Modification of FSA use-or-lose rule delivers increased flexibility to workers seeking tax benefits for health careHUNT VALLEY, Md., November 01, 2013
ConnectYourCare, one of the nation’s leading providers of consumer-directed healthcare (CDH) account solutions, welcomes the immediate positive tax relief for flexible spending account holders at a time when the government is struggling to implement portions of the Affordable Care Act. The Treasury Department announced on October 31, 2013 that for the first time ever, the IRS is allowing a rollover up to $500 for flexible spending accounts (FSAs), effective immediately.
ConnectYourCare, a staunch advocate of repealing the use-or-lose rule for FSAs in its entirety, is prepared today to support this provision – even retroactively for 2013. With a focus on being prepared to meet regulatory changes, the company designed its processes, systems and technology to support the FSA rollover in advance of the IRS announcement.
“Our core belief is that every American should have a health account. Our development supports our vision of that future state, including building capabilities ahead of regulatory action. This means we were ready for the FSA rollover provision well in advance of and IRS announcement,” said Jamie Spriggs, ConnectYourCare’s CEO.
“ConnectYourCare lobbied for the new regulation so our account holders can keep more of the money they earn and set aside for healthcare expenses. We anticipate that this provision will spur even more savings because employees have a longer window of time to use their money,” said Spriggs.
ConnectYourCare provided comments to the Treasury Department and IRS in support of repealing the use-or-lose regulation. In light of comments received, the Treasury Department and the IRS determined to modify the use-or-lose rule to permit the $500 rollover, effective immediately for 2013 and 2014 plan years.
Specifically, employers that sponsor a health FSA may choose to allow employees to carry over unused amounts of up to $500 to reimburse qualified medical expenses incurred in the next year. Employers may choose to allow employees either the $500 rollover or a grace period of up to two and a half months (though employers are not required to allow either). A health FSA cannot, however, have both a rollover and a grace period. The guidance does not impact dependent care FSAs. Employers must amend plan documents in order to offer this new provision.
“This change is a positive step in the right direction toward repealing the use-or-lose regulation in its entirety,” said Spriggs. “In the short term, it gives employees more control over their funds, encourages enrollment in a cost-savings plan, and simplifies the process by not requiring employees to predict the exact cost of future medical expenses during enrollment.”
More information on IRS Notice 2013-17can be found at IRS guidance and the accompanying fact sheet. Contact ConnectYourCare at [email protected] to request more information about our FSA, HSA and HRA administrative capabilities.
As people who can make sense of the evolving health care landscape, ConnectYourCare gives employers a fighting chance against skyrocketing health care costs—while offering employees a valuable benefit they use and appreciate to better manage health savings. Delivering ROI and efficiencies at every turn; giving individuals tools they can use to make better-informed choices, including our renowned service representatives; simplifying the entire process with market-setting technology solutions—and continually developing new features and options—these are the core competencies that have allowed us to grow a loyal and highly satisfied client base of organizations of every size. Learn more at www.connectyourcare.com.