Flexible Benefits (FSAs)
State and Higher Education only
A medical FSA, limited purpose FSA (L-FSA) and dependent care FSA (DC-FSA) help you budget for expenses while reducing taxable income. If you are a State or Higher Education employee, you can contribute to a medical FSA, L-FSA, or DC-FSA with ParTNers for Health (offline state agencies are not eligible).
Find out ways you can use your funds so you don't lose them.
Learn about eligible health care expenses for your FSA.
Enroll in an Optum Bank Academy course on how to plan and save with your FSA.
What is an FSA?
A medical FSA reimburses you for health care expenses for you and your eligible dependents. Eligible expenses include medical, dental, vision, hearing and prescription drug expenses. You can also use FSA funds to pay for copays, coinsurance and over-the-counter (OTC) items.
How a dependent care FSA works
A dependent care flexible spending account (DC-FSA) can help you put aside dollars, income tax-free, for the care of children under the age of 13 or for dependent adults who can’t care for themselves. Your account is funded by payroll deductions before taxes. That money may help pay for a variety of services, including day care, nursery school, preschool, after-school or senior day care.
Unlike a medical FSA or L-FSA, where your full election amount is available to you at the beginning of the year, only your to-date contributions to your dependent care account are available to you. That means you may only spend the balance that you have in your account at any point in time.
How a limited purpose FSA works
A limited purpose flexible spending account (L-FSA) is a great companion to a health savings account (HSA), which you may use to pay for unforeseen qualified medical expenses. The L-FSA is just that — it has a limited purpose. It reimburses you for dental and vision expenses. You can easily pay for services at dental or vision clinics that accept Mastercard® with your Optum Bank debit Mastercard®. If you have elected the L-FSA (and once you meet your plan’s deductible) your account will transition to a medical FSA. If you have both a L-FSA and an HSA and use your debit card for a vision or dental expense, Optum Bank will automatically pull funds from your L-FSA before using your HSA funds.
Important information on the CARES Act
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act contains important updates to the use of flexible spending accounts. Certain over-the-counter (OTC) drugs and medications, as well as menstrual care products, are now considered qualified medical expenses, without the need for a physician prescription. You may use your FSA funds to pay for these products.
For FSAs, you can use your account funds to purchase these products starting today. Use your Optum Bank payment Mastercard® as you normally would for these purchases. Individual merchants, like pharmacies and convenience stores, must update their point of sale (POS) system to now recognize these products as qualified medical expenses for FSA. If their system is not updated and the sale doesn’t process, you can pay out of pocket with the option to reimburse yourself with account funds. As a reminder, keep your itemized receipt or explanations of benefits, which are needed to verify each purchase so you can be reimbursed. To submit a claim for reimbursement, sign in to your account and select "File a Claim" from the "I want to" section.
Both provisions for OTC and menstrual products apply to amounts paid or expenses incurred on or after January 1, 2020, and are ongoing without an expiration date.
Don't leave money behind
Your health care FSA funds are available on day one of your plan. It’s important to understand that in most cases FSAs do have a “use it or lose it” rule. That means you would lose any money left in your account at the end of the plan year.
Your plan offers a runout period, which means you have until April 30 to submit claims incurred for the previous plan year. For medical FSA and L-FSA participants, your plan has a rollover feature. Your balance, up to $500, will be rolled into the new plan year.
If you terminate your employment during the plan year or otherwise cancel your participation in the plan due to a qualifying event, check your FSA, L-FSA, and/or DC-FSA balance(s). You’ll have 90 days after your termination date to submit claims for eligible expenses. Any funds left in your account(s) after the 90 days are forfeited.
Getting started with your FSA
This document can be used to help you determine which expenses may be eligible for reimbursement under your medical FSA.
Enroll in the Optum Bank Academy course that helps explain the benefits of an FSA and how to use it.
It’s important to understand the “use it or lose it” rule for FSAs. That means you would lose any money left in your account at the end of the plan year.