Flexible Spending Plan
Who is eligible?
Nassau BOCES employees currently employed in a position which entitles them to medical coverage are eligible to participate in the Flexible Spending Plan.
What is a Flexible Spending Plan?
A Flexible Spending Plan allows an eligible employee to set aside a portion of his or her earnings to pay for qualified expenses. The money deducted from an employee's pay into a Flexible Spending Plan is not subject to payroll taxes, resulting in a substantial payroll tax savings. The savings vary depending upon your tax bracket. You will not pay federal income tax, Social Security tax and most state taxes (except for Pennsylvania and New Jersey) on your contributions.
Who will administer the plan?
What Flexible Spending accounts are Nassau BOCES offering?
Nassau BOCES is offering eligible employees two Flexible Spending accounts. These are the Medical FLEX Account and the Dependent Care FLEX Account.
How much money may I put into a Flexible Spending account?
An eligible Nassau BOCES employee may enroll in both the Medical FLEX Account and the Dependent Care FLEX Account or either one separately. The Medical FLEX Account has a minimum of $300 and a maximum of $2,750 per plan year. The Dependent Care FLEX Account has a maximum of $5,000 per plan year per household. To participate, you must make your election(s) prior to the beginning of each new Plan Year.
What expenses may be paid by the Medical FLEX Account?
The Medical FLEX Account is used to pay medical expenses not paid for by insurance; this usually means deductibles and copayments for the employee's health plan, but may also include expenses not covered by the health plan, such as dental and vision expenses and over-the-counter drugs including a first aid kit. Expenses must be incurred during PLAN YEAR. Expenses are reimbursed by date of service, NOT date of payment. As a result of new legislation, only over-the-counter expenses incurred from 9/1/10-12/31/10 will be eligible for reimbursement. OTC expenses incurred after 1/1/11 will not be eligible. If you need an OTC item, you need a prescription from your licensed professional indicating what you need and the medical condition that is being treated, e.g. alcohol wipes for the treatment of diabetes. The Medical FLEX Account cannot pay for health insurance premiums, cosmetic items, cosmetic surgery, controlled substances (in violation of federal law), or items that improve "general health". All items must be intended to treat or prevent a specific medical condition; this can be as significant as diabetes or pregnancy, or as trivial as skin cuts. Generally, allowable items are the same as those allowable for the medical tax deduction, as outlined in IRS publication 502. If you are unsure as to whether an expense qualifies for reimbursement, please call Preferred at 800-573-7474 to speak to a representative about your specific question.
Click here for eligible expenses.
Click here for eligible OTC expenses.
What expenses may be reimbursed by the Dependent Care FLEX Account?
The Dependent Care FLEX Account is used to pay certain expenses to care for qualified dependents that live with you while you are at work. While this most commonly means child care, it can also be used for adult day care for senior citizen dependents that live with you, such as parents. Preschool can be reimbursed up to but not including kindergarten and after school care is reimbursable up to but not including age 13. It can be used for summer day camp for children 12 and younger but no overnight camps are allowed. The dependent must be in the home 8 hours of the day. Both spouses must be working or a full-time student to use the day care account. Receipts submitted for reimbursement must include: date of service, tax ID# or social security number, cost of day care, and the signature of care provider.
What kind of privately held policies are allowed?
As per IRS Revenue Ruling 61-146, the following policies paid for by participants are allowed:
Health Insurance, Dental Insurance, Disability Insurance (not recommended…if taken pre-tax the benefit received is taxable. However, if taken on an after-tax basis, the benefit is not taxable), Vision Insurance, Medicare Part B, COBRA Premiums (for the participant’s insurance when a dependent “ages out” of the insurance plan), Cancer Insurance (cannot build up cash value), and NYSUT Catastrophic. No employer-related premiums can go through this account: Premiums that are already being taken pre-tax through the payroll process cannot go through this account. Insurance offered by a spouse’s or dependent’s employer cannot go through this account. Reimbursement goes to the participant.
How much should I contribute?
Your contributions should be CONSERVATIVE. Funds remaining in a Flexible Spending account after the plan end date and the grace period following will be forfeited by you (the "Use-or-Lose" rule). Money in one Flex account cannot be transferred to another Flex account, absolutely no co-mingling of funds.
How are the contributions made?
BOCES’ plan year will run from September 1st thru August 31st. ALL ELIGIBLE EMPLOYEES will have their yearly contribution amount divided by twenty (20) equal payroll deductions. There will be no deductions during the months of July and August.
When are the funds available?
The entire yearly contribution amount made into your Medical FLEX Account is available after the first Nassau BOCES payroll deduction of the plan year. For example, if you elect a yearly contribution of $1,000 into your Medical FLEX Account and purchase eyeglasses for $325 on September 16th (after only one payroll deduction of $50) with proper documentation, you will be reimbursed the full $325. Proper documentation includes the following information: Date of service, nature and description of service and the copay or out-of-pocket expense. Unlike the Medical FLEX Account funds, Dependent Care FLEX Account funds are only available up to current account balances. This means that the funds must be in the account before they can be reimbursed.
How will I be reimbursed for eligible services?
After a service is provided, you will need to submit a completed and signed claim form with the supporting documentation to the Preferred Group. They will review your claim and issue you a reimbursement for eligible expenses. A check will be mailed to you. Reimbursements are made directly to the participant. If Preferred receives your claim by mail or fax by 2:00 PM, Monday through Friday, the claim will be adjudicated and a check will be cut and back in the mail to you that same day. Direct Deposit reimbursement is also available.
Can I change my Flexible Spending Plan election during the Plan Year?
Your election may not change unless you experience a Qualified Status Change (QSC) as defined by the IRS. Status changes include: marital status, number of dependents, employment status, residence change that would affect eligibility or access to service provider, gain/loss of eligibility for Medicare/Medicaid, cost of coverage change (not applicable to unreimbursed medical; not applicable to dependent care if provider is a relative), and coverage change (not applicable to unreimbursed medical).