FSA Special Enrollment

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the IRS has made some changes to Healthcare Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs). These changes allow you to enroll in an FSA or make changes to your existing FSA during a special enrollment period.

Additionally, with the passing of the CARES Act, FSA funds can now be used for over-the-counter medications without a prescription.

Enrollment Information

During this special enrollment period (July 1, 2020 through October 31, 2020), you can:

Enroll in a Healthcare FSA (Standard or Limited):

  • A Standard Healthcare FSA (for POS Plan members) can be used to cover qualified expenses such as eligible medical, dental, vision and prescriptions.
  • A Limited Purpose FSA (for HSA Plan members) can be used for eligible vision and dental expenses, and for medical expenses, once the deductible has been met.

Increase your existing Healthcare FSA election up to the maximum ($2,700 for Calendar Year 2020).

Decrease your existing Healthcare FSA election, as long as the reduction does not exceed the Year-to-Date (YTD) amount you have already contributed or YTD amount of reimbursed payments.

Note: You will not be able to cancel, increase or decrease your Dependent Care FSA election unless you experience a valid family status change (i.e. day care closes, change in provider cost).  You may create a family status change for Dependent Care in Self-Service.

  1. To Make Changes

To enroll in a Healthcare FSA or make changes to an existing FSA, you must complete the Healthcare Flexible Spending Account Change Form during the special enrollment period.

Send your completed form:

  • By email: hrbenef@emory.edu;
  • By fax: 404-727-7145;
  • By mail: Emory University, Human Resources, Benefits Department, 1599 Clifton Road NE, Atlanta, Georgia  30322.

Over-the-Counter Medications

On March 27, 2020, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The legislation permanently broadens the list of eligible reimbursable expenses to include OTC medications and feminine care products (without a physician prescription). 

These changes are effective for expenses incurred after December 31, 2019.

You can view a list of eligible expenses on www.payflex.com.

FAQs

Review these frequently asked questions to learn more about the newly adopted IRS Flexible Spending Account (FSA) regulations.

On May 12, 2020, new IRS regulations (Notice 2020-29) were issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  One of the provisions provides additional flexibility for employers with respect to allowing employees to make changes to the Healthcare Flexible Spending Account during Calendar Year 2020.

You will be able to:

Enroll in the Healthcare FSA (Standard or Limited)

  • A Standard Healthcare FSA (for POS Plan members) can be used to cover qualified expenses such as eligible medical, dental, vision and prescriptions.
  • A Limited Purpose FSA (for HSA Plan members) can be used for eligible vision and dental expenses, and for medical expenses, once the deductible has been met.

Increase your existing Healthcare FSA election up to the maximum ($2,700 for Calendar Year 2020)

Decrease your existing Healthcare FSA election, as long as the reduction does not exceed the Year-to-Date (YTD) amount already contributed or YTD amount of reimbursed payments.

Note: You will not be able to cancel, increase or decrease your Dependent Care FSA election unless you experience a valid family status change (i.e. day care closes, change in provider cost).  You may create a family status change for Dependent Care in Self-Service.

Effective July 1, 2020 through October 31, 2020, you may make changes by completing a Healthcare Flexible Spending Account Change Form

The completed form may be scanned/emailed to hrbenef@emory.edu; faxed to 404-727-7145; or mailed to Emory University, Benefits Department, 1599 Clifton Road NE, Atlanta, Georgia  30322.

The change will be effective the first of the month following receipt and processing of the completed Healthcare Flexible Spending Account Change Form.

You may make recurring changes beginning July 1, 2020 through October 31, 2020 (subject to payroll deadlines).

Yes, you may increase your annual contribution. However, the increased amount cannot be used as reimbursement for expenses dated prior to the election change. See example below.

Example:

  • An employee wants to increase the original election from $1,000 to $2,700
  • The YTD contribution total is $1,000
  • Since the YTD contribution total is less than $2,700; the employee can increase the amount to $2,700 (an additional $1,700)

Note: The YTD contribution amount is determined when the change form is processed.

Yes, you may enroll on a prospective basis (through October 31, 2020) even if you initially declined.

Yes, you may decrease your Healthcare FSA election as long as the new election amount is not less than your YTD deduction or the YTD amount already reimbursed for expenses incurred this year; whichever is greater.   See example below.

Example:

  • An employee wants to decrease the original election from $2,000 to $800
  • The YTD contribution total is $1,200 and the YTD payments reimbursed is $1,500
  • Since the YTD payment reimbursement is greater than the YTD contribution total; the employee can only decrease the original amount by $500 [$2,000 - $1,500 = $500; reduce original amount by $500]
  • The new election would be $1,500

Note: The YTD contribution and payment reimbursement amounts are determined when the change form is processed.

The increased amount cannot be used as reimbursement for expenses that occurred prior to the change.

Unfortunately, IRS rules and regulations do not allow refunds of Flexible Spending Account contributions.

The deadline to submit eligible claims incurred during Calendar Year 2020 is May 15, 2021.

Yes. On March 27, 2020, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The legislation permanently broadens the list of eligible reimbursable expenses to include OTC medications and feminine care products (without a physician prescription).  A list of updated expenses can be found on the PayFlex website: https://www.payflex.com.