Flexible Spending Accounts

Western Michigan University offers employees two optional flexible spending accounts, which allow participants to use tax-free dollars to pay for qualified medical care and dependent care expenses. Employees may enroll in either or both of the plans.

How flexible spending accounts work

A pre-determined amount of money is deducted from the participant's gross pay (before taxes). The dollars are set aside in a special account, from which the participant is reimbursed for known expenses as they occur. The funds are not taxed when earned or when paid as reimbursement to the participant. The participant saves FICA, federal and state income taxes on these expenses.

The two plans

Health care flexible spending account

This plan can be used to pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses that are not covered by health insurance, such as (but not limited to) deductibles, coinsurance and co-pays for medical, prescription drug, vision, orthodontic and dental services, as well as medical expenses beyond the limits of insurance coverage.

Employees may contribute up to $2,650 per year beginning in 2019 to the medical reimbursement flexible spending account. The 2018 limit is $2,600. Claims must be submitted by the end of the third month (March 31) following the end of the plan year. Health care flexible spending account participants may carry over up to $500 of unused funds into the next plan year. Amounts in excess of $500 will be forfeited per IRS regulations. Carry over funds are not available for reimbursing claims until the 15th of the month following the run out period (April 15). Claims may be submitted for reimbursement as expenses are incurred.

Dependent care flexible spending account

This plan can be used to pay for expenses paid to an eligible care provider of your eligible dependents during your working hours. Eligible dependents are children under age 13 (whom you claim as exemptions for federal tax purposes) and your disabled spouse, parent, or older child whom you claim as a dependent for federal tax purposes.

Employees may contribute up to $5,000 per calendar year if married and filing taxes jointly ($2,500 if married and filing separately or if single) to the dependent care flexible spending account. Claims must be submitted by the end of the third month (March 31) following the end of the plan year. Any unclaimed funds in a dependent care flexible spending account after that will not be refundable to the employee according to IRS provisions. A dependent care flexible spending account is considered a "use-it or lose-it" account.

Enrollment

Employees may enroll in one or both of the flexible spending plans upon hire, during open enrollment (usually during fall semester), or within 31 days after a qualified change in status occurs (marriage, birth, divorce, etc.).

Forms

The BASIC Flex enrollment guide, enrollment form, direct deposit form and claim form are available via Forms: Benefit Enrollment and Changes.

Need more information?

Please contact Human Resources, or contact the plan administrator directly:

BASIC
9246 Portage Industrial Dr
Portage MI 49024
Phone: (800) 444-1922 or (269) 327-1922
Fax: (800) 391-6562
Email: flex@basiconline.com