Flexible Spending Accounts

Important Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Change for 2020

Due to the coronavirus emergency, the IRS is allowing employers to amend FSA contribution rules for the remainder of 2020. Employees may newly elect, cancel or change contributions to a Health Care FSA or Dependent Care FSA at any time, rather than only for a qualified change in status. To make a change, please complete the Mid-Year FSA Change Form. If you have questions, contact Benefits at 617-496-4001 or benefits@harvard.edu. Note that you cannot reduce contributions below amounts already reimbursed and cannot be refunded contributions.

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs)

An FSA allows you to pay predictable, eligible health care expenses or expenses related to the care of a dependent child or adult with pre-tax dollars, lowering your taxable income and saving you money. 

  • When electing an FSA, estimate your expenses carefully because any money not used by the annual deadline will be forfeited. Note: For the remainder of 2020, employees may elect, cancel or change contributions to a Health Care FSA or Dependent Care FSA at any time, rather than only for a qualified change in status. To make a change, complete the Mid-Year FSA Change Form. If you have questions, contact Benefits at 617-496-4001 or benefits@havard.edu. You cannot reduce contributions below amounts already reimbursed and cannot be refunded contributions.
     
  • Benefit Strategies administers the FSA program for Harvard.
     
  • If you elect an FSA, Benefit Strategies will provide you with a debit card to pay expenses. Remember: save your receipts.
     
  • You have until March 31 to submit claims for the prior year.

FSA options

Health FSA
With the Health FSA, you can pay for eligible medical, dental, and vision care expenses for you and your eligible dependents. Note that under recent legislation, over-the-counter medications and menstrual products are eligible as of January 1, 2020. For 2020, you can contribute $120 to $2,700 per calendar year on a tax-free basis.

Note: Local 26 and HUSPMGU members who are enrolled in a Harvard-sponsored medical plan for 2020 receive a $275 contribution from Harvard to a Health FSA.

Limited Purpose FSA
This FSA lets you pay for out-of-pocket dental and vision care expenses only, and is for those who are enrolled in a high-deductible health plan only. For 2020, you can contribute $120 to $2,700 per calendar year on a tax-free basis.

Dependent Care FSA
This FSA lets you pay for eligible expenses for the care of a dependent child up to age 13 or a dependent adult. You may contribute up to $5,000, based on IRS guidelines.   

For additional details, including information on paying for expenses and filing claims, please refer to the FSA/HSA Overview.

Benefit Strategies, Harvard claims administrator is largely operating on a work from home basis, so participants are encouraged to use the online portal or mobile app (search for “Benefit Strategies” on your mobile device’s app store) to submit claims and ensure timely service. 

Health Savings Account (HSA)

If you’re enrolled in the Harvard High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) and meet other eligibility requirement, you may contribute to an HSA to cover out of pocket medical expenses today – or save for future expenses.

  • Harvard will make a tax-free contribution to your HSA based on your HDHP election ($500 for individual coverage/$1,000 for employee + spouse/DP, employee + child(ren) or family coverage), in addition to any pre-tax contributions you make (up to annual maximums).
     
  • Unspent funds roll over from year to year and the money remains yours even when you leave the University.
     
  • Benefit Strategies administers this benefit for Harvard.
  • If you elect an HSA, Benefit Strategies will provide you with a debit card to pay expenses.
  • You may enroll in an HSA at anytime. Once you elect an HSA, your contributions will continue unless you make a change (or if you leave the HDHP).

For additional details, including information on paying for expenses and filing claims and HSA contribution limits, please refer to the FSA/HSA Overview.