The UW System offers eligible employees the opportunity to pay certain health care and dependent day care expenses with tax-free dollars through Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA). To comply with IRS requirements, documentation is required to substantiate expenses eligible for reimbursement.
Note: Several changes were made to the FSA Program mid-year due to the adoption of various COVID-19 relief provisions granted by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and approved by the Group Insurance Board in May of 2021. For a summary of the changes, review the Mid-Year Changes article.
Optum Financial / ConnectYourCare (CYC) is the plan administrator for the Spending & Savings Account plans.
Review the Brochure and/or the Participant Handbook (Forms & Resources section below) for contribution limits, eligible expenses and deadlines.
All employees, including rehired annuitants, are eligible for this program, except:
- Student Hourly employees
- University Staff Temporary employees
- Student Assistant with one of the following titles: Fellows, Scholars, Trainees
- Employee-in-Training with one of the following titles: Grad Intern/Trainee, Post-Doc Fellow/Trainee
Below are the different types of Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) offered to UW System employees:
Health Care FSA
Covers eligible expenses not covered or partially covered by insurance plans, such as deductibles, copays, and coinsurance amounts. You may also use this account to pay for eligible dental, prescription and/or vision expenses and some over-the-counter drugs/supplies. These expenses can be incurred by you, your spouse and/or qualifying child or relative. Review the annual contribution maximums and carryover maximums (per employee) in the chart below.
If you enroll in either the High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) or Access HDHP with an Health Savings Account (HSA), you are not eligible for the Health Care FSA; however, you are eligible for the Limited Purpose FSA.
Limited Purpose FSA
Covers eligible expenses not covered or partially covered by your dental and/or vision insurance plans. If you enroll in either the High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) or Access HDHP plan design with the Health Savings Account (HSA), you are eligible for the Limited Purpose FSA. Once you have met your medical deductible in either of these plan designs, the Limited Purpose FSA may also cover medical expenses if you complete the Deductible Met Form and return it to the FSA plan administrator (Optum Financial / ConnectYourCare (CYC)). Eligible expenses can be incurred by you, your spouse and/or qualifying child or relative. Review the annual contribution maximums and carryover maximums (per employee) in the chart below.
Dependent Day Care Account
Covers eligible expenses for the physical care of dependents, either inside or outside the home such as after-school care, baby-sitting, adult or child daycare and preschool, so you and your spouse, if married, are able to work, actively look for work or attend school full-time. Eligible dependents include your qualifying child, spouse and/or qualifying relative. This account does not pay for medical expenses for your eligible dependents. The annual contribution limit in the chart below is based on tax filing status and is a household limit.
Contribution and Carryover Maximums
The contribution maximums are established by the IRS on an annual basis. The carryover provision allows you to carryover up to a certain amount from one calendar year to the next.
|FSA Account Type||2020 Maximums||2021 Maximums|
|Dependent Day Care||$2,500 or $5,000 (depending on tax filing status)||NA**||$2,500 or $5,000 (depending on tax filing status)***||NA|
* The health care carryover limit was increased to $1,000 from the 2020 to the 2021 plan year only.
** A dependent day care carryover limit of up to $2,500 was added from the 2020 to the 2021 plan year only.
*** The dependent day care contribution maximum was increased to up to $5,250 or $10,500 (depending on tax filing status) for the 2021 plan year only.
Note: The changes mentioned above were made to the FSA Program mid-year due to the adoption of various COVID-19 relief provisions granted by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and approved by the Group Insurance Board in May of 2021. For a summary of the changes, review the Mid-Year Changes article.
When you enroll in an FSA, you designate an annual election amount which is then divided into equal amounts per paycheck. Plan carefully when making your annual FSA election(s) as you cannot change your contribution amount or stop your payroll deductions during the year unless you have a qualifying event, as defined by the IRS. See Life Events for more information.
FSAs are considered “use-it-or-lose-it” accounts. For the Health Care FSA and Limited Purpose FSA, this means that if you do not use the full amount that you elected, then you will forfeit anything greater than the carryover amount. For the Dependent Day Care Account, this means that if you do not use the full amount that you elected, you will forfeit the remaining balance. Note: The Dependent Day Care Account includes a carryover provision from the 2020 plan year to the 2021 plan year only.
Newly hired or newly eligible employees: You have 30 days from your date of employment or your newly benefits-eligible job to enroll in the FSAs. Your coverage will begin on the first of the month on or following your eligibility date.
Current employees: If you do not enroll in the FSAs during your initial 30-day enrollment period, you may enroll during the Annual Benefits Enrollment period, which typically occurs each October, or if you have a qualifying event. See Life Events for more information. You must re-enroll each year to participate.
For information on whose expenses you can cover, see the.
2021 Claims Submission
If you pay for your expenses out-of-pocket instead of using your payment card, there are several methods by which you may submit your claims for reimbursement. You have until March 31, 2022 to submit claims for 2021 expenses.
Electronic Claims Submission
- Mobile App: Allows you to access your account information wherever you are, 24/7/365. To download, visit the Apple App Store or Android Marketplace and search for “Optum Financial Mobile App”
- Optum Financial / CYC Website: Follow the instructions on the main page to file your claim.
Paper Claims Submission
- Complete the FSA Reimbursement Claim Form (available in the Forms & Resources section below) and submit it with substantiation to:
- Mail: Optum Financial / CYC Claims Department, PO Box 622317, Orlando, FL 32862-2317
- Fax: (443) 681-4602
Note: You have until March 31, 2021 to submit claims for 2020 expenses. To determine how to substantiate your 2020 claims after December 31, 2020, review the 2020 Healthcare FSA Unsubstantiated Claims page.
Automatic Premium Conversion
If enrolled, you will automatically have premiums for the following benefit plans deducted from earnings on a pre-tax basis:
- State Group Health Insurance
- State Group Life Insurance (premium for first $50,000 of coverage)
- Preventive Dental Insurance
- Supplemental Dental Insurance
- Vision Insurance
You may choose to waive automatic premium conversion and have your premiums taken on a post-tax basis by filling out the Automatic Premium Conversion Waiver (available in the Forms & Resources section below).
Forms & Resources
- 2020 Healthcare FSA Unsubstantiated Claims web page
- IRS Publication 502: Medical and Dental Expenses
- Optum Financial / ConnectYourCare (CYC) Website | 1-833-881-8158 | email@example.com
- Terms and Conditions
Every effort has been made to ensure this information is current and correct. Information on this page does not guarantee enrollment, benefits and/or the ability to make changes to your benefits.