Health Care Account

COVID-19: Contacting the Benefits Department

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Office of Human Resources is working remotely until further notice. During this time, Craig Hall is not open to the public; walk-ins will not be accepted and forms cannot be dropped off in-person or faxed. During this time, we recommend submitting all requests and inquiries online in lieu of sending physical mail or leaving phone messages.

If you have a Benefits-related inquiry, including the submission of forms or documentation, the quickest way to receive assistance is to submit an online request.

You can save tax dollars on eligible expenses that are not covered by your medical, prescription, vision and dental plans (deductibles, coinsurance, etc.).

Even the most comprehensive benefit plans don’t cover every health care expense. Expenses like dental and optical care, office visit and prescription co-payments and insurance deductibles are just some of the bills you may have to pay out of your pocket. Costs can add up-particularly if, like most people, you pay for these services with after-tax dollars.


You may elect a health care spending account during the Annual Open Enrollment. The amount that you contribute cannot be changed during the plan year unless you experience a qualified change in status. If you do not enroll during open enrollment, you will not be able to enroll until next year’s open enrollment unless you experience a qualified change in status.


Contributions to a health care flexible spending account are deducted from an employee’s payroll on a per pay basis.

Account Minimum Monthly Contribution Maximum Monthly Contribution
Health Care $10.00 $229.17*

*Maximum monthly contribution for faculty on a less than annual contract is $343.75

Eligible Expenses

  • Prescription drug co-payments
  • Office visit copayments
  • Deductibles and coinsurance for medical and dental plans
  • Eyeglasses and contact lenses

Complete listing of eligible expenses. Eligible items can also be purchased online at the FSA Store.


For information on submitting claims for reimbursement, please see our Flexible Spending Account Reimbursement page.

Deadline Changes

The grace period for submitting health care claims against the health care flexible spending account (FSA) is 6 months. All health care claims incurred from July 1-June 30 must be submitted for reimbursement no later than December 31. For example, health care claims incurred between July 1, 2019-June 30, 2020 must be submitted to UPMC with supporting documentation by December 31, 2020.

Plan Year Claims Incurred Claim Filing Grace Period Claim Filing Deadline


July 1, 2018 - June 30, 2019

6 months

December 31, 2019


July 1, 2019 - June 30, 2020

6 months

December 31, 2020

Future Plan Years

July 1 -       June 30

6 months

December 31

“Health Care Spending Account Carryover”

The IRS has modified the "Use It or Lose It" rule for health care flexible spending accounts (FSA) to allow a $500 annual carryover of unused contributions.  The carryover does not count against the $2,750 contribution maximum per year and the carryover may be used to pay for expenses in the year in which it is carried over.  This modification only applies to the health care FSA and terminates the 2 1/2 month extension provision previously applied to the account.

Note: Status of unused funds if incomplete participation in plan year

Expenses during the Plan Year are not eligible if incurred after termination, suspension or for a leave, or cancellation for a family status change. If unused funds and expenses are incurred after such an event, post-employment or post-participation access is available through continuation of the account on an after tax basis under COBRA. Termination of employment is distinguished from suspension for a leave, family status change, or other employment circumstance for which other “make-up” contributions may be made to activate participation for access funds.

Potential Savings

Think of a FSA as a budgeting tool. Many people already set aside allowances for living expenses such as food, clothing, and utilities. A FSA allows you to save pre-tax dollars to help ease the burden of medical, dental, and vision expenses that you may incur in the coming plan year. You decide how much you want to put into the account. This amount will be deducted from your pay check on a monthly basis. Pay eligible expenses with tax free dollars, using the convenient MyFlex Advantage Card. Example:

Employee Contribution Without a 125 FSA Plan With a 125 FSA Plan
Annual Income $25,000 $25,000
Pre-Tax Contribution $0 $1,200
Taxable Income $25,000 $23,800
Federal Taxes $3,057.50 $2,787.50
FICA Taxes $1,412.50 $1,344.70
State Taxes $767.50 $730.66
After Tax Contribution $1,200 $0
Net Take Home Pay $18,562.50 $18,937.14
Savings   $374.64

You may find it helpful to estimate your out-of-pocket expenses for the coming year by using the Flexible Spending Calculator. The calculator will provide an estimate of your expenses, calculate your potential savings, and suggest an amount for you to contribute for each paycheck. You should take into consideration any known factors that could have an impact on these amounts.