Health flex account changes intended to help UNMC community

February 03, 2021

Based on new COVID relief legislation, changes have been made allowing flexible spending account holders to maximize the use of amounts in their health care flexible spending account and/or dependent care flexible spending account.

Effective immediately:

UNMC is increasing account holders' carryover amount. All unused funds from 2020 in a health care flexible spending account and/or dependent care flexible spending account will now carry over to 2021. Similarly, 2021 contributions to either health care flexible spending accounts or dependent care flexible spending accounts will carry over to the following 2022 plan year. No action is necessary -- the funds will automatically carry over. Health Equity/WageWorks is in the process of making these funds available for 2021 and should have these funds available for participants soon.

Even those who did not re-enroll in a health care flexible spending account and/or dependent care flexible spending account for this year (2021) still may be able to use the funds remaining from 2020 contributions.

An employee may waive their right to receive the carryover benefits. An employee may want to waive the carryover benefits for their health care flexible spending account if the employee intends to make contributions to a health savings account ("HSA") for an upcoming year. To waive carryover benefits, contact the campus benefits office.

UNMC is providing more flexibility to make election changes. For the 2021 plan year, prospective election changes to contribution amounts to either health care flexible spending accounts or dependent care flexible spending accounts can be made without a qualifying life event. This allows enrollment, disenrollment and changing of election amounts in 2021, without the need for a qualifying life event. To make changes to 2021 election amounts, contact the campus benefits office.

Elections cannot be reduced to an amount less than year-to-date contributions or reimbursements.

UNMC is temporarily increasing the age for qualifying dependents from 13 to 14. If a qualifying dependent turned (or will turn) 13 during the 2020 or 2021 plan years, unused funds from 2020 may now be used for qualifying expenses for that child until they turn 14. To qualify for this relief, enrollment in the Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account Plan in 2020 is required.

"It is our hope that these changes will be beneficial to our employees and their families," said Jayme Nekuda, PhD, associate director of human resources.

For assistance, please reach out directly to WageWorks (at 877-924-3967) or contact the campus benefits office via email or at 402-559-4340.

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