Flexible Spending Accounts
The Massachusetts Group Insurance Commission (GIC) Health Care Spending Account (HCSA) and Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP) allow benefited employees to pay for eligible expenses with contributions payroll-deducted on a pre-tax basis.
Benefited employees may enroll within twenty-one (21) calendar days of employment in a benefited position, during annual April open enrollment for coverage effective the following July 1 or within sixty (60) days of a qualifying event. Employees who wish to participate must enroll every year during April open enrollment.
Participants are encouraged to carefully calculate their contribution/election amounts as unspent funds revert to the plan (not to the participant). The GIC's vendor provides a list of eligible expenses, enrollment information and the Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Participant Handbook.
Where information on this website differs from the plan documents the plan document prevails.
Health Care Spending Account (HCSA)
HCSA allows you to pay for $250 - $2,700 (up to $3,050 for plan year starting July 2023) of annual eligible health care expenses on a pre-tax basis. Eligible expenses include most medical co-pays, eyeglasses and contact lenses not covered by your health or vision insurance, orthodontia and dental expenses not covered by your dental insurance and more. As a participant in the HCSA you receive two debit cards, enabling you to pay eligible expenses directly rather than submitting a claim form. You must still retain receipts in case the HCSA/DCAP plan administrator requires a copy of the receipt or in case of audit by the IRS. You may purchase additional cards from the plan administrator. Debit cards cannot be used for DCAP expenses.
Unpaid leaves of absence: eligible expenses cannot be incurred during an unpaid leave unless pre-payment of contributions has been arranged prior to the unpaid leave. Bi-weekly deductions upon return to University payroll are increased to meet the full annual election amount. Please reference the Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Participant Handbook for details and options to pre-pay contributions to avoid an interruption of FSA benefit(s).
Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP)
DCAP allows you to enroll to cover up to $5,000 ($2,500 if married and filing separate tax returns) per household per calendar year) of qualified dependent care expenses on a pre-tax basis. Eligible expenses may only be incurred for dependents under 13 years of age for care while you are working are and include day care day camp, after school programs, nursery school and more. Please note, you may either use the DCAP program or claim the child care tax credit when you file your taxes, not both. Additionally, if you have an older IRS dependent who lives with you at least 8 hours per day and requires someone to come into the house to assist with day-to-day living, you can claim these expenses through your DCAP.
How to Enroll in the HCSA or DCAP
Benefited (GIC-eligible) employees may apply to participate in the HCSA and/or DCAP when completing initial hiring paperwork, within 60 days (and documentation) of a qualifying event and during April open enrollment for participation in the following July 1 by completing the corresponding webform on the GIC's FSA website. The GIC's vendor provides a list of eligible expenses, enrollment information and the Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Participant Handbook.
Please reference the GIC's Employee Benefit Decision Guide for premium information.
Period of Eligible Expenses
Elections/contributions made in the plan year (July 1 - June 30) may cover eligible expenses incurred from July 1 - the September 15 following end of the plan year so long as the expense is submitted for reimbursement by the annual deadline.
Note that HCSA eligible expenses can not be incurred after employment ends. With rare exceptions FSA eligible expenses cannot be incurred while on an unpaid leave. Please reference the FSA Participant Handbook for important information.
FSA Qualifying Events
You may enroll or change your plan-year FSA election within 60 days of a qualifying event by completing and submitting a HCSA/DCAP Change Form with proof of that qualifying event on the GIC's FSA vendor website or at the Human Resources Employee Service Center. Please note that the qualifying event must correspond with the change in election (i.e. marriage constitutes an increase in election; divorce constitutes a decrease in election) and supporting documentation must be provided at the time of enrollment or change of election. A list of qualifying events is available in the plan administrator's Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Participant Handbook.
Benefits Upon Departure from Employment
Please reference the Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Participant Handbook for information about how leaves or absence and departure from benefited employment will impact your FSA benefits.
Generally, if you leave state service during the FSA plan year, your participation in the Health Care Spending Account (HCSA) and Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP) will terminate as of midnight on the last date of your active employment.
HCSA: Your debit card(s) will be de-activated and you will only be able to submit claims for eligible health care expenses that were incurred on or before your last day of active employment. You have until October 15 to submit claims for the Plan Year expenses. In order to use your HCSA account after you terminate state service, you may elect to continue to contribute to the HCSA account under COBRA by making direct payments on an after-tax basis. Your eligibility for HCSA COBRA will be determined by the plan administrator, Benefit Strategies. The amount billed to you by Benefit Strategies will include a 2% administrative fee.
DCAP: You may file claims for eligible dependent care expenses against your account balance for expenses you incur until your DCAP account is exhausted. Claims can be filed with dates of service through the end of the 2.5 month extension. All claims must be filed by October 15.
Note: employees leaving state service cannot pre-pay or have a pre-tax deduction lump sum taken from their last check for the balance of their current year plan contribution.