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Q4 2014 Date of Publication: October 15, 2014
Want to make the most of your health flexible spending account (FSA)? Here’s what you need to know to take full advantage of your FSA each year:
1. When to Re-enroll — You must re-enroll in an FSA during the UC open enrollment period if you wish to participate in 2015. Be sure to know when the next open enrollment is, so you’ll be prepared to sign up to keep saving.
2. How Much to Contribute — Being prepared means knowing what amount you’d like to elect during open enrollment. Consider what you’ve spent this year, and what eligible expenses you’ll have during the next plan year to calculate your next election amount.
3. Your Available Funds — A health FSA and dependent care FSA differ on when funds are available. Your health FSA election is available on the first day of the FSA plan year, while your contributions are deducted from your paycheck in equal amounts throughout the year. However, your dependent care FSA funds are only available as the money is deducted from your paycheck.
4. Eligible Expenses — Knowing about the wide variety of eligible FSA expenses helps you stretch your FSA dollars. These expenses are defined by IRS rules and your employer’s plan. Check the Summary Plan Description (SPD) for the eligible expenses covered under your plan.
5. Saving Your Receipts — It’s important to save proper supporting documentation for all of your FSA expenses. There may be times when you need to verify an eligible expense. Setting up a good filing system for each FSA plan year can help you save documentation with ease.
6. Real-time Alerts Log in to enroll in Real-time Alerts, and you’ll receive instant messages about your card activity, such as transactions requiring action from you. It’s a simple way to keep in tune with your health FSA.
7. How to Submit Claims — Complete a Request for Reimbursement Form and submit it along with supporting documentation. The easiest way to do this is through your online account. Or if you have an iPhone®, iPad®, or iPod touch®, use our handy MyCONEXIS app. Just download the free app by searching for "MyCONEXIS" in the App StoreSM.
8. Direct Deposit — Sign up and your reimbursement goes right into your bank account once a claim is approved. No more waiting to receive checks in the mail. Simply log in to enroll today.
9. What’s the Coverage Period — Verify the time limit for incurring eligible FSA expenses and filing claims under your plan. Find this information in your online account or by reading the SPD.
10. Online Resources — Your online account provides a wealth of information, and it’s available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Just click on the My Resources tab to find frequently asked questions (FAQs), a list of eligible expenses, a savings calculator, and more.
iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc.
Spread the Word
Know coworkers who would benefit from having an FSA? Simply spread the word about how an FSA can save them money on health care or dependent care expenses. Expenses they’re already paying for! Hearing this news during your company’s open enrollment period could encourage your coworkers to sign up and save, too.
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According to the American Cancer Society, no matter how old you are or how long you’ve smoked, quitting may help you to be healthier. People who stop smoking before age 50 cut their risk of dying in the next 15 years in half compared with those who keep smoking. Ex-smokers also tend to enjoy a higher quality of life by lessening the risk of getting illnesses like colds, flu, bronchitis, and pneumonia.
If you’re thinking about kicking the habit, setting a date and making a plan in advance may help with long-term success.
Set a date. Pick a day within a month of your decision to quit. Many choose the date of the Great American Smokeout (the third Thursday in November each year) as their quit date since there’s so much public awareness and support going on then.
Make a plan. Decide now on your plan. Some options for best success include using nicotine replacement or other medicines, joining a stop-smoking class, using self-help materials such as books, pamphlets, and online resources, or some combination of these methods.
Your FSA may even be able to assist you with your plan of action. You can use your health FSA dollars toward an eligible smoking cessation program, nicotine replacement, or other medicines (if prescribed to treat a diagnosed health condition). Plus, over-the-counter drugs, including nicotine gum or patches, are eligible expenses when prescribed by a doctor. Learn more ...
Source: American Cancer Society
I wanted to use the $20 left in my health FSA to pay for a prescription, but my benefit card was declined. Why?
Was the cost of your prescription more than your FSA balance? If so, that could be the reason since benefit card transactions are likely to be rejected if they are greater than the benefit card limit or your FSA balance. To "spend down" the balance with your benefit card, you need to know exactly how much is in your account. If your card is denied when making a purchase, ask the clerk to charge the amount of your health FSA balance to the card and then pay for the remaining portion of the expense with cash or another form of payment.
If you have an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, use the MyCONEXIS app to quickly check your FSA balance, clear up an unresolved benefit card transaction, and much more! Download the free app by searching for "MyCONEXIS" in the App Store.
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CONEXIS uses reasonable efforts to ensure that the information provided in this document is accurate as of the date of publication.
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