Health Care FSA

Important Health Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Updates:

Recent COVID-19 relief legislation provides 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, as well as make mid-year election changes without a qualifying life event.

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

Visit the HealthEquity/WageWorks website or call HealthEquity/WageWorks at 877.924.3967 (TTY: 866.353.8058) for more information.

On this page:

Benefit Design

The Health Care FSA offers tax savings on eligible health care expenses for you and your eligible dependents (as defined by the Internal Revenue Code and the cafeteria plan) that are not covered as eligible expenses under any other health plan. You have access to the full amount of your annual election immediately.

The maximum amount you can contribute to a Health Care FSA in 2021 is $2,750. In addition, 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-19 relief legislation that the University has adopted.

As a reminder, the deadline to submit eligible expenses for reimbursement from your remaining 2019 Health Care FSAs has been extended for up to 60 days after the coronavirus (COVID-19) national health emergency is declared over by the federal government. Once the national health emergency is declared over and the 60 days has expired, up to $500 of any unused Health Care FSA funds from 2019 will be carried over to your 2020 Health Care FSA.

Eligible Expenses

Services and products that are medically necessary to treat a specific condition are usually considered eligible health care expenses. In addition, beginning in 2020, over-the-counter products, such as aspirin, allergy and stomach medications, including menstrual products, are also eligible to be reimbursed. Please note that certain over-the-counter medications purchased before Dec. 31, 2019 will still require a prescription/letter of medical necessity in order to be reimbursed through your 2019 Health Care FSA.

Only the portion of the cost not covered by other insurance is eligible for reimbursement. Cosmetic or non-medical expenses are not eligible. The HealthEquity/WageWorks website has a searchable database of eligible health care expenses. This list will help you appropriately budget your Health Care FSA each year.

Reimbursement Process

HealthEquity/WageWorks offers Health Care FSA participants a variety of ways to manage their accounts and receive reimbursements, including an automatic reimbursement option. If you enable this feature, generally, your member cost-sharing paid for a Syracuse University medical, prescription, dental or vision claim is forwarded from our claims administrators to HealthEquity/WageWorks and you will be automatically reimbursed. If you choose this option, in most situations, you do not have to save receipts or complete any claim forms to receive reimbursement from your Health Care FSA for these expenses.

Important Note Regarding Domestic Partners: Expenses for your domestic partner and/or their children are not eligible for reimbursement under your Health Care FSA unless they qualify as your dependents for federal income tax purposes. Therefore, to prevent receiving an overpayment which may result in adverse tax consequences, you should not activate the automatic reimbursement feature if you cover a domestic partner.

You may enroll in automatic reimbursement through MySlice when you first enroll as a newly benefits-eligible individual or during the annual Open Enrollment period. Should you wish to activate or waive these periods, please contact HR Shared Services to request assistance.

Filing a Claim

If you have not elected the automatic reimbursement option or have a health care expense that cannot be submitted through the automatic reimbursement option, there are three alternative methods you can use to submit your claims for reimbursement:

  • EZ Receipts App: Allows you to file your claim from your smart phone or other mobile device.
  • FSA Online Account: Log into the secure website to submit a claim and view all of your account information.
  • Pay Me Back Paper Claim Form [PDF]: Complete the paper form and mail or fax your submission to HealthEquity/WageWorks with your receipts. Reimbursements will be sent to you via paper check as a default, but you can enroll in direct deposit online through your HealthEquity/WageWorks account.

Submitting your claim electronically eliminates the need to save paper receipts. Set up direct deposit of your reimbursements with HealthEquity/WageWorks to get your money even faster and avoid the hassle of taking a paper check to the bank.

Claim Filing Deadline: You will have until Apr. 30 of the following plan year to submit claims for expenses incurred during the plan year, which runs from Jan. 1 (or your enrollment date, if later) through Dec. 31.

If your participation in the FSA ends during 2020 or 2021 and you still have funds remaining in your account, you may choose to continue participation under COBRA by continuing to make contributions on an after-tax basis.  This will allow you to submit claims for services incurred after your last date worked. If you are not eligible, or choose not to continue your FSA under COBRA, you will be able to submit claims for expenses incurred through the end of the calendar year in which your participation ended and such reimbursements will be limited to only unused contributions.

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 election 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.


Every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained within this website is accurate. However, the 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.