New Guidelines for Flexible Spending Accounts
The Department of Labor and the Internal Revenue Service released new guidelines affecting Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) elections due to the COVID-19 pandemic. MCPS permanent employees who work a minimum of 20 hours a week in their permanent positions are eligible to enroll in medical and dependent care FSAs during Benefit Open Enrollment Season. New employees have 60 days from their date of hire to open an FSA. These elections are valid for a calendar year. Under the new guidelines, employees who missed their respective enrollment deadline now have an opportunity to open an FSA.
Employees planning to take advantage of these changes should take note of the following:
- Employees may contribute up to $2,700 in a medical FSA and up to $5,000 in a dependent care FSA.
- Individuals who choose to cancel their FSA are eligible to claim only the expenses incurred up to the plan cancellation date.
- Individuals who choose to reduce their election can do so to an amount not below the amount they have already contributed or spent (whichever is highest). Amounts already contributed are not refundable.
- Additional details on further changes to deadlines to incur expenses and reimbursements will be shared with employees soon.
MCPS employees should submit a completed MCPS Form 450-3 to make appropriate changes. Employees can email or call the Employee and Retiree Service Center (ERSC) at 301-517-8100 with questions. Detailed information regarding FSAs, including qualifying expenses, is available on the ERSC website here. Additional details on the latest benefit guidelines are also available on the ERSC website here.