Important FSA Information
AmeriFlex Flexible Benefits Plan
Alamance Community College
Plan Year: January 1, 2018 through December 31, 2018
What are my Maximum Annual Contributions?
The maximum you may contribute to the Health Care Flexible Spending Account is $2,600/year
The maximum you may contribute to the Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account is $5,000/year
What happens if I don’t use all the money in my FSA by the end of the plan year?
By law, employers are not allowed to return leftover money to participants. Please see below for information on the Rollover Provision provided by Alamance Community College.
How does an FSA work?
First you choose how much money you would like automatically deducted from your paycheck for your health care and/or dependent care FSA. Then you can use a debit card to spend the money in your account on eligible expenses. If you do not have a debit card, you submit receipts and get reimbursed by check or direct deposit, if available.
When can I start using the money in my FSA account?
For the Health Care Flexible Spending Account you can access your annual contribution at the start of your plan year. For the Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account the maximum reimbursement you can get is equal to the current account balance in your Dependent Care account.
Will I get paid less every pay period if I enroll in an FSA?
Yes and No! Your gross, or pre-tax, pay will remain the same. But your “net” pay will be lower because a portion of it will go into your FSA account. The advantage is that this money gets put into your FSA account before taxes, which lowers your “taxable” income. You have complete access to these funds for any qualified medical expense for you and your family.
When do I choose my contribution amount and can I change it anytime?
You choose your FSA contribution amount during your annual enrollment; this is the time of year you can elect and/or change your benefits such as medical, dental, etc. For Alamance Community College, the enrollment period is October 17, 2017 through October 31, 2017. Once your contribution election becomes effective, you won’t be able to change it until the next enrollment period, unless there is a change in your eligibility status (e.g., marital status, having or adopting a child, etc.). You must check with your employer for specific eligibility status change rules.
Instead of enrolling in an FSA, why shouldn’t I just make these deductions on my income tax?
Claiming a tax return deduction is only beneficial for people with substantial uninsured medical expenses. According to the IRS, only medical/dental expenses that exceed 10% of your “adjusted gross income” and are not covered by insurance can be deducted from your income taxes. Most people do not have uninsured medical expenses high enough to qualify for this deduction.
Who is eligible to participate?
Full-time employees who work at least 30 hours per week are eligible to participate. Eligible employees must sign a new enrollment form before the start of each plan year. New employees must sign an enrollment form within 30 days of their hire date in order to participate for the remainder of the year.
Eligible employees can claim expenses incurred by their dependents as defined under section 125 of the Internal Revenue Code.
What happens to my FSA contributions if I leave or am terminated from my job?
If you leave or are terminated from your job and have a positive balance in your FSA account, you do have COBRA rights. If you do not exercise those rights, the balance remaining in your FSA will be forfeited.
How may I access my account information?
You may log in to your FSA account anytime to view your account balance, account activity and transaction history. Access your account at www.myameriflex.com. You may also call AmeriFlex directly at 888-868-3539 to speak to a representative or to access the 24/7 Interactive Voice Response System.
Modification to Health FSA “Use it or Lose it” Rule
- FSA plan participants should note that up to $500 of any unused funds from the 2017 plan year will be rolled over into your 2018 FSA balance.
- The rollover modification applies to health FSA plans only (and not to other types of FSA plans such as dependent care).
- The rollover does not affect the maximum contribution amount for 2018. In other words, even if you roll over the entire $500 from the previous plan year, you may still elect up to the maximum contribution limit allowed under your employer’s plan. For Alamance Community College, the maximum contribution amount allowed under your plan is $2,600; this means that you could have up to $3,100 in your account for the new plan year.
- If you do not currently have an FSA, we strongly encourage you to take advantage of this valuable benefit for the upcoming plan year. You can enjoy significant tax savings and, thanks to the new rollover provision, there is less concern that you will forfeit any unused funds. Everyone is likely to encounter various out-of-pocket healthcare expenses, and even if you only contribute up to the $500 rollover amount for the entire plan year, the tax savings on these expenses can be significant.
For more information, please visit the AmeriFlex Website at www.myameriflex.com or contact AmeriFlex by calling 888.868.FLEX (3539).