Eligibility

Who's eligible: Employees with Full, Mid-Level and Core benefits
Academic Student Employees and Graduate Student Researchers are eligible for DepCare FSA 

Who’s covered: You and your family members

Who pays: You

You set aside money for your flexible spending account (FSA) from your paycheck before taxes are taken out. The Dependent Care (DepCare) FSA is intended for eligible caregiving expenses for your child (up to age 13) or eligible adult dependent. The Health FSA is intended for eligible medical expenses for you and your eligible family members.

WEX Health (formerly known as Discovery Benefits) is the administrator for the FSA and COBRA plans.

Important information for highly compensated employees about 2021 contributions to the DepCare FSA

Because FSA plans offer tax benefits, they are highly regulated by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Unfortunately, after the plan year ended, UC learned that UC’s DepCare FSA did not meet one of the IRS requirements for the 2021 plan year. Therefore, in order to comply with IRS regulations, UC employees who are considered highly compensated (those earning $130,000 and over in 2020) must have the benefit they receive from the plan reduced for plan year 2021. 

This change does not affect the taxable income reported on affected participants’ 2021 W-2 forms or their 2021 income tax filings — adjustments to income will be made in the 2022 tax year.

Affected employees will receive more information via postal mail and email on Friday, March 11, 2022. If you have questions, please contact UCPath.

2022 contribution limits and rules

Health FSA

You may contribute a minimum of $180 to a maximum of $2,750 annually to your Health FSA. If both you and your spouse are UC employees, you may each contribute up to $2,750. If you have a carryover from a previous year, it does not count against the $2,750 maximum contribution.

For participants who had an active FSA on Dec. 31, 2021, and will continue enrollment in 2022, the full remaining balance of unused Health FSA funds will be carried over from the 2021 plan year to the 2022 plan year. Continued enrollment in the FSA is not required to access carryover funds in 2022. Balances less than $25 will be forfeited for those who are not continuing enrollment in 2022.

If you enroll in a Health FSA in 2022, you can carry over up to $570 to the 2023 plan year.

DepCare FSA

When you enroll in the DepCare FSA, you determine how much you want deducted from your monthly pay, from a minimum of $180 per year ($15 per month) to the least of:

  • $5,000 per plan year ($2,500 if you are married and filing a separate income tax return);
  • Your total earned income; or
  • Your spouse’s total earned income. (You may not contribute to the DepCare FSA if your spouse’s earned income is $0 and your spouse is capable of self-care or is not a full-time student.)

There is no carryover feature in the DepCare FSA. However, the plan has a grace period, which has been extended for the 2021 DepCare plan year until December 31, 2022. This means that unused funds contributed in the 2021 plan year can be used for reimbursement of claims incurred in calendar years 2021 and 2022, as long as your account is active by December 31, 2021. The deadline for submitting claims is January 31, 2023.

For the 2022 plan year, participants will have a grace period ending March 15, 2023. Unused funds contributed in the 2022 plan year can be used for reimbursement of claims incurred from your 2022 enrollment date through March 15, 2023. The deadline for submitting claims is April 15, 2023.

  • You must enroll annually, usually during a period of eligibility or during Open Enrollment, to participate. 
  • You specify an amount to be taken from your paycheck each month and deposited in your Health FSA and/or your Dependent Care FSA.
  • Use the debit card issued by WEX Health to pay for eligible expenses. In many cases, you won't be required to submit additional documentation to substantiate the expense.
  • If you pay eligible expenses out of pocket, submit a claim form and appropriate documentation of these expenses to WEX HealthWEX Health will then reimburse you from the funds in the appropriate account. Generally, you must submit claims by April 15 of the following year to receive reimbursement. 
  • Because the FSA contributions are deducted from your paycheck before taxes are withheld, your taxable income is reduced, and you save money on taxes. Your savings will depend on your particular tax situation.
  • Generally, FSA contributions cannot be changed during the year unless you experience a qualifying event. The IRS defines qualifying events and allowed changes. 

The DepCare FSA allows you to pay for eligible expenses for care of your child (generally up to age 13) or eligible adult dependent. You determine how much you want taken from your monthly paycheck(s), from a minimum of $180 per plan year up to the lesser of:

  • $5,000 per plan year ($2,500 if you are married and filing a separate income tax return);
  • Your total earned income; or
  • Your spouse’s total earned income. (You may not contribute to the DepCare FSA if your spouse’s earned income is $0 and your spouse is capable of self-care or is not a full-time student.)

If your spouse is also eligible to participate in a dependent care FSA, your combined contributions should not exceed the maximums stated above. Remember that you forfeit any money you don't use; so calculate your contributions carefully.

As part of COVID-19 relief, the grace period for the 2021 DepCare plan year was extended to 12 months after the end of the 2021 plan year. The grace period for 2021 will end Dec. 31, 2022. The run-out period will extend to Jan. 31, 2023. Therefore, funds contributed in plan year 2021 can be used for reimbursement of claims incurred in calendar years 2021 and 2022 and claims must be submitted by January 31, 2023.

The Health FSA allows you to pay for eligible medical expenses for you and your eligible family members. For 2022, you may contribute a maximum of $2,750. If both you and your spouse are UC employees, you may each contribute up to $2,750.

COVID-19 relief provisions allowed you to carry over the full remaining balance of unused Health FSA funds from 2021 to 2022 — provided you had at least a $25 balance. This may include amounts carried forward from the 2019 plan year that went unused in 2020 and amounts carried forward from the 2020 plan year that went unused in 2021.

The carryover amount does not count against your Health FSA election for the following plan year. You may still elect the maximum of $2,750 per plan year.