FSA Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What expenses are eligible?
When can I begin using my spending account?
You may submit for reimbursement for eligible expenses incurred after participation begins (the date of your first deposit).
How do I get money out of my spending account?
There are multiple ways to submit for reimbursement. you will need to follow the instructions for the process you wish to use. These can be found under "Reimbursement Rules."
How will I receive my reimbursement?
Direct deposit is required. If you do not set up direct deposit specifically for your FSA, the first reimbursement will be a paper check mailed to you. Subsequent reimbursements will be direct deposited to the same bank account as your paycheck. If you want to have your spending account checks direct deposited to an account other than where your paycheck is deposited, you can make the change in the Direct Deposit area of the Self-Service web site. If you change banks you must update your information.
How long does it take to get reimbursed?
How do I know if I have been reimbursed?
1) Check the “Spending Account Recap” on the Employee Self Service web site to see the payment, 2) verify payment was sent to your bank by checking the direct deposit area of the Self Service web site, or 3) check your bank account.
Why do I see a payment reflected in the spending account area of the self service site, but I haven't received a direct deposit for it.
Direct deposits are done daily. If you have direct deposit, claims and payments are processed every business day. Once your claim is processed (which can take up to a week), the payment will be reflected on the self-service web site.
Why is the reimbursement amount I received different than the claim amount I submitted?
One or more of the items on the claim has most likely been disallowed because we need more information or it is not an eligible item. You will receive information and instructions through U.S. Mail.
How will I be notified if there is a problem with my claim?
Claims that do not contain required documentation will be returned to you at your home address if you filed a paper claim. The mailing will include information on how to correct the problem. If you filed on the self-service site, click on the claim number for the explanation.
If I don't want to submit the charge to my insurance company can I still get reimbursed from my spending account?
No. You are required to submit all eligible charges to insurance before you can be reimbursed from your spending account.
What happens if I purchase a product which I then subsequently return, or the order for the product is cancelled?
If money is requested for the purchase of a product which is subsequently returned, or the order for the product is cancelled, then the money received by the employee must be returned to the University to be credited to the employee’s Flexible Spending Account. The funds may be used for other appropriate purposes for that year. Failure to return funds to the University in these situations is a violation of University policies and IRS regulations. Abuse of the Flexible Spending Account program will result in disciplinary action against the employee including possible termination, reporting of taxable income to the IRS and/or criminal charges for theft.
How can orthodontia treatment be reimbursed?
Charges for the down payment of orthodontia care are reimbursable immediately or as services are received. The majority of the time you are obligated to make a down payment plus the first payment of the monthly payment plan. You can be reimbursed for this right away. Then, as you make payments, you can turn in the payment receipt each month until the orthodontia treatment is complete.
Are charges reimbursed by billing date or date of service?
Reimbursement is based on the date of service not the billing date. In order to get reimbursed, the date of service needs to be incurred in the same year the spending account is designated for. You have until the last business day of April of the next year to claim expenses for the previous year’s spending account. We will reimburse after the April 30 deadline if the insurance company did not process the charges until after that date. In this case we must have 1) an EOB dated after April 30, and 2) money remaining in your previous year’s spending account.
Can I get reimbursed for more than what I have already contributed towards my annual pledge?
Health Care - Yes. You can claim your annual pledge anytime during the course of the year. If you terminate employment during the year, in order to be eligible for reimbursement, expenses must be incurred prior to the last day of the month in which your final contribution was made, unless you continue contributions on an after-tax basis through COBRA.
Dependent Care - No. Per IRS regulations, you can only be reimbursed up to the amount that you have actually contributed so far in the year. Approved expenses exceeding the amount contributed, but within your annual pledge amount, will be "pended" and paid to you as additional contributions are made within the same calendar year.
Can I claim health care expenses for my child who is no longer my tax-dependent?
If the child is 26 or younger, you may claim eligible health care expenses.
Are educational classes/lessons/day camps reimbursable out of the Dependent Care account?
Expenses for day camp may be reimbursed if the dependent is at camp during the time that the parents are at work and they would otherwise be under the care of a sitter or after-school program. Expenses for educational classes/lessons cannot be reimbursed.
If I change daycare providers may I make changes to my spending account?
Yes. The change will become effective the first of the month following the date of the event.
What needs to be on a daycare receipt?
Dates of care, name of provider, total amount paid, signature of provider, tax id or SSN of care provider, indication that receipt is for childcare and indication of who paid for or received the services. There is a template receipt at : http://www.uiowa.edu/hr/benefits/spendacct/dcsa_receipt.pdf
Dependent Care - All services must have occurred by December 31. Any funds not claimed by April 30th of the following year will be forfeited. Per IRS regulations, you can only be reimbursed up to the amount that is in the account at termination.
Health Care - When terminating, expenses must be incurred by the end of the month in which you terminate employment. You have until April of the following year to submit any claims for services incurred prior to your termination date. Any services incurred after your termination date will not be reimbursable under this program, unless you continue contributions on an after-tax basis through COBRA. All funds remaining after April of the following year are forfeited to the University.