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Annual Open Enrollment

2011 Benefits Open Enrollment

Health Care Spending Account
Instructions and Information for
Completing Your Personal Enrollment

These instructions will assist you in completing your Personal Enrollment for The University of Iowa Benefits Program.

Health Care Spending Account

A Health/Dental Care Spending Account allows you to arrange for a portion of your earnings, not to exceed $6000 per year, to be deposited into a special account that is then used to reimburse you for health/dental care expenses incurred during the year. IRS regulations provide that earnings allocated to a spending account are not subject to federal income taxes, state income taxes, or FICA taxes. If you elect to participate in this plan, you are reimbursed for these expenses with income that is not subject to these taxes.

Services must be incurred during the current year of participation. Funds that are not claimed for eligible health/dental expenses by the following April revert to the University and may not be claimed by the individual. When an individual terminates, all services and expenses must be incurred prior to the termination date and be claimed by April of the next year. Any funds not spent by this date will be forfeited.

Due to the change in benefits plans, last year's contribution amounts will not automatically carry over for 2011.   The University contribution will default to $0.00, unless you have credits you have not applied to the purchase of benefits.  If you have not applied all of your General Benefits Credit or Shared Savings Credits to the purchase of benefits, any remainder will go into a healthcare spending account by default.  

If there is a minimum amount you want deposited in your spending account/s for 2011, you must indicate this in your open enrollment to ensure the amount being deposited is what you desire. 

If you want to see the cost of your benefit selections before deciding on a spending account pledge amount(s), simply enter "0" in the 2011 spending account pledge area(s) and then choose the "recalculate" function/button.  You can use this function multiple times to experiment with different choices and spending account(s) pledge amounts.


This account may be used to pay for any expenses connected with health/dental care for you, your spouse, or any eligible dependent as defined by the IRS. This program is not available for the reimbursement of expenses for a domestic partner who is not a qualified tax dependent.  The eligible expenses reimbursed must be for services or items that you will not be reimbursed for from any health/dental insurance program, whether with The University of Iowa and/or any other employer or individual policy.

Eligible expenses are:

  1. Deductibles and co-payments
  2. Prescription medicine and prescription drugs including birth control pills
  3. Dental expenses, including preventive, diagnostic, restorative, orthodontic, and therapeutic care
  4. Vision expenses, including examinations, eyeglasses, contact lenses, and seeing eye dogs
  5. Hearing expenses, including examinations and hearing aids
  6. Artificial limbs
  7. Physical examinations
  8. Psychoanalysis and psychologist fees
  9. Psychiatric fees and psychiatric care, including the cost of supporting a mentally ill dependent at a specially equipped medical center
  10. Chiropractic expenses
  11. Acupuncture
  12. Smoking cessation program as prescribed by a physician
  13. Alcoholism or Drug Treatment, including meals and lodging if needed

**Your account cannot be used for certain expenses, such as:

**This list is not all-inclusive. If you have a specific question about whether or not an expense is eligible for reimbursement, please check the "covered expenses" section of the spending accounts area of the Benefits Office web site.


You may decide each year during the annual enrollment period whether or not you wish to participate in these plans. If you do not sign up during the annual enrollment, you will not be able to participate during the following year, unless you have a qualifying change in status.


During any one year, once you elect to participate and designate the amount to be deposited into your spending accounts, you may not stop deposits nor change the amount deposited into your account unless you have a qualifying event. A change in your account must be made within 30 days of the event; otherwise you must wait until the next annual enrollment period.


  1. You do not pay FICA, or Federal and State income taxes on flexible spending account contributions.
  2. Medical expenses are tax deductible only if they are over 7.5% of your adjusted gross income. A medical spending account allows you to use tax-free money for medical expenses below 7.5% of your AGI.
  3. If you deposit as little as $600.00, you save whatever the Federal and State taxes are for your income level, and you may also save approximately $46.00 on FICA taxes.


There may be some disadvantages to using these accounts:


You may request reimbursements weekly, monthly, semi annually, or annually, whichever is the most convenient for you. Expenses submitted must have incurred after your first payroll deduction under this program.

Your spending account reimbursements will be direct deposited to the same institution and account where your monthly paycheck is deposited.  If you wish, you may use a different institution and/or account for your spending account(s) payment.  You can make that change in the University Employee Self Service site under the Payroll Direct Deposit section:
https://login.uiowa.edu/uip/login.page?service=https://hris.uiowa.edu/portal/ or by filling out the following paper form:  http://www.uiowa.edu/hr/payroll/forms/ddfpbt.pdf and submitting it to the Payroll Office at 120 University Services Building, Suite 30.

You may file for reimbursement at any time during the year, but no later than the last business day in April of the following year.

In order to comply with IRS regulations, health care expenses cannot be reimbursed until after the service has been provided.


When terminating employment, services must be incurred by the last day of the month in which your final distribution was made.  You have until April of the following year to submit any claims for services incurred prior to your termination date. All funds remaining after April of the following year are forfeited to the University.

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Questions? Need Help?

If you have questions or concerns regarding the enrollment process, please contact:

University Benefits
120-40 USB

Email: benefits@uiowa.edu

Web Site: www.uiowa.edu/hr/benefits

Phone: 319-335-2676 or
877-830-4001 (toll free)

Fax: 319-335-2776