During the COVID-19 pandemic, refer to the Benefits Updates webpage for relevant information.
The Healthcare Flexible Spending Account (HFSA) allows faculty and staff to set aside money pretax to pay for health-related expenses not covered by insurance.
- Not subject to federal tax
- Full annual election amount available on the effective date of election
- Ability to use for expenses incurred by the paticipant, spouse, or eligible dependents
- In 2021, participants may contribute between $100 and $2,750 into a HFSA.
- IRS rules do not allow participants to use the HFSA to be reimbursed for expenses incurred by a civil union or domestic partner or the partner’s children.
- Balances of $50 or more, up to a maximum of $550, are rolled over automatically from year-to-year for active employees; amounts under $50 or over $550 are forfeited.
- If a participant’s employment terminates, expenses incurred after the termination date are not eligible for reimbursement, unless coverage is continued through COBRA.
- Contributions are subject to New Jersey State income tax.
- For a list of eligible and ineligible expenses covered under the plan, visit Payflex.
- Effective January 1, 2020, over-the-counter (OTC) drugs and medicines can be paid for or reimbursed without a doctor’s prescription.
- Effective January 1, 2020, feminine care products are considered a qualified medical expense and are eligible for payment or reimbursement.
- Effective January 1, 2020 personal protective equipment (PPE), such as masks, hand sanitizer, and sanitizing wipes, is considered a qualified medical expense and is eligible for payment or reimbursement.
All benefits-eligible faculty and staff, except for visiting fellows, may elect an HFSA. For postdoctoral research fellows, pretax deductions can only be taken pretax from the wage supplement.
Deadlines and Application Process
- Faculty and staff may elect this benefit within 31 days of hire date, during the Annual Open Enrollment period, or if there is a qualifying life event.
- Participants have until March 31 each year to submit claims for eligible expenses incurred during the prior calendar year.
- To continue contributing to the HFSA from one calendar year to the next, a new election must be made during the Annual Open Enrollment period; elections do not carry over from year-to-year.
How to be Reimbursed
- Payflex provides one debit card per family member; additional cards can be ordered by contacting Payflex. Participants may use the debit card at the point of service to pay for eligible expenses.
- File claims online on Payflex website or submit a claim form. An Explanation of Benefits Statement and/or receipt from the provider is required. To set up an online account, participants need to provide their Princeton benefits ID number located in HR Self Service under Benefit Details.
- In accordance with IRS guidelines, participants may be contacted by PayFlex and required to provide additional documentation to substantiate a claim.
- Participants can arrange for direct deposit of their reimbursements through Payflex website.
If there are any discrepancies between the information in this publication, verbal representations, and the plan documents, the plan documents always govern. Although Princeton intends to continue these benefits, the University reserves the right to amend or terminate these plans at any time.