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Do You Still Have Money in Your Flexible Spending Account?

May 22, 2012, Volume 58, No. 34

If you have an unused balance in your Health Care or Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA), you should keep some important dates in mind. Due to an IRS regulation known as “Use It or Lose It”, if you don’t use the full balance in your account each plan year, you lose that unused money.

Penn’s plan year runs from July 1–June 30 of each year. The money you contribute to the Flexible Spending Accounts during each plan year can only be used for expenses incurred within certain dates (see below). Keep in mind that the expenses must be incurred while you are actively participating in the accounts.

FSA Account

Plan Year

Time Frame to
Incur Expenses

Deadline to
Submit Claims

FY12 Health Care and
Dependent Care

July 1, 2011–June 30, 2012 (current plan year)

July 1, 2011–Sept. 15, 2012

Sept. 30, 2012

FY13 Health Care

July 1, 2012–June 30, 2013 (new plan year)

July 1, 2012–June 30, 2013

Sept. 30, 2013

FY13 Dependent Care

July 1, 2012–June 30, 2013  (new plan year)

July 1, 2012–Sept. 15, 2013

Sept. 30, 2013

If you enrolled in the Aetna High Deductible Health Plan with a Health Savings Account (HSA) during this year’s Open Enrollment period, using up your Health Care Flexible Spending Account is even more important than ever. When your new medical plan takes effect on July 1, 2012, you won’t be able to participate in the HSA portion of the plan unless your Health Care Flexible Spending Account is completely exhausted. If you don’t use up your balance by June 30, 2012, your HSA account won’t be available until October 1, 2012. Visit www.hr.upenn.edu/benefits/medical/hdhp.aspx for more information about the Aetna High Deductible Health Plan.

For more details on Flexible Spending Accounts, including listings of eligible expenses and instructions on how to file a claim, visit www.hr.upenn.edu/benefits/pretax or call the Penn Benefits Center at 1-888-PENNBEN (1-888-736-6236), Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.–6 p.m.

Almanac - May 22, 2012, Volume 58, No. 34