The university offers a Health Care Flexible Spending Account and a Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account, administered by EBPA. A flexible spending account (FSA) enables you to reduce your taxable income by setting aside pre-tax funds to pay for eligible health care and dependent care expenses. Part-time faculty teaching at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music are not eligible for this benefit.
You can enroll in these accounts when you are newly benefits-eligible, during the university's annual open enrollment period, or if you have experienced a change in status as defined by the IRS (refer to Changing Your Elections for additional information).
A Health Care Flexible Spending Account is used to pay for eligible non-reimbursed medical, dental, and vision care expenses that you and your eligible dependents incur.* Examples of these expenses are plan co-payments, plan deductibles, and prescription eyewear. Over-the-counter medications other than insulin (for example, aspirin and allergy medication) are no longer eligible for reimbursement under your health care FSA unless you obtain a prescription from a doctor. For information on eligible over-the-counter expenses, refer to the Over-the-Counter Expenses guide (PDF). For information on eligible health care FSA expenses, refer to the list of IRS eligible expenses.
Note: Employees enrolled in the High Deductible Health Plan with Health Savings Account cannot elect a Health Care Flexible Spending Account.
*Per IRS regulations, you cannot contribute to a health care FSA to pay for your domestic partner's health care expenses.
A Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account pays for incurred eligible child care expenses (up to attainment of age 13). It can also be used to pay for eligible adult dependent care expenses for any dependent living with you who is physically or mentally unable to take care of himself or herself and whom you claim as a dependent for tax purposes. Examples of eligible expenses include day care centers, in-home dependent care, nursery school, and adult day care expenses. The expenses must be necessary to enable one or both parents to work, look for employment, or go to school on a full-time basis. For information on eligible dependent care FSA expenses, refer to the list of IRS eligible expenses (PDF).
You set aside money from each paycheck to be directed to a health care and/or dependent care FSA. The amount you choose to contribute depends on the expenses you expect to incur from the date your enrollment in the plan is effective through December 31 of the current calendar year. The money set aside is deducted from your paycheck on a pre-tax basis, which lowers your taxable income. Once enrolled, you will be issued a benefits card from EBPA with a MasterCard logo that can be used to pay for eligible expenses at the point of purchase. Once you enroll, you can view your account transactions by logging on to www.ebpabenefits.com or calling EBPA's member services department at 888.678.3457. You can request an additional benefits card for your spouse (as defined by the IRS) by completing the Additional Benefits Card Request Form (PDF) and submitting it directly to EBPA.
If you choose to contribute to the health care or dependent care FSA, annual minimum and maximum elections apply, as follows:
*The maximum is $2,500 if you are married and filing a separate return.
If you pay for FSA-eligible expenses out of pocket instead of using your benefits card, you should print and complete an FSA Health Care Claim Form (PDF) and submit your completed reimbursement claim form and documentation of your out-of-pocket expense (e.g., an EOB from the health care or dental care carrier) electronically through EBPA's secure document submission portal, secure.ebpabenefits.com (select "Reimbursement Accounts"). You can also return your completed FSA Reimbursement Claim Form and documentation of your out-of-pocket expense (e.g., an EOB from the health care or dental care carrier) to the mailing address or fax number indicated on the form
You have until March 31 of the following calendar year to file a claim for reimbursement.
Note: Both accounts are governed by a "use it or lose it" policy. Amounts you have contributed in a calendar year but have not used by December 31 of the calendar year are forfeited. However, the IRS announced new health care flexible spending account rules that allow participants to roll over unused FSA funds from one year to the next, reducing the amount subject to this rule. The New School allows a rollover of up to $500 of unused health care FSA funds (not dependent care FSA funds, per the IRS) to be used by December 31 of the following calendar year. If you leave The New School, your participation in the FSA plan ends on your employment termination date. You will not be able to use your benefits card after that date.
To obtain forms and documents related to the FSA plan, visit the Benefits Forms and Documents section.
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