Fedweek

A “special election period” for the flexible spending account program that started June 1 runs through the end of the month, the second straight year that such a period has been offered in mid-year due to changes in terms of such programs related to the pandemic.

While new enrollments and changes to existing accounts normally are allowed only during the annual fall open season or due to certain life events, both are available during this month to accommodate provisions of several laws enacted in late 2020 and early this year. Key features include:

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• New enrollments are allowed for health savings and/or dependent care accounts for the rest of this year.

• Current enrollees may increase the amounts they have designated up to the annual maximums—which are being raised to $10,500 for dependent care accounts but remaining $2,750 for health care accounts.

• Current enrollees also may decrease allocations although not below the amount already allotted to the account or the amount already reimbursed, whichever is greater.

New enrollments or new allotment decisions must be made through the www.FSAFEDS.com site.

Several other features of those laws require no action by an account holder: a waiver of the normal $550 limit on carrying unspent health care account money from one year to the next; and extending through the end of the year the deadline, normally March 15, for carrying unspent dependent care account money into the following year. Both will apply to both 2020 money carried into 2021 and 2021 money carried into 2022 but in each case the employee must have an account in the following year.

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