Enroll in a 2019 Flexible Spending Account
There is still time to enroll in a 2019 Flexible Spending Account. Remember, IRS regulations do not allow Flexible Spending Account enrollments to cross calendar years. If you want to participate in 2019, you will need to re-enroll. Eligible faculty and staff may enroll in an FSA by submitting a paper 2019 FSA enrollment form.
Return your completed and signed form by:
- November 30, 2018 to have your Health Care FSA funds available on January 1, 2019.
- December 31, 2018 to have your Health Care FSA funds available on February 1, 2019. You may incur eligible expenses in January, but you will not be able to use your PayFlex debit card or file claims on your 2019 account until after February 1, 2019.
- Note: The fund availability dates apply to health care claims. To receive reimbursement from a Dependent Care FSA, you must accumulate sufficient contributions to cover the claim being made.
Health Care FSA Limit Increase
For faculty and staff eligible to participate in an FSA, the annual contribution limit for a health care FSA will increase to $2,650 for 2019.
Learn About Flexible Spending Accounts
The University of Michigan offers faculty and staff the opportunity to pay for eligible health care and/or dependent daycare expenses with pre-tax dollars using a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) administered by PayFlex. An FSA allows you to have a set amount taken from your pay before taxes, which lowers your income tax. The money is put into an account you use to reimburse yourself for eligible expenses.
Quick Guide to Health Care Flexible Spending Accounts
When you enroll in a Health Care FSA, you can be reimbursed for eligible health care expenses that were incurred for you, your spouse, your children, and any other person who is a qualified dependent under the Internal Revenue Code. The IRS defines eligible health care expenses as expenses incurred for medical care, including amounts paid for the diagnoses, care, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease or illness and for treatments affecting any part or function of the body. This includes dental and vision care co-pays and expenses. See the PayFlex Eligible Expense Items for more information.
View a brief video to learn more about health care FSAs and how they work. Please note that the health care FSA annual contribution limit will increase to $2,650 for 2019.
Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts for Day Care Expenses
There is a second type of flexible spending account, Dependent Care FSA, that is used to pay for eligible dependent day care or elder care expenses. As a general rule, eligible dependent care expenses are those associated with the care provided to your eligible dependents while you (and your spouse if you are married) were either at work or looking for work, or so your spouse could attend school full-time.
Eligible dependents include:
- Children age 12 and under whom you will claim as exemptions for federal tax purposes
- A spouse who is physically or mentally unable to care for himself or herself
- A dependent who is physically or mentally unable to care for himself or herself, and for whom you can claim an exemption.
Benefits Changes Outside of Open Enrollment
Qualified Family Status Change
Outside of the Open Enrollment period, certain life events, such as marriage or the birth or adoption of a child, may allow you to make specific benefits changes related to the event, such as adding a new dependent to your U-M health plan. Be sure to review Life Events for important rules and deadlines you must meet in order to change your benefits due to a qualified family status change.
Benefits You Can Change Any Time
The Retirement Savings Plans, Long-Term Disability, and Life Insurance plans are not part of Open Enrollment, and if you are eligible for these plans, you may enroll or make changes to your participation in these plans at any time of the year. Note: To avoid conflict with Open Enrollment changes, initiating 403(b) Supplemental Retirement Account (SRA) and 457(b) Deferred Compensation elections through Self Service on Wolverine Access will not be available on Thursday, November 1 and Friday, November 2, 2018, the last two days of Open Enrollment. These Retirement Savings Plan elections will become available on Saturday, November 3, 2018.
Protect Your Personal Information
U-M uses Duo two-factor authentication for login security to protect you and the university. Two-factor means that when you log in, you provide two proofs of your identity. At U-M, that means your UMICH password plus Duo. Two-factor is required for access to many U-M systems and departmental services.
Duo two-factor authentication is available for you to turn on for Weblogin to add protection to your information in Wolverine Access, U-M Google account, and more.
To better protect your personal information—and university systems and data—use of two-factor is being expanded. Two-factor for Weblogin is required of Michigan Medicine employees and sponsored affiliates as of October 10, 2018. Current plans are for the Ann Arbor campus and UM-Dearborn to use Duo at Weblogin by January 23, 2019.
To learn more about Duo two-factor authentication, or to turn on two-factor for Weblogin today, visit U-M Safe Computing. For additional information, view the October 3, 2018 article in the University Record.