Flexible Spending Accounts

Important Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Updates:

The recent COVID-19 relief and American Rescue Plan Act legislation provide employees with flexibility in managing FSA elections for 2020 and 2021. Options are detailed below, including but not limited to the ability to carry over all unused funds to the next year, make mid-year election changes without a qualifying life event, and contribute up to $10,500 to a Dependent Care FSA in 2021.

Syracuse University offers eligible employees the opportunity to contribute pre-tax dollars to Health Care and Dependent Care FSAs administered by HealthEquity/WageWorks.

The Health Care FSA can be used to pay for eligible health care expenses such as copays, deductibles, prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications, dental exams and treatment, eyeglasses and contact lenses. If you elect a Health Care FSA, you can spend the funds on expenses for yourself, your spouse and your children, or other individuals that you claim as dependents on your tax return. Neither you nor your family members need to be enrolled in the Syracuse University health plan, or even enrolled in the same health plan.

The Dependent Care FSA can be used to pay for daycare and related expenses for a dependent child or adult so that you and your spouse/domestic partner can work or attend school.

Maximum Contribution

In 2021, the maximum amount you can contribute is $2,750 to a Health Care FSA and $10,500 per household to a Dependent Care FSA.

Carryover of Unused Funds

All unused funds from both 2020 and 2021 will carry over and be available for use in the next year. This opportunity is provided under temporary COVID relief legislation that the University has adopted.

Filing a Claim

The deadline to submit claims for expenses incurred during the plan year, which runs from Jan. 1 (or your enrollment date, if later) through Dec. 31, is normally Apr. 30 of the following plan year.

However, due to the COVID-19 national health emergency, certain regulations regarding plan administration deadlines have been suspended to give participants more time to file claims for benefits under a Health Care FSA. The Dependent Care FSA is still subject to the Apr. 30 claim filing deadline. If you have questions about the deadline for submitting Health Care FSA claims, please contact HealthEquity/WageWorks at 877.924.3967 (TTY: 866.353.8058).

For 2020 and 2021, if you end your participation in a Health Care FSA mid-year, reimbursements will be allowed for eligible health care expenses incurred through the end of the calendar year in which your participation ended and reimbursements will be limited to only unused contributions. As a reminder, this is already allowed for Dependent Care FSAs.

Changing Your Election

Typically, you can make your elections when you first become benefits-eligible, during a qualified family status change, or during Open Enrollment each year. Recent COVID-19 relief legislation provides you with the opportunity to change your Health and Dependent Care FSA elections for 2021 without experiencing a qualified family status change. Allowable changes must be made on a prospective basis and include new elections, as well as increases or decreases to existing FSA elections.

If an election is made to reduce your Health Care FSA contribution, the reduced contribution must be no less than the claims that have already been reimbursed or approved for reimbursement. If you wish to make a change to your 2021 FSA election or have any questions, please contact HR Shared Services at 315.443.4042.

Contact HealthEquity/WageWorks at 877.924.3967 (TTY: 866.353.8058) or HR Shared Services at 315.443.4042 should you have any questions on these benefits or the new COVID-19 relief legislation and how it may apply to you.

Types of Flexible Spending Accounts

Helpful Tips

Interactive FSA Tax Savings Calculators

Important FSA Forms


Every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained within this website is accurate. However, benefits are governed by legal documents (which, in certain circumstances, may include insurance contracts). If there is any difference between the information in this website and the official documents, the official documents will control. As is the case with all of Syracuse University’s employee benefit plans, the University reserves the right to modify or terminate these benefits at any time.