Reminder: Spend flex money by Dec. 31

Reviewing your flexible spending account (FSA) balances is a good addition to your end-of-year to-do list. FSAs provide employees the opportunity to reimburse health care or dependent care expenses with funds generated by pre-tax payroll deductions. Claims for 2018 expenses must be filed by April 30, 2019.

Carryover allowed for health care

Don't worry if there's a small amount left in a health care FSA. Up to $500 in unused contributions can carry over to the next plan year. The carryover amount will be available to claim after April 30 and added to 2019 plan year funds.

Federal regulations do not allow refunds of health care FSA money not used during the plan year, beyond the $500 carryover amount. Iowa State uses forfeited funds to help defray administrative costs of the plan.

No carryover for dependent care

There is no $500 carryover option for dependent care accounts. All 2018 claims must be for expenses incurred by Dec. 31 and submitted by April 30, 2019. As it does with forfeited health care FSA funds, Iowa State uses any unspent money in dependent care accounts to cover administrative costs. Federal regulations prohibit employee refunds.

Health care flexible spending accounts and the dependent care assistance program are two separate accounts. Funds remaining in one account at the end of the plan year cannot be transferred to the other.

How to file claims

Iowa State's FSA administrator ASIFlex processes claims and reimbursements. Funds are reimbursed when employees file a claim for either their own expenses or those of eligible dependents. Additional information is available on the university human resources FSA website.