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Flexible Spending General Information

What is the MyFlex benefit plan?
It’s a benefit provided by your employer that lets you set aside a certain amount of your paycheck into an account before paying income taxes. Then, during the year, you can use funds in the account to pay for qualified expenses with the untaxed dollars.

What’s the biggest benefit when I participate?
Your biggest benefit is saving on payroll withholding taxes. That’s because you’ll save $25 to $40 on every $100 you budget to pay for qualified expenses, depending on the percentage of taxes you pay.

What expenses qualify for payment?
Most qualified expenses are for goods or services that you’ll buy anyway. They include healthcare costs such as co-pays and doctors’ fees, over-the-counter drugs and prescriptions, and dental and eye care expenses. Daycare expenses for dependents also qualify.

How does it work?
After you have decided how much money you want to set aside each month, and how you want to spend it, you have some choices as to how you can access your money. With MyFlex, some of your healthcare expenses such as co-pays and deductibles may be automatically reimbursed without filling out a claim form. For other items, you make the purchase, submit a claim form, and you will receive a reimbursement check. Or, for your convenience, you may pay using your MyFlex Visa® debit card if your employer has chosen the debit card feature. The card automatically pays the exact amount you need from your account so you won’t have to reach into your pocket and wait to get repaid.

How do I know how much is available for me to spend?

Your balance and other details are always available online at myflexonline or by calling the plan administrator, Health Choices, at 800-747-8900.

Must money be deposited in my account before I pay expenses or file a claim?
NO. The entire annual amount you elect for Health Flexible Spending Account (FSA) is available on the first day and throughout the plan year. However, only amounts contributed to date are available for dependent care expenses.

I already have health insurance. Why should I participate in MyFlex?
The Health FSA is used to pay for expenses not covered by insurance. These include co-pays, over-the-counter medications, glasses, contacts, orthodontics and prescription drugs, just to name a few.

I don’t use my employer’s health insurance. Can I still save?
YES. You can still set aside money (before taxes are taken out) to budget and pay for qualified expenses. Remember, a qualified expense paid from this plan cannot be eligible for reimbursement from another plan.

I take a dependent care credit on Form 1040. Will this Dependent Care Benefit save money?
The more you earn, the more you’ll save. In addition, you’ll also save social security tax (FICA) with a Dependent Care Benefit (DCB). So don’t wait until April 15 to take the credit. Now you can save taxes on every paycheck.

If I set aside part of my pay, won’t I make less money?
NO. For every dollar you set aside to pay qualified expenses, you save FICA, federal income tax and (where applicable) state withholding. Your net take-home pay will increase by the taxes you save. Plus, when you pay a qualified expense or receive a cash reimbursement, it’s TAX FREE.

Can I change my contributions during the year?
YES, but only in certain situations. For the Health FSA and Dependent Care Benefit, you can change your election if you have a change in status or a change in your employment or the employment of your spouse or a dependent.

What if I don’t use all the money in my account?
Generally, contributions not used during the plan year may not be paid to you in cash or used in a later year. However, for the Health FSA or the Dependent Care Benefit, your employer may have elected to allow you to incur expenses up to 2½ months after the plan year end and use the remaining plan year balance to reimburse those expenses. Be sure to carefully budget and calculate your qualified expenses. See your Summary Plan Description for details.

What happens to my account if I terminate employment?
You may request reimbursement for qualified expenses incurred prior to your termination. Check your Summary Plan Description for additional rights provided by your employer’s plan.

Are there any negatives that I should know about?
Because you may not pay social security tax on the amount of gross pay you set aside to pay for qualified expenses, your social security benefits at retirement may be slightly reduced. However, most tax advisors recommend taking advantage of current tax-savings opportunities like MyFlex. Also, if disability insurance is paid on a pre-tax basis, any future benefits you receive will be taxable.