Section 125 Flexible Spending Plan
Participating in the flexible spending plan will save you money on your out-of-pocket costs for health and dependent care. By signing up for pre-tax deductions to a flexible spending account, you reduce your taxable income. Under the tax saving advantage of the plan, every dollar you contribute to a flexible spending account ends up costing you approximately 80 cents through payroll deduction.
The Beloit College Flexible Spending Plan (BESTflex) is administered by Employee Benefits Corporation (EBC) in Madison, Wisconsin.
Beloit College has implemented a carryover provision. This means up to $500 of unspent funds as of December 31, 2016 will automatically rollover into your 2017 Health FSA. For more information on the Health Care FSA Rollover, click here.
Participation in the flexible spending accounts is voluntary, and you must enroll or renew your election each plan year. The new plan year begins January 1, 2017.
Health Reimbursement Account: The health reimbursement account covers health, dental and vision expenses that are not reimbursed by insurance. Using the flexible spending plan saves you tax dollars; less tax is withheld from each paycheck and your net pay increases. Flex plan participation can also help you budget for medical expenses by allowing you access to your total annual contribution early in the year, when your out-of-pocket costs are higher as you work to meet your deductibles.
Here is an example of how the health reimbursement account works:
- You make an annual election into the flexible spending account of $600 dollars and make your first month’s contribution of $50 in January.
- In January, you incur doctor and laboratory costs of $200. These amounts will be processed as a health claim and applied to your deductible, making the $200 your out-of-pocket responsibility.
- In February, you file a flexible spending claim for the $200 and use the reimbursement to pay the health care providers. By the end of February, you have had only $100 deducted from your paycheck ($50 contributions in January and February), but you have already received $200 in reimbursement, using the plan as a means to help budget your health care expenses.
A brochure containing information about the BESTflex flexible spending accounts is linked here. The brochure illustrates the tax-saving advantage of the plan. Information about eligible expenses can be found here. The employee worksheet will help you estimate the expenses for you, your spouse, and eligible dependents. You can access additional information and enroll on-line at www.ebcflex.com.
The maximum contribution is $2,550 per calendar year for eligible health-related expenses (expenses not reimbursed by health, dental or vision insurance).
Dependent Care Account: The dependent care account allows you to save money on the cost of your child care or care for a dependent adult. If you claim tax credit for dependent care expenses on your tax return at year end, using the flexible spending account may save you even more money.
The contribution limit is $5,000 per calendar year, or $2,500 if you are married but file a separate return.
Using a flexible spending account is easy.
For your convenience, EBC offers the following customer service features:
- My Mobile Account Assistant App – view account balance, file claims, attach receipts and view recent payments.
- BennyTM Benefits Card
- FSA Store – Flexible Spending Account Site.
- secure access to your BESTflex account on-line
- prompt processing of claims checks
- direct deposit of claims (if you’ve previously requested direct deposit, your claims will continue to be deposited in 2017)
A final word about flex plans – Carefully estimate the expenses you expect to incur during the next plan year. Be realistic, but conservative! Annual plan elections are irrevocable. Changes in participation or withholding are limited to certain life status events.
You must submit your 2016 claims to www.ebcflex.com.
If you have any $$$ left in your 2016 flexible spending account, claims must reach www.ebcflex.com by March 31, 2017. Expenses must be incurred in 2016.
Check your account on-line now at www.ebcflex.com
If you have any questions, please contact Terri Dahl at firstname.lastname@example.org.