective date under the plan; this means that you can be reimbursed for eligible expenses up to the annual election as early as July 1.  As the plan year progresses, your payroll deductions will build in your account for future use, or will be utilized to reimburse the plan for expenses incurred earlier in the year.
For a Dependent Care FSA, you can only access the dollars contributed; the plan cannot "front" dollars for you.

What is the claims process?
Using the traditional reimbursement method, you would make a purchase for a covered expense and pay for it out-of-pocket.  Then, you would fill out a claim form and submit that to HealthSmart, along with the receipt. Once the claim is approved, you would receive a reimbursement check for the expense.  In most cases, reimbursement checks are cut and mailed weekly.

What if my expenses exceed what I elected for the year?
You may only be reimbursed up to your annual election.  If you have a Benefits Card, the Benefits Card will be denied if it is swiped for more than what you elected for the year.

I'm considering enrolling for a Dependent Care FSA.  Am I still eligible for the dependent care credit on my individual income tax return?
In some situations, you may use both your FSA and tax credit.  If you set aside tax-free money in an FSA to pay for only a portion of your yearly dependent care expenses, you may take a tax credit based on some or all of the remaining amount.  In this situation, the maximum amount of expenses you can consider in calculating your tax credit is reduced dollar-for-dollar by the amount you put in your FSA account.  For example, if you set aside $4,000 in an FSA for the care of your two children, but actually incurred expenses of $4,800 for the year, you may take a tax credit based on the remaining $800.

How do I know how much I have left?
Active participants holding a Benefits Card may track their FSA online.  Simply log onto HealthSmart.  New users should create an account using your SSN (Employee ID) and Benefits card number.

Can I change my election amount?
You cannot change your election amount during the plan year unless you have a specified change in status (for example, marriage, divorce, widowed, birth of a child, or adoption of a child).

What if I no longer work for Dickinson and I still have contributed money in my FSA?
You have a run-out period of 31 days to submit claims for eligible expenses incurred while you were actively participating in the plan.  If you hold a Benefits Card, your Benefits Card will be deactivated upon termination, but you may file paper claims to HealthSmart for any remaining covered expenses.

Can I use my FSA to pay for over-the-counter medicine?
Over-the-counter medication is only eligible under an FSA if it is accompanied by a physician's prescription.

What happens if my receipt shows I accidentally used the Benefits Card for an ineligible expense?
Your FSA account can be used for eligible medical expenses only and you are solely liable for the use of the plan. If the Benefits Card is accidentally or intentionally utilized for ineligible expenses, you are responsible for reimbursing your account.  You will be notified if you have an ineligible expense and your Benefits Card may be deactivated until your account is reimbursed.

May I use my FSA to pay for health insurance premiums?
You cannot use your FSA to pay for health insurance premiums.  If you participate in an employer-sponsored plan, these premiums are probably included under the Section 125 plan, meaning your contributions are made before taxes are calculated; however, individual, voluntary, or other insurance premiums are never a covered expense under an FSA.

What if I don't use all of my election by the end of the plan year?
You will forfeit any unused funds at the end of the plan year.  Be careful when calculating your election amount that you do not over estimate your expenses.  Each time a reimbursement check is cut, your remaining balance will be provided.

What if I don't owe anything at point of sale (for example, at a doctor's office) but get a bill later?
Simply fill out a claim form and submit the bill, with a copy of your health plan EOB showing what the plan paid and/or denied to HealthSmart.

Can I use my FSA for my child in college?
Yes, as long as you are claiming your child as a dependent for tax purposes.

How do I request an additional flexible spending card for my spouse or dependent child?
All requests for additional cards must be submitted through the HealthSmart portal.

What if I have my spouse's insurance; can I still participate in my employer-sponsored FSA?
Yes, you do not have to participate in Dickinson's insurance plans in order to participate in the FSA plan.  In addition, you can file eligible expenses under the FSA for all of your tax dependents, regardless of whether or not you cover them under Dickinson's insurance plans.