When you enroll in a flexible benefits plan, you agree to contribute a portion of your salary to pay for qualified benefits. Because you never receive that portion of your salary, it’s not considered wages for federal income tax purposes. That money goes directly into the account you specify and can be used according to the IRS rules.
To be eligible, you must be an active, full-time employee. You have thirty (30) days from the date of hire to decide to enroll. If you do not enroll after 30 days of your hire date, you can enroll during next year’s annual enrollment or after an IRS qualifying life event like childbirth or marriage.
Both the General-Purpose FSA and the Limited-Purpose FSA plan options also allow you to be reimbursed for medical expenses for your dependent children up to age 27.
You select an option and elect a contribution amount for the plan year. The minimum and the maximum are determined each year by the I.R.S. For 2019 plan year, the minimum was $600 and the maximum was $2550 for the General-Purpose FSA and Limited-Purpose FSA. You will receive a Visa debit card, which is your FSA card, and it works like a debit card for your flexible spending account. Your pre-tax money is in your account and can be used to pay for eligible expenses at your doctor’s office, pharmacy or other provider. The election is like a loan and monies are immediately available for the General-Purpose FSA and Limited-Purpose FSA. A per pay period amount is taken out of your check and placed into your account.