Flexible Spending Accounts

Update: You May Change or Cancel Your 2020 FSA: June 11, 2020 - A revised IRS rule allows you more flexibility to change or cancel your Flexible Spending Account mid-year. For the 2020 plan year, you may drop your Dependent Care FSA and or Health Care FSA or decrease your FSA contributions. You may only decrease your annual election once during the plan year due to this revised rule.  Visit 2020 Flexible Spending Account Changes to review examples and download the FSA status change request forms. 

Note: Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts have always permitted enrollments or increases due to changes in dependent care costs.

About Flexible Spending Accounts

Looking to enroll in a Flexible Spending Account?

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.

U-M offers two kinds of FSAs:

  • The Health Care FSA is used to pay for most out-of-pocket medical, vision, and dental care expenses for you and your eligible dependents.
  • The Dependent Care FSA is for eligible day care expenses for a dependent child age under the age of 13, or elder care for a dependent adult, while you and your spouse work (or if your spouse is a full-time student or disabled).

You can enroll in one type of FSA or both. You contribute tax-free dollars to your FSA(s) through payroll deductions. You can claim amounts equal to your entire annual health care contribution from your Health Care Flexible Spending Account at any time during the year. To receive a reimbursement from your Dependent Care FSA, you must have enough funds in your account to cover the claim at the time you make the request for reimbursement.

Looking to enroll in an FSA? Download and complete an enrollment form.

PayFlex Card

PayFlex will mail a debit card to new enrollees in a Health Care FSA to pay for eligible health care expenses. If you are only enrolled in a Dependent Care FSA, you will not receive a card. If you are enrolled in a Health Care FSA and did not receive a card, call PayFlex at 877-343-1346. Learn more about using your PayFlex Card.

The plan year ends on December 31. A grace period allows you to incur eligible expenses up to March 15 of the following year.

IRS "Use It or Lose It" Rule

Contribute to an FSA only the amount you are reasonably sure you will spend annually and file all claims for reimbursement by May 31. In accordance with Internal Revenue Code and supporting treasury regulations, the university uses forfeited funds to pay administration costs of the of the FSA program. In the alternative, forfeitures may also be used by the university to fund employee benefits administration costs, education and benefit election tools, MHealthy coaching and health initiatives, the Emergency Hardship Program, and university scholarship funds.  

Benefits of an FSA

Flexible Spending Accounts reduce your annual taxes. Here is an example of possible tax savings with an FSA.

Annual Savings Example* With an FSA Without an FSA
If your annual taxable income is: $28,000 $28,000
And you deposit this annual amount pretax into a Health Care Flexible Spending Account: ($1,500) $0
Your taxable income is now: $26,500 $28,000
Subtract federal and Social Security taxes: ($9,447) ($9,982)
Subtract after-tax dollars spent on medical expenses without an FSA: $0 ($1,500)
Your real spendable income is: $17,053 $16,518
Your annual tax savings is: $535 $0

* Potential tax savings shown for demonstration only. Actual savings will vary based on your individual tax situation. Please consult a tax professional for more information.

Contact PayFlex

  • For more information on the benefits of FSAs and how to use your accounts, visit the PayFlex website.
  • Connect to a PayFlex customer service agent through the Live Chat feature: 
    • Once logged into the PayFlex member site, select Help & Support at the top of the screen.
    • Select Contact Us.
    • From the displayed page, click CHAT NOW.
    • Agents are available to chat Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. (ET) 
  • Call PayFlex: (877) 343-1346
  • Send claims to:

PayFlex Systems USA Inc.
P.O. Box 8396
Omaha, NE  68103-8396