Save on Child Care and Healthcare Expenses with an FSA - Learn more at Open Enrollment

By Aaronnette McFarlin, MSA

November, 2017


Open enrollment is right around the corner and it’s time to take a good look at your flexible spending account. A Flexible Spending Account (FSA) is funded with money you contribute on a pre-tax basis. You can use FSA funds to pay for qualified out-of-pocket health care costs for you and eligible dependents and/or dependent care charges. According to IRS regulations, each year you must enroll during your benefits annual enrollment period if you want to participate in either a Healthcare FSA or a Dependent Care FSA.


If you aren't already enrolled in a Healthcare or Dependent Care FSA, this is the perfect opportunity to learn more about them, assess your current situation and enroll to help you save some money in 2017/2018. Below you will find brief descriptions for Healthcare FSA and Dependent Care FSA.


Through Aetna/PayFlex all regular full-time or part-time Emory employees scheduled to work 20 hours or more per week are eligible to enroll in Emory's FSA. Full-time temporary positions on a six month or longer assignment are also eligible. Coverage begins on an employee's date of hire. Employees receive the Aetna/PayFlex debit card to use to cover these expenses. Keeping receipts for any eligible expense for which reimbursement are received, are strongly recommended.



You can contribute between $200 and $2,500 pre-tax annually into the Healthcare FSA. All money you elect to contribute is accessible immediately. The money you contribute can be used to cover out-of-pocket costs such as:


Medical expenses: co-pays, deductible, co-insurance
Dental expenses: deductible and co-insurance
Vision expenses: prescription glasses, contact lenses, co-pays
Prescription drug costs
Over-the-counter drugs with a prescription




HSA Plan members are not eligible for the Healthcare FSA but do have access to a limited Healthcare FSA administered through Aetna. You may use the limited FSA to pay for dental and vision expenses and for medical expenses once your deductible has been met.



Money you contribute into a Dependent Care FSA can be used toward care for a child under Age 13, a physically or mentally disabled parent or child, or elder care for tax-qualified dependents. Unlike the Healthcare FSA, you can only access the money that is currently in your account. To qualify for reimbursement, these expenses must be incurred so that you (and/or your spouse/SSDP) can work or go to school. If you are utilizing day camps, sitters or a nanny to care for your child, while you are working, be sure to submit your expenses to your flexible spending account. Below are examples of expenses that are eligible for reimbursement:


Child care tuition
Afterschool care expenses
Bright Horizons Back-Care Advantage
Seasonal School Break Camps (summer break, fall break, winter break, etc.)