COVID-19: Changes to HRA, HSA and FSA rules
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act signed into law as of March 27, 2020, contains important provisions that will affect Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRAs), Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs).
New reimbursable expenses
Under the CARES Act, you can now pay for or receive reimbursement for:
- Over-the-counter drugs and medicines without a doctor’s prescription.
- Menstrual care products (now considered a qualified medical expense) through an FSA, HRA or HSA. All expenses incurred after December 31, 2019, qualify, and the provision has no expiration date.
UC’s HSA and FSA administrators are working to update their plan documents and websites to reflect these changes. Please note that you may not be able to use your HSA or FSA debit card to purchase these newly-qualified items until retailers have updated their systems. Remember to keep your receipts so you can submit claims for reimbursement.
Eligible FSA enrollment and contribution changes
Under the CARE Act, you can enroll, disenroll or change contribution amounts to Health and Dependent Care FSAs if your status changes because of the COVID-19 epidemic. Note: You must request a change to your FSA within 30 days of your change in status (for example, the date your spouse became unemployed or your child stopped attending daycare).
If your spouse loses a job and eligibility for their employer’s Health FSA plan due to the pandemic, you may enroll in UC’s Health FSA plan or update your contribution amount.
Dependent care FSAs
If your child’s school closes and you need to purchase daycare so that you can work, you can enroll in the Dependent Care FSA or increase your election.
If your child’s daycare closes and you don’t need daycare while you’re working from home, you can decrease or cancel your FSA election. If you reduce your annual contribution to the amount you’ve already contributed this year, you will have through the end of the year to use any remaining funds in your account. If you disenroll from your FSA, you may only be reimbursed for expenses from Jan. 1 (or your start date) through the date you stop participating – unless you enroll again promptly once your situation returns to normal.
Once your work schedule and childcare expenses return to normal, you will once again be eligible to make changes to your FSA elections — reducing or increasing your expenses, or enrolling or disenrolling in the plan.
How to request FSA changes
Log in to UCPath Online and complete the Health Benefits Enrollment Form for Life Event (PDF) to change your FSA enrollment or contribution. In section 2, for your qualifying life event, select “Other – Explain.” Write in “COVID-19.” Once your form is complete, submit it as a secure message on UCPath.
Your Health FSA
If you have an HSA, you can change your contribution at any time, and you have until April 15 to make contributions for the previous year. To make the change, contact UCPath via secure message, or your Benefits Office if you are not at a UCPath location.
Important note about 2019 plan year expenses
Though the April 15 tax filing date has been extended until July 15, 2020, the Health and Dependent Care FSA filing deadlines have not been extended. Remember to file claims for your eligible 2019 expenses by April 15, 2020.Tags: benefits, FSA, HRS, HSA, WageWorks