Healthcare & Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account Changes

Princeton University is enacting temporary provisions of the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) related to the Healthcare Flexible Spending Accounts (HFSA) and Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts (DFSA). This legislation will allow for the following changes:

Rollover of Unused Balances

  • Princeton will permit the rollover of unlimited unused balances of $50 or more from an employee’s 2020 account into their 2021 account for both the HFSA and DFSA. Unused amounts will automatically carryover if the participant was active in the plan with unused balances as of December 31, 2020; the carryover amounts do not impact contribution limits in 2021.
  • The carryover of unused balances for the HFSA are scheduled to be completed by March 15, 2021.
  • The carryover of unused balances for the DFSA are scheduled to be completed by April 26, 2021.
  • This rollover of unlimited unused balances for both plans will be extended from 2021 into 2022. Any money remaining in account(s) at the end of 2021 will automatically carry over into 2022 for active employees.

Dependent Care Child Age Extension

As allowed under the CAA, Princeton University is providing an exception under the DFSA for dependents who aged out from the DFSA in 2020. There are two parts to this change:

  • First, if an employee’s child turned 13 in 2020, the employee may continue to be reimbursed for eligible childcare costs incurred through the remainder of 2020.
  • Second, if there is an unused balance in this employee’s DFSA at the end of 2020, it can be used for the child’s expenses incurred up until the child turns age 14 in 2021.

It is important to note that the ability to be reimbursed in 2021 for a child who turned 13 in 2020 is only possible if there are unused balances in an employee’s 2020 DFSA as of December 31, 2020.

Mid-Year Election Changes

  • Employees have the opportunity to elect, increase, decrease, or suspend future HFSA and DFSA elections for any reason. Retroactive changes are not allowed; participants will be unable to receive a refund of any money already reimbursed or contributed to the account(s). If a flexible spending account terminates for any reason, including termination of employment, expenses incurred after the termination date are not eligible for reimbursement.
    • The deadline to make changes to the 2021 HFSA is March 31, 2021.
    • The deadline to make changes to the 2021 DFSA is November 30, 2021.  
  • To elect, increase, decrease, or suspend future HFSA or DFSA elections, notify the Benefits Team at benefits@princeton.edu and complete the 2021 Midyear Flexible Spending Account Change Form. Submit the form two weeks prior to the scheduled pay date in order for the election to be reflected in the next paycheck. To review current account balance and/or claim activity visit the PayFlex website. If a flexible spending account terminates for any reason, including termination of employment, expenses incurred after the termination date are not eligible for reimbursement.

Reimbursement Deadline Extension

The deadline to file for reimbursement for 2019 and 2020 HFSA expenses has been extended.

  • The deadline to submit claims for 2019 HFSA expenses is March 31, 2021.
  • The deadline to submit an appeal to a denied 2019 HFSA expense claim is one year from the date of the denial. Eligible expenses for 2019 must have been incurred from January 1, 2019, through December 31, 2019 — there is no extension of the spending deadline.
  • The deadline to submit claims for 2020 HFSA expenses has been extended. The deadline does not begin until 60 days after the official end date of the National Emergency — this date is not yet determined. Once the National Emergency end date is announced, PayFlex will provide the new claim submission deadline date for 2020 HFSA expenses. Eligible expenses for 2020 must have been incurred from January 1, 2020, through December 31, 2020 — there is no extension of the spending deadline. This deadline provides additional time to submit for unreimbursed 2020 expenses and does not impact the rollover of unused balances outlined above. 

The deadline to submit 2020 DFSA expenses remains the same; DFSA claims for 2020 need to be submitted by March 31, 2021.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

For any additional questions or information, contact Payflex at (800) 284-4885. The Benefits Team is also available at (609) 258-3302 or benefits@princeton.edu.