OPTIONAL REIMBURSEMENT ACCOUNTS
(Also referred to as Flexible Spending Accounts or Cafeteria Plans)
Montana University System's benefits program includes two optional reimbursement accounts. These special benefits can work to your advantage by reducing your taxes on many out-of-pocket expenses for health care and dependent care. www.allegianceflexadvantage.com, administers this flexible benefit program.
Flexible Spending Accounts
Qualifying Expense Examples
| Minimum: $120
(The Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act - PPACA required a reduction in the maximum election)
Medical expenses including deductibles, coinsurance, copays, Rx expenses, chiropractic and naturopractic care. All dental and vision expenses are not considered cosmetic.
|Dependent Care||Minimum: $120
|Costs for care provided to your child(ren) under age 13, or other dependents unable to care for themselves, and necessary for you to remain gainfully employed.|
|Adoption Assistance||Minimum: $120
|Adoption fees, court costs, attorney fees, medical examination costs, and related travel expenses|
Health Flex Spending Account (FSA)
During the annual enrollment period, you may elect amounts to be withheld from your earnings to pay for your out-of-pocket medical expenses. Eligible health FSA expenses include those defined by IRS Code, Section 213(d). For a list of examples, go to: www.allegianceflexadvantage.com.
The amount you elect to set aside for Health FSA expenses is not subject to federal income, state income, or Social Security/Medicare taxes.
Your health FSA election will reimburse you for eligible expenses that you, your spouse, and your qualified dependents incur during the plan year. The entire annual amount you elect can be used at any time during the plan year.
You can request reimbursement on-line, by toll-free fax, or through the mail. If the expense may be covered through your health coverage, please provide the coverage explanation of benefits as documentation. If coverage will not consider the expense, an itemized statement from the provider will satisfy documentation requirements.
Some expenses are considered to be "dual purpose." These expenses are for items or services that are sometimes for purposes other than to treat a medical condition. In order to be reimbursed for a "dual purpose" expense, or over the counter drugs and medicines, a diagnosis and recommendation for treatment from a medical professional is required.
If you or your spouse contribute to a Health Savings Account (HSA), you are not eligible to participate in a general purpose health FSA.
You can access a tax savings calculator for accurate savings estimates under Enrollment Tools on the Allegiance flex website (www.allegianceflexadvantage.com).
If both you and your spouse work or you are a single parent, you may have dependent care expenses. The Federal Child Care Tax Credit is available to taxpayers to help offset dependent care expenses. A dependent care FSA often gives employees a better tax benefit. You can complete a worksheet that compares the Federal Child Care Tax Credit to the dependent care FSA by clicking on Enrollment Tools on the Allegiance flex website.
Your dependent care FSA lets you use "before-tax" dollars to pay care expenses for children under age 13, or individuals unable to care for themselves. A dependent receiving care must live in your home at least eight (8) hours per day. The care must be necessary for you and your spouse to remain gainfully employed. Care may be provided through live-in care, baby sitters, and licensed day care centers. You cannot use "before-tax" dollars to pay your spouse or one of your children under the age of nineteen (19) for providing care. Schooling expenses at the kindergarten level and above are not reimburseable. Neither overnight camp nor nursing home care is reimbursable.
Unlike health FSAs, dependent care FSAs may only reimburse expenses up tot he amount you have contributed any time during the year.
Mid-Year Election Changes
When you enroll in the flexible spending accounts, you are electing to participate for the entire plan year. Be sure not to elect more than you will need to cover expenses incurred by you and/or your family members during the plan year. Under the "use-or-lose" rule, any money not used by the end of the plan year cannot be returned to you. In addition, no changes to your election may be made during the plan year unless you experience a "qualifying event."
Mid-year election changes usually must be made within 63 days of a qualifying event. Changes are limited and differ for each pre-tax option. For more information about mid-year election changes, please contact your campus Human Resources Department or Allegiance.
You may mail, fax toll-free, or scan and send claims electronically at www.allegianceflexadvantage.com.
Check Payment: Allegiance authorizes reimbursement and prints checks each business day. Claims are normally processed within five business days of receipt. You usually have a check in your mailbox within a week after Allegiance receives your claim.
Direct Deposit: Send in the Direct Deposit form with a voided check, or sign up online at www.allegianceflexadvantage.com and Allegiance will electronically deposit reimbursements directly into your checking account.
Debit Card: Your employer offers debit cards as a part of the Flex Plan at a cost of $10.00 per year. That fee will be paid by MUS for the July 1, 2014-June 30, 2015 plan year. You may use the debit card to pay for medical and/or dependent care expenses. Documentation for the expenses may be required, and should be saved for all debit card transactions.
Claims for eligible expenses that were incurred during the plan year (July 1, 2014-June 30, 2015) must be received by Allegiance by September 30, 2014, to be eligible for reimbursement. If you terminate employment during the plan year, your participation in the plan ends, subject to COBRA limitations. However, you still may submit claims through September 30, 2015, if the claims were incurred during your period of employment, and during the plan year.
Individual contributions to FSA accounts will be funded by the MUS on July 1, 2014, for qualifying employees based on WellCheck completion in fall 2013 and spring 2014, as outlined below.
- $250 for the active employee plan member who completes a WellCheck
- An additional $250 for any adult dependent age 18 or older enrolled in the plan (spouse, domestic partner, or adult child) who also completes a WellCheck
- The total amount, per household, cannot exceed $500.
Effective July 1 you will have access to the money in your FSA account (see health FSA information) to pay for qualified medical expenses in accordance with plan rules.
When you enroll in the flexible spending accounts, you are electing to participate for the entire plan year. Be sure not to elect more than you will need to cover expenses incurred by you and/or your family members during the plan year. Under the “use-or-lose” rule, any money not used by the end of the plan year cannot be returned to you. However, the IRS recently modified the “use-or-lose” rules to allow $500 to rollover from one plan year to the next. This means that up to $500 from this plan election can be rolled over to the FY16 plan year that begins July 1, 2015. In addition, no changes to your election may be made during the plan year unless you experience a “qualifying event.”
Representatives are available to answer questions each business day between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Mountain time. After hours, and on weekends, you can access your account information online or through the toll-free automated voice-response system. Call toll free at 1-877-778-8600.
Visit our Website:
Allegiance Flex Advantage
www.flexadvantage.com for more information!