Office of the Provost

Flexible Spending Accounts

The University offers several different flexible spending accounts to help meet employees’ needs.  These accounts are designed to reimburse employees for specified expenses.  Employees designate an amount of salary reduction contribution for the plan year on a pre-tax basis.  This has the effect of reducing their taxable income.

It is critical to consider current tax regulations for flexible spending accounts and to plan accordingly.

Health Care Spending Accounts:  allow participants to be reimbursed for a wide variety of health-related expenses not covered by medical, dental, or vision insurance. In general, these expenses include any item allowable as a medical deduction on a Federal Income Tax return.  Deductibles, co-payments, and amounts in excess of plan allowances or maximums may also be claimed.  However, the same expenses cannot be claimed as a medical deduction on one’s Federal Income Tax return.  Health care expenses may be reimbursed through the submission of a paper claim to a third-party administrator or through the use of a debit card, known commonly as the "Benny Card."

Dependent Care Spending Accounts permit reimbursement for allowable day care expenses incurred for the care of eligible dependents, to enable the employee to work outside the home. Generally, reimbursable dependent care expenses include charges for day care centers and some aspects of nursery schools, or charges for individuals (other than dependents or spouse), who provide care for  dependent(s) in or outside of the home.

Parking Reimbursement Account:  Employees may submit eligible expenses incurred for work-related parking.  This includes parking in a non-University lot that is located near their work.  University lease costs taken out on a pre-tax basis do not qualify.

Mass Transportation Account:  Expenses for qualified vanpools not operated by the University and other mass transit expenses for commuting to and from work are eligible for reimbursement from this account.