Health Care Flexible Spending Account & Dependent Care Assistance Program
Faculty, Professional and Scientific (P&S), Merit, and Pre/Postdoctoral employees with an appointment of 1/2 time or greater.
Note: Retired employees are not eligible.
What are Flexible Spending Accounts?
The health care flexible spending account (FSA) and dependent care assistance program (DCAP) can help you save money on medical and dependent care (typically child care) expenses that you are already incurring. Use these accounts to leverage your household’s savings. By contributing a portion of your pay into an FSA or DCAP on a pre-tax basis, you may save from 25% to 40% on the cost of eligible expenses you are already incurring.
There are two types of tax-free accounts:
- Health Care FSA:
- Essential health care expenses that are not covered, or are partially covered, by your medical, dental and vision insurance plans
- Out-of-pocket health care expenses, including prescription drug costs, medical, dental, vision and hearing expenses and some approved over-the-count items
- Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP):
- Your child or dependent care expenses, including daycare, babysitting, in-home care for older dependents, and before and after school care expenses
Date Participation Begins
- Participation begins the first day of employment, provided you enroll by your assigned deadline.
- The initial enrollment covers expenses incurred from employment date through December 31. Once you receive the Welcome Letter from ASIFlex, incurred expenses may be claimed.
Mid-Year – Family Status Change:
- Participation begins first of the month following the qualifying event.
- Participation begins January 1
- Reminder: if you have any funds remaining at the end of the year, up to $550 will carry over to the next plan year.
Once a spending account is elected the employee contribution will continue through the end of that plan year unless a qualifying life event allows a change.
FSA or DCAP by Election
Accounts are created by contributing your own funds by pre-tax payroll deduction.
Health Care Flexible Spending Account:
- If you decide to enroll, estimate anticipated out-of-pocket medical, prescription drug, dental and/or vision expenses for the year (effective date through December 31).
- If you do not incur the total expense prior to December 31 or claim all out-of-pocket expenses by April 30, the health care plan allows a maximum of $550 in unused health care contributions to be carried over to the next plan year. The carry-over amount will be available to claim after April 30, adding to the current year available funds.
- If you do not incur expenses for the full amount during the plan year (effective date through December 31), federal regulations mandate that remaining funds, beyond the $550 carry over amount, may not be refunded to the employee. Iowa State University uses forfeited funds to help defray the administrative costs of the plan.
Dependent Care Assistance Program:
- If you decide to enroll, estimate anticipated dependent care expenses for the year (effective date through December 31). The total must divide evenly by the number of months you are paid.
- If you do not incur expenses for the full amount during the plan year (effective date through December 31), federal regulations mandate that remaining funds may not be refunded to the employee. Iowa State University uses forfeited funds to help defray the administrative costs of the plan.
- New 2021 Claims Grace Period: ISU's dependent care assistance program (DCAP) will have a "grace period" that extends the amount of time to incur a claim to March 15. Under ISU's current program, only claims incurred during the calendar year are eligible for reimbursement. The change provides an additional 2.5 months to incur a reimbursable claim. Employees who did not enroll in DCAP for 2021 still have access to any unused funds from the 2020 plan year during the grace period.
When you enroll in the FSA and/or DCAP, Iowa State University will deduct the amount you designate from your pay in pre-tax dollars. Anyone whose annual budgeted salary is paid on a 9- or 10-month basis will have 10 equal contributions, otherwise you will have 12 equal contributions.
ISU requires a minimum contribution of $240 per year.
- For FSA: ISU allows you to participate up to the annual maximum contribution limit of $2,750.00 per year.
- For DCAP: ISU allows you to participate up to the annual maximum contribution limit of $5,000.00 per year per tax household.
- The amount you contribute to your spending account is tax-exempt.
- You will not pay Federal or State Income tax or Social Security or Medicare tax on this money.
Changing Your Election
Once you have established your FSA and/or DCAP elections for the plan year, you may not change your elections except within 31 days of a “family status change,” and changes must be compatible to the event. The Internal Revenue Service specifically defines a “family status change” as:
- Death of your spouse or dependent
- Birth or adoption of a child
- Change in child custody
- Change in you or your spouse’s employment status
If you qualify to change your elections due to an event, contact the University Human Resources Service Center by calling 515-294-4800 / 877-477-7485 and ask to speak to a Benefits Consultant to obtain the appropriate form. Remember you must do this within the 31-day timeframe.
- Estimate anticipated out-of-pocket medical, prescription drug, dental, vision and/or eligible over-the-counter item expenses for the year.
- Using the FSA to pay for expenses will reduce your out-of-pocket costs significantly.
- Estimate anticipated dependent care expenses for the year.
Your personal tax rate may vary, and your savings will vary according to your net tax rate. Use the Tax Savings Calculator found at http://isu.asiflex.com to estimate your savings.
The total must be divided evenly by the number of months you are paid (employees whose annual budgeted salary is paid on a 9- or 10-month basis will have 10 equal deductions).
- ASIFlex will process Iowa State University employee reimbursement requests.
- Reimbursements will not begin until the first payroll contributions are reported - submit claims after that date.
- You will have until April 30 of the next calendar year to submit a reimbursement request for qualified previous plan year expenses.
- The FSA and DCAP are two separate accounts. If you have funds remaining in one account at the end of the plan year, those funds cannot be transferred to the other account.
- Carry Over Provision – after April 30, the health care plan allows a maximum of $550 in unused heath care contributions to be rolled over to the next plan year. The carry-over amount will be available to claim after that date, adding to the current year funds.
- Funds are reimbursed to you when you file a claim for yourself and any eligible dependents.
Claim Submission Options:
- Online – https://my.asiflex.com
- Submitting your claim online is easy and convenient! In order to submit your claim via ASIFlex’s secure online portal, you will need to create a login and password. Once you are in the portal, you are allowed to use your University ID to access your account.
- Toll-free fax – (877) 879-9038
This option provides easy and fast claims submission. You may submit your claim via ASIFlex’s toll-free fax number 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- US Mail
P.O. Box 6044, Columbia, MO 65205
- Additional claim forms may be obtained by visiting http://isu.asiflex.com.
How will I receive reimbursement?
- ASIFlex will mail a check to your home address
- Direct Deposit: By electing to receive reimbursements via direct deposit, you will receive your money up to 5 days faster than waiting for a check to be mailed to your home address. Direct deposit enrollment forms can be found on ASIFlex website
Automatic Reimbursement! Available when enrolled in the ISU medical, prescription drug and dental plans. If you choose to sign up to have claims rollover from your ISU medical, prescription and dental provider to ASIFlex, you will not be required to submit reimbursement requests for eligible deductible, co-insurance and co-pay expenses that are processed through the insurance carrier. These eligible expenses will be automatically transmitted to ASIFlex, who will then initiate reimbursement to you automatically for these expenses. To sign up for this service (or to cancel it) please complete the Claims Rollover Authorization Form found on the ASI Flex website.
Go Paperless! Sign up to receive notifications from ASIFlex via email, rather than US Mail. By signing up for email notification, you will receive reimbursement notifications, account summary statements and more within one day of processing. Online Account Detail and the Secure Message Center are available 24 hours, 7 days a week at https://my.asiflex.com. Complete history, including available funds, year-to-date contributions, year-to-date reimbursements and more are available at online account detail.
Self-service mobile app! It is free to download and use. Just go to the Google Play Store for Android devices or App Store for Apple devices and search for ASIFlex. Or you can scan the appropriate code from the ASIFlex website: http://isu.asiflex.com. Use your phone/tablet to review your account and file claims. No need to scan or copy your receipt – simply use the app to take a picture with your device’s camera.
The FSA and DCAP accounts are active employee benefits. If you terminate your employment with Iowa State University, your contribution into either of the flexible spending accounts will terminate at the end of the month in which your employment ends.
- DCAP does not have a COBRA option.
- FSA - You may elect COBRA coverage. This option allows you to extend your period of participation on a monthly basis up to the remainder of the plan year, but tax savings is eliminated. If you elect COBRA you pay the full monthly contribution and an administration fee.
- A COBRA application will be mailed to your home address to continue the FSA.
- Without COBRA, you may request reimbursement only for charges for services incurred prior to your plan termination. You must request reimbursement by April 30 of the following year.
End of-Year Funds
The health care plans allow a maximum of $550 in unused health care contributions to be carried over to the next plan year. Funds may not be rolled over into another account nor may they be refunded to employees. Expenses must be incurred prior to December 31, and all out-of-pocket claims must be filed by April 30. Forfeited funds are used by Iowa State University to help defray the administrative costs of the plan.