Flexible Spending Account

Pretax savings for medical and childcare expenses.

Medical, dental, and vision expenses can sometimes put a strain on your monthly finances, even if you have insurance coverage. The same is true for dependent care expenses if you need childcare or care for elderly parents. Cornell understands this and offers voluntary flexible spending accounts for medical and dependent care reimbursements. These accounts are not insurance coverage. They help you reduce your out-of-pocket expenses by taking advantage of a federal law that gives you an immediate tax break when paying for services covered under the program – services that you have to pay for anyway.

These accounts work simply. You put money into either or both accounts through payroll deduction before your taxes are calculated and deducted. This means you save on your federal income taxes and Social Security taxes. In most, but not all, states you will save on state income taxes, too! When you have an eligible expense, you file a claim. You are then reimbursed with tax-free money. Enrollment is required each year that you want to participate.  Cornell offers medical and dependent care flexible spending accounts through PayFlex.

Flexible Spending Account Overview (pdf).

Medical Care Reimbursement Account

Funds accumulated in the Medical Care Reimbursement Account can be used to pay for medical, dental, and vision charges that generally are deductible expenses for federal income tax purposes (such as eyeglasses, hearing aids, health plan deductibles and dental out-of-pocket expenses). The Medical Care Reimbursement Account will reimburse you for approved expenses even if your payroll deductions have yet to reach the account. So, you can be reimbursed for expenses that occur on or after January 1, up to the total amount that you have committed to this account for the plan year. The 2022 maximum limit is $2,850. Please contact PayFlex for orthodontia reimbursement information.

Dependent Care Reimbursement Account

Expenses incurred for dependent care services that allow you and your spouse to work are eligible for reimbursement under the Dependent Care Reimbursement Account. Eligible expenses for your child (under age 13), disabled spouse, or other disabled dependent include the cost of daycare centers, private babysitters, and nursery schools.

The Dependent Care Reimbursement Account differs from the Medical Care Reimbursement Account in that, in the Dependent Care Reimbursement Account, you must have funds deposited before you can be reimbursed for expenses. The maximum limit is $5,000 per household.

Contribution Rules & Claims Deadlines

Medical Care Flexible Spending Account

 

Calendar Year Account Covers claims between these Dates of Service

Contribution Rules and Carryover

Claims Submission Deadline

2019

Calendar Year

Services and expenses must have been incurred from 1/1/2019 through 12/31/2019

 

 

 

  • Leftover money from 2018 (up to $500) carried over into 2019 accounts
  • New Contributions allowed in 2019, up to max contribution of $2,700 (not lowered by any carryover from 2018)
  • Leftover money at the end of 2019 (up to $500) carried over into 2020 accounts

 

NOTE:  2018 funds included in leftover money DO NOT carry over into 2020

Normally, claims must be submitted by 4/30/2020

 

COVID RULES extended this submission deadline to 4/29/2021

2020

Calendar Year

Services and expenses must have been incurred from 1/1/2020 through 12/31/2020

 

 

 

  • Leftover money at the end of 2019 (up to $500) carried over into 2020 accounts
  • New Contributions allowed in 2020, up to max contribution of $2,750 (not lowered by any carryover from 2019)
  • Leftover money at the end of 2020 (up to entire balance) is carried over into 2021

 

NOTE:  2019 funds included in leftover money DO NOT carry over into 2021

Normally, claims must be submitted by 4/29/2021

 

COVID RULES extended this submission deadline to 4/30/2022

2021

Calendar Year

Services and expenses must have been incurred from 1/1/2021 through 12/31/2021

 

 

 

  • Leftover money at the end of 2020 (up to entire balance) is carried over into 2021
  • New Contributions allowed in 2021, up to max contribution of $2,750 (not lowered by any carryover from 2020)
  • Leftover money at the end of 2021 (up to $570) is carried over into 2022

 

NOTE:  2020 funds included in leftover money DO NOT carry over into 2022

Normally, claims must be submitted by 4/30/2022

 

*COVID RULES extended submission deadline to “60-days after the end of the Outbreak period”.  As of April 2022, the claims submission deadline is by 5/31/2022 and is subject to change.

2022

Calendar Year

Services and expenses must have been incurred from 1/1/2022 through 12/31/2022

 

 

 

  • Leftover money at the end of 2021 (up to $570) is carried over into 2022
  • New Contributions allowed in 2022, up to max contribution of $2,850 (not lowered by any carryover from 2021)
  • Leftover money at the end of 2022 (up to $570) is carried over into 2023

 

NOTE:  2021 funds included in leftover money DO NOT carry over into 2023

Normally, claims must be submitted by 4/30/2023

 

AS OF 4/2022, COVID RULES HAVE NOT EXTENDED THIS SUBMISSION DEADLINE

*Please access your FSA account at www.payflex.com for the latest information regarding an additional extension to the 2021 Calendar Year 5/31/2022 submission deadline.

Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account

 

Calendar Year Account Covers claims between these Dates of Service

Contribution Rules and Extended Claim coverage (“Run-Out Period”)

Claims Submission Deadline

2019

Calendar Year

Services and expenses must have been incurred from 1/1/2019 through 03/15/2020

  • IRS maximum limit is $5,000 per household
  • 2019 funds must be used by March 15, 2020
  • Remaining funds from 2018 can be used for 2 ½ months into 2019 (not included in IRS household limit)

Normally claims must be submitted by 4/30/2020. NO COVID rules extensions

2020

Calendar Year

Services and expenses must have been incurred from 1/1/2020 through 12/31/2021

  • IRS maximum limit is $5,000 per household
  • 2020 funds must be used by December 31, 2021

Normally, claims must be submitted by 4/29/2021

 

COVID RULES extended submission deadline to April 30, 2022

2021

Calendar Year

Services and expenses must have been incurred from 1/1/2021 through 3/15/2022

  • IRS maximum limit is $5,000 per household
  • 2021 funds must be used by March 15, 2022

Normally claims must be submitted by April 30, 2022.

 

2022 Calendar Year

Services and expenses must have been incurred from 1/1/2022 through 3/15/2023

  • IRS maximum limit is $5,000 per household
  • 2022 funds must be used by March 15, 2023

Normally claims must be submitted by April 30, 2023.

Debit Card

Once you have enrolled in the medical care account, you will be issued a PayFlex Debit card that will be good for five (5) years. Your annual enrollment will be loaded to the card for each year that you participate. You may request additional cards via the website or by calling PayFlex toll free at (888) 678-7821. You can swipe the debit card to pay for your copay at your physician's office and the drug store.

Do not swipe your card at a provider's office if the service provided needs to be submitted to your insurance company first. For example, you or your dental provider should submit the dental expense to your dental insurance company first. Once you receive the Explanation of Benefits (EOB) from the insurance company, you can then use your PayFlex card to pay for the portion that you owe your dentist. You will need to submit the EOB to PayFlex to substantiate the claim.

There is no requirement to use the debit card; you may destroy it and, if you decide in the future that you would like one, you can request one from PayFlex. Learn more (pdf).

Accessing Your Account

Log on to the PayFlex site. If you have not yet registered on PayFlex’s site, you’ll need to click on Create Your Profile under "First time user?" Complete the required fields on the next screen. If you have enrolled in a FSA medical care account, you’ll need your PayFlex card number to complete your registration. Remember to enroll in direct deposit and email notification to manage your account more easily.

If you have registered with PayFlex in the past, use the username and password that you selected during the registration process.

You can also download the PayFlex Mobile app to easily access your account from your phone or other device.

IRS Rules

You should assess your needs carefully for both the medical care and dependent care flexible spending accounts and take advantage of all the tax savings you can reasonably estimate.

Beginning with plan year 2016, up to $500 of unused money in your medical care FSA account will be rolled over into the following plan year account to be used for eligible medical expenses. You will want to incur all but $570 of your expenses in 2022 so that you don’t lose any 2022 money that cannot be rolled over. The $570 rollover does not offset the 2023 election amount available. The rollover does not apply to the FSA dependent care account.

The IRS allows Cornell to extend the time that flexible spending dependent care account participants can incur and submit claims for reimbursement. For example, if your 2022 dependent care annual amount is $5,000, you have until March 15, 2023 to incur additional expenses that can be used for reimbursement against your 2022 annual amount. You need to submit claims for reimbursement by April 30, 2023, otherwise the “use-it-or-lose-it” rule comes into effect and you will lose the unused funds. It is important that you submit 2021 claims prior to submitting 2022 claims so that 2021 monies will be exhausted prior to 2022 monies being used.

Resources