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Flexible Spending Accounts

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Temporary FSA Rollover Changes

With recent legislation changes, the Port has decided to temporarily allow the healthcare flexible spending account to increase the rollover maximum and allow for a rollover to be added to the dependent care flexible spending accounts. This means for the 2021 plan year, participants may rollover any unused funds that are above the $45 minimum amount into 2022. The Port hopes this allows employees to utilize their unused funds that might have or will occur due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rollover limits will be restored to the previous $500 level for the 2022 plan year, for rollover in 2023. This means that as you plan your contribution amount for 2022, consider how much you will be rolling over from 2021, and how much you anticipate needing in 2022 to ensure you do not lose excess funds in 2023. 

Here are some FAQ regarding these temporary changes:

  1. Do I need to do anything to ensure my rollover includes my full FSA balance from 2021?
    ANSWER: No, it will happen automatically.  Remember there still is a minimum amount of $45 needed to rollover.
  2. How do I access the rollover funds?
    ANSWER: You can still submit claims for 2021 expenses through the end of your run out period, March 15. The run out period gives you more time to submit claims for expenses incurred during the plan year. In order to use the 2021 carryover funds for 2021 expenses, you must file manual claims, the debit card cannot be utilized to pay for 2021 claims. See FSA Claim Form.
  3. What will happen if I cannot utilize my full FSA fund balance?
    ANSWER:
    For the 2021 plan year, the full unused fund amount over $45 dollars will be rolled over to 2022. 
    For the 2022 plan year, the IRS annual limits for healthcare FSA are expected to be reinstated and you will be only allowed to rollover any unused funds within these limits for 2023.
    For the 2022 plan year, the IRS regulations for the dependent care FSA are expected to be reinstated and you will not be able to rollover any unused funds into 2023.

FSA: The simple way to save for health and dependent care expenses

The Port of Seattle offers two types of Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs):

  • A Healthcare FSA can help you and your eligible dependents save money on eligible healthcare expenses by putting aside pre-tax income to pay these costs.
  • A Dependent care FSA (described in further detail below) may be used to pay for eligible child care expenses for dependent children under age 13, or adult care expenses for qualifying adult dependents.

READ: PayFlex FSA Information Sheet

Healthcare FSA

You can contribute pretax dollars from your paycheck, up to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) limit of $2,750 in 2021. Your full contribution is available at the start of the plan year to pay for eligible health care expenses. It covers you, your spouse, and/or your tax dependents for:

  • Copays, coinsurance, and deductibles
  • Dental expenses like orthodontia, crowns, and bridges
  • Vision expenses like LASIK eye surgery, glasses, and contacts
  • Prescription drugs and over-the-counter (OTC) items

Visit the PayFlex website to learn more about Common FSA-eligible expenses

    Who May Participate in a Healthcare FSA?

    Any current, regular Port employee may participate in a Healthcare FSA. This includes those who are not eligible for Port-sponsored healthcare coverage, such as represented employees covered under other plans. Eligible employees may sign up for an FSA during open enrollment in the fall. Employees new to the Port have 30 days to enroll in an FSA for the current year.

    Note: If you enroll in the Port-sponsored Aetna High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) and elect to have a Health Savings Account (HSA), you will be ineligible to enroll in a general-purpose Healthcare FSA. Instead, you may enroll in a limited-purpose FSA. Additionally, any 2020 Healthcare FSA balance that is carried over to 2021 will be deposited into a limited-purpose FSA if you enroll in the HDHP.

    Limited-Purpose FSA

    Employees enrolled in the Aetna HDHP who contribute to an HSA are not eligible for a general-purpose Healthcare FSA. Instead, you may enroll in what is known as a limited-purpose FSA. Since both the HSA and the FSA are tax-advantaged plans, there are some rules. You may only use your limited FSA for eligible vision and dental costs until you meet your health plan deductible. After you meet your deductible you then may use your FSA dollars to pay for other eligible healthcare costs.

    READ: PayFlex HSA and Limited FSA Info Sheet

    Healthcare FSA Carryover Rule

    If you have not used all of your FSA funds by the end of the year, you may carry over a minimum of $45 and a maximum of $500 into the next year, provided you are a Port employee on January 1 of the next year. These rolled over funds do not count against that year's annual contribution maximum. However, you will still need to carefully estimate your qualifying medical expenses to minimize the possibility that you will lose any of your contributions. Here are some other important facts to keep in mind:

    • The carryover applies only to Healthcare FSAs, not Dependent Care FSAs.
    • Funds carried over do not reduce the $2,750 annual contribution limit
    • Carried-over funds are available immediately and all throughout the year.

    Any unused funds above $500 when the deadline for submitting prior year expenses will still be forfeited.

    Payroll Deductions

    The amount you elect for your FSA will be evenly deducted from the first two paychecks of every month before federal income and Social Security taxes are taken. The money will be deposited into an account administered by PayFlex, from which you are reimbursed when you submit a claim. You may also use your PayFlex debit card to pay for your qualified expenses.

    Pay With Ease

    • Use the PayFlex debit card: Your expense is automatically paid from your FSA. If you are enrolling for the first time, you automatically will be issued one debit card by PayFlex in mid-January at no cost for immediate payment of eligible healthcare costs. However, you will still need to submit receipts for some items to support debit card use, so be sure to have them available. You can reuse your card each year, so don't throw it away!
    • Pay yourself back: Pay for eligible expenses with cash, a check, or your personal credit card. Then submit a claim to pay yourself back. To save time, have your claims payment deposited directly into your checking or savings account. You may submit your reimbursement request through the PayFlex website, PayFlex mobile app, via email, or in hard copy.
    • Pay your provider: Use the PayFlex online feature to pay your provider directly from your account.

    Dependent Care FSAs

    You can contribute pretax dollars from your paycheck, up to the IRS limit of $5,000 if you are married filing jointly, or $2,500 if you are single or married filing separately. Funds are for your dependent(s) age 12 or younger or a spouse or dependent incapable of self-care. This FSA pays for eligible child and adult care expenses, such as day care, preschool and nursery school, in-home aid, and more. 

    • For more details about Dependent Care FSAs, including common eligible expenses and who qualifies as a dependent, visit the PayFlex website.

    Unlike a Healthcare FSA, you cannot be reimbursed for more than you have in your account at the time, and no funds may rollover from year to year. Funds from your pre-tax payroll deductions will become available approximately 3 to 5 days after payday. For more information about Dependent Care FSAs, visit the PayFlex website.

    Who May Participate in a dependent care FSA?

    The Dependent Care FSA is available to all employees who work over 21 hours per week, including those with a HSA. 


    The Port of Seattle is an equal opportunity employer M/F/D/V and is committed to diversity in the workplace.

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