Flexible Spending Accounts
Eligibility to enroll requires one of the 3 events listed below (2020 exception):
- New hire (within 30 days of hire)
- Experience a qualifying life event
- Enrollment & Change period in the fall. You must re-enroll each year to participate.
If eligible, here's what you need to do to enroll in the FSA benefit:
- Estimate health/dependent care expenses (use the worksheets for help)
- Enroll by logging into Iowa Benefits. Click on My Benefits, then select (current year) Flexible Spending Offer and follow the prompts
New Hire Disenroll
You can only disenroll if coverage has not begun (2020 exception). Coverage begins with the first day of the month after the month you enroll. For example, if you are hired on March 10 and you enroll on March 14, you have until March 31 to disenroll (coverage begins April 1) (2020 exception). If you are hired on March 10 and you enroll on April 2, you have until April 9 to disenroll (coverage begins May 1) (2020 exception).
Generally, no changes can be made midyear (2020 exception), so be sure you understand the program rules before you make your plan year election. However, a change may be possible within 30 days of a qualifying event(2020 exception) such as:
- You experience a change in status
- You are served with a judgment, decree or court order
- You change your dependent care provider
- Your dependent care expenses change significantly
- You go on a leave covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
Change in status
Changes in status are defined as any one of the following four events:
Your legal marital status changes through marriage, divorce, death, legal separation or annulment.
Your number of dependents changes by reason of birth, adoption (or placement for adoption), or death. For example, if your child no longer qualifies for day care because he or she turned 13, you have a loss of a dependent under the Dependent Care FSA, but not under the Health FSA.
You have a change in employment status that affects eligibility under this plan and the change is consistent with the change in your employment status. If you terminate or take an unpaid leave of absence, you must be gone at least 31 days for the termination or leave of absence to qualify as a change in status. If your spouse or any of your dependents have an employment status change that affects eligibility under a plan maintained by your spouse's or any dependent's employer, then you may increase or add coverage under this plan if coverage is lost under the other employer's plan, or decrease or drop coverage if coverage is gained under the other employer's plan.
If participation terminates due to a separation of service and you return to state employment within 30 days in the same plan year, then your election will be reinstated as it was immediately prior to the separation of service. If you return to employment after 30 days in the same plan year, you may make a new election for the remainder of the plan year, provided you complete your new enrollment application within 30 days.
If your contributions end for more than 30 days due to an unpaid status your participation/coverage will end. You will not be able to be reimbursed for Health FSA or Dependent Care FSA expenses incurred during the separation.
- One of your dependents satisfies or ceases to satisfy the requirements for coverage Changes to Health FSA coverage might be allowed for unmarried dependents due to attainment of age, change in student status, or any similar circumstances.
The change in status must result in a gain or loss of eligibility for coverage under this plan or a plan maintained by your spouse's employer or one of your dependent's employers and your election must reflect that gain or loss of coverage.
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Suppose you adopt a two-year-old child during the plan year. Since your number of dependents changed due to the adoption, you now have experienced a status change. Your child is eligible for coverage under the Health FSA and the Dependent Care FSA. You would be allowed to increase the amount you set aside in the Health FSA and the Dependent Care FSA, or enroll in either account if you were not already enrolled. However, you would not be able to decrease or drop either account because there was a gain of eligibility, not a loss of eligibility. A decrease does not correspond with the gain of eligibility.
Served with a judgment, decree or court order
A judgment, decree, or order (“order”) resulting from a divorce, legal separation, annulment, or change in legal custody (including a qualified medical child support order) that requires health coverage for your child allows you to make an election change to your Health FSA. The change is allowed in order to provide coverage for the child if the order requires coverage under your plan; or make an election change to cancel coverage for the child if the order requires your former spouse to provide coverage.
Change in dependent care provider
If you change dependent care providers, you may make an election change to reflect the cost of the new provider. Election decreases are allowed when your child is no longer in childcare or is only in after-school care due to entering kindergarten or first grade (this is considered a provider change).
Dependent care expenses change significantly due to a provider rate change
Significant changes include both increases and decreases in expenditures. However, you may only make a change if the provider is not your relative.
On leave covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
If you take an FMLA leave, you may revoke an existing election under the Health FSA or Dependent Care FSA. Upon returning from FMLA leave, you may choose to be reinstated in either account if such coverage was terminated during the FMLA. Such reinstatement will be on the same terms as prior to taking FMLA leave. You have no greater right to benefits for the remainder of the plan year than an employee who has been continuously working during the plan year. A participant on unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) leave may Cancel an existing Health FSA or Dependent Care FSA Election for the remainder of the plan year, or continue coverage under a Health FSA while on FMLA leave.
You may not continue the Dependent Care FSA while on FMLA. However, you may reinstate coverage for the Dependent Care FSA when you return to work. You may continue coverage under the Health FSA while you are on FMLA by paying the contributions due during your leave.
See the FSA Plan Document for more details.
Change effective date
Approved election changes are effective the first day of the month following the event and your submission of the change request. Any request to increase the election amount must apply to only those expenses which the participant incurs on or after the effective date of the increased expense.