Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA)

Tools and Resources


Emory offers both a Healthcare Flexible Spending Account and Dependent Day Care Flexible Spending Account.

A Flexible Spending Account (FSA) is funded with money you contribute on a pre-tax basis. You can use FSA funds to pay for qualified out-of-pocket health care costs for you and eligible dependents or dependent day care charges. According to IRS regulations, you must enroll each year during annual enrollment if you want to participate in either FSA.

Aetna/PayFlex is the vendor for Flexible Spending Accounts. FSA participants will receive the Aetna/PayFlex debit card. The debit card is for convenience only. You will still need to retain receipts for any eligible expense for which you receive reimbursement.



You can contribute between $200 and $2,600 pre-tax annually into the Healthcare FSA. All money you elect to contribute is accessible immediately. The money you contribute can be used to cover out-of-pocket costs such as:



HSA Plan members are not eligible for the Healthcare FSA but do have access to a limited Healthcare FSA administered through Aetna. You may use the limited FSA to reimburse yourself for dental and vision expenses and for medical expenses once your deductible has been met.

You will not be issued a PayFlex debit card for the Limited Healthcare FSA so be prepared to pay for expenses using other methods (cash, check or credit card). Then, submit a claim form to be reimbursed for your eligible expenses.

TIP: You may want to think twice about enrolling in a Limited FSA. If you are making contributions to your HSA, those funds can be used for any IRS eligible medical expense whereas the Limited FSA can only be used for dental and vision if you have not satisfied your HSA medical plan deductible. 


The risk of forfeiting money from your Healthcare FSA has been reduced by a grace period (extra time in the following year to use your FSA money). For those with a current 2017 FSA, you will be able to use any remaining balance in your Healthcare FSA at the end of 2017 to pay for expenses incurred through March 15, 2018. Any 2017 Healthcare FSA funds not used by March 15, 2018 will be forfeited. To avoid forfeiture, purchase items such as eyeglasses, contact lenses and other approved Healthcare FSA expenditures. Reimbursement requests using your previous year’s remaining Healthcare FSA balance must be filed by May 15, 2018. Please remember to keep all of your receipts and Explanation of Benefits from insurance companies as they are required for verification of expenses.


Money you contribute into a Dependent Day Care FSA can be used toward care for a child under age 13, a physically or mentally disabled parent or child, or elder care for tax-qualified dependents. If you’re single or married and filing a joint tax return, you can contribute up to $5,000 into this FSA. If you’re married and file separately, you can contribute up to $2,500. If you are a highly compensated employee under the IRS definition (i.e. you had Emory earnings of more than $120,000 for 2017), you are restricted to an annual contribution of no more than $2,400. Unlike the Healthcare FSA, you can only access the money that is currently in your account.

To qualify for reimbursement, these expenses must be incurred so that you (and/or your spouse) can work or go to school. HSA Plan members can also participate in the Dependent Day Care FSA.

If you have a Dependent Day Care FSA, you do NOT have a grace period in which to use remaining previous year balances. All expenses must occur before December 31, 2017 and claims for 2017 Dependent Day Care FSA must be filed no later than May 15, 2018, to receive reimbursement. File by the May 15th deadline to avoid forfeiture of your 2017 FSA funds.