Open enrollment is the time to set up pre-tax accounts for health and dependent care expenses

As you’re making the decision about which health care network to enroll in, don’t forget that open enrollment is also an opportunity to create pre-tax spending accounts to help you cover your anticipated 2013 health and/or dependent care expenses.

Open enrollment is your annual opportunity to establish a:

·         Flexible spending health care spending account to cover eligible medical, dental and vision expenses. You can place between $100 to $2,500 in this account to cover anticipated 2013 expenses such as prescription drug co-pays, eye glasses or dental work.

·         Flexible spending dependent care account to cover the cost of child care or care of a family member. You can place between $100 and $5,000 in this account to cover your 2013 dependent care expenses.  

Even if you currently have a 2012 flexible spending account, you must still take action during open enrollment to set up accounts for 2013. Your 2012 elections do not automatically carry over to 2013. You must re-enroll by the close of open enrollment, which is Friday, Nov. 16.

Online calculator can show likely savings

Go to www.fsaworks4me.com and click “See your savings.” This calculator will walk you through a few simple questions and then show you what you could save on typical expenses. 

There’s a new administrator for 2013 accounts

Effective Jan. 1, 2013 WageWorks will be the new administrator for the City of Minneapolis Minneflex spending accounts, HRA/VEBA and pre-tax transportation plans. WageWorks will have a single website for all plan accounts and offer more frequent claims processing. Employees will receive more information about WageWorks in early December.

What’s the difference between Health Care Flex Account and HRA/VEBA account?

Health Care Flexible Spending Accounts are an option offered to employees. A Health Care Flexible Spending Account allows you to set aside money, before taxes, to use for your eligible health care expenses. You elect how much you want to contribute, and the City deducts that amount from your paychecks over the course of 2013.  Health Care Flexible Spending Accounts are “use it or lose-it” accounts. Any money that is not used by the annual deadline is forfeited.

HRA/VEBA Accounts (Health Reimbursement Arrangement/Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association) are not “use it or lose-it” accounts. Funds in your HRA/VEBA account can be carried over from one year to the next. Funds in this account come from deposits the City of Minneapolis makes to help you cover out-of-pocket health care expenses. The amount the City deposits into these accounts depends on whether you enroll in single or family health care coverage ($90 for single coverage and $190 for family coverage). The City’s contribution is the same for all health care provider networks and is not impacted by whether or not you completed Medica’s wellness incentive program.

 

 

Published Nov 7, 2012