link to myflorida.com homepage
spacer
 
   

   

Health

State PPO

HMO

Life Insurance

Dental

Vision

Supplemental

   

Frequently Asked Questions on Reimbursement Accounts

Questions

1. What is a Flexible Spending Account (FSA)?

2. What is the benefit of having an FSA?

3. What kinds of FSAs are available to State of Florida employees?

4. What is a DCRA?

5. What is an MRA?

6. What is an LPMRA?

7. What is the difference between an FSA and an HSA?

8. How do I get one of these FSAs?

9. How much money should I set aside?

10. I know I will have a major medical expense in January. Will an MRA still help me since I contribute all year?

11. Are there any risks to using the FSAs?

12. How long before I am reimbursed for expenses?

13. How many myMRA debit cards can I get? Can my dependents use them?

14. How do I monitor my available balances?

15. What happens if I have more expenses than I set aside in my FSA?


Answers

1. What is a Flexible Spending Account (FSA)?

FSAs, also called Reimbursement Accounts, allow you to set aside part of your paycheck, before the state deducts taxes, to pay for certain medical expenses and/or dependent care expenses.

(back to top)


2. What is the benefit of having an FSA?

Tax Savings--Because the state deducts the money from your paycheck for your FSA before it deducts payroll taxes, you reduce your total taxable income. Additionally, you do not pay income tax on the reimbursements from your FSA when you use them to pay for eligible expenses.

(back to top)


3. What kinds of FSAs are available to State of Florida employees?

You can choose from a:

  • Dependent Care Reimbursement Account (DCRA)
  • Medical Reimbursement Account (MRA)
  • Limited Purpose Medical Reimbursement Account (LPMRA)
If you have eligible dependents, you can have both a DCRA and an MRA/LPMRA. Read detailed information on the MyFlorida.com/MyBenefits website.

(back to top)


4. What is a DCRA?

Use this account for eligible dependent care expenses, such as daycare, you pay to take care of a qualified dependent. You use this account for dependent care expenses only, not health care expenses. The money accumulates in your DCRA account as it is deducted from your paycheck each pay period. Your DCRA account reimburses you only up to the amount available in your account.

(back to top)


5. What is an MRA?

Use this account for your out-of-pocket eligible medical, dental or vision services or products, as well as eligible pharmacy products. If you enroll in a health plan through State Group Insurance, you must choose a standard plan. Members of health investor health plans (high deductible plans) are not eligible for an MRA. Visit MyFlorida.com/MyBenefits for partial lists of eligible health care expenses.

(back to top)


6. What is an LPMRA?

You can use this account for only your eligible dental, vision and preventive care expenses not covered by your health plan. You must be enrolled in a Health Investor Health Plan and a Health Savings Account (HSA). Federal tax law allows you to have an LPMRA only if you have an HSA. Use the HSA for all other medical expenses.

(back to top)


7. What is the difference between an FSA and an HSA?

You are eligible for an HSA only if you are enrolled in a Health Investor (high deductible) Health Plan, and you and your covered dependents do not have other health coverage. You can use the HSA to pay limited out-of-pocket expenses: medical and prescription drug costs, dental and vision services that are not covered under your insurance, deductibles and coinsuranceónow or in the future. For active employees, the State of Florida contributes to your HSA (when you open an HSA bank account at Tallahassee State Bank), and you can contribute additional money from your pretax wages. The state does not contribute to FSAs. If you leave state employment, you can take your HSA balance with you, and there is no annual deadline to use the funds in your HSA account.

(back to top)


8. How do I get one of these FSAs?

There are four basic steps to getting an FSA:

    1. Enroll in the FSAs you are eligible to participate in during Open Enrollment (September 27 through October 22 in 2010 for 2011 benefits).
    2. Through payroll deduction, contribute pretax money to your account(s). Deductions begin in your first paycheck of the plan year.
    3. Pay out of pocket, or for eligible medical expenses, use your myMRA debit card beginning in January 2011.
    4. Submit claims (non-debit card expenses) and your FSA reimburses you for your eligible out-of-pocket expenses until you spend your designated funds. Use the FSA Claim form at MyFlorida.com/MyBenefits.

(back to top)


9. How much money should I set aside?

To open an FSA, you need to set aside at least $60 a year and up to $5,000 a year, per household. Itís important to figure carefully how much you want to withhold from your paycheck and how much you will need for eligible expenses. Use the Reimbursement Account Estimator Tools at MyFlorida.com/MyBenefits to help you plan your flexible spending expenses for the year.

(back to top)


10. I know I will have a major medical expense in January. Will an MRA still help me since I contribute all year?

Yes, the entire amount in your MRA is available at the beginning of the plan year (January 1), so you can use your debit card or submit a claim, even before the state withholds your regular contribution from your paycheck. Once you incur the expense, file your claim to be reimbursed.

(back to top)


11. Are there any risks to using the FSAs?

FSAs are ďuse it, or lose itĒ accounts. You have from Jan. 1 of the current plan year until March 15 of the next plan year to incur eligible expenses. Then by April 15 of the next plan year, you must submit all claims for all the money in your account. Any money you do not spend is not returned to you. Itís important to figure carefully how much you want to withhold from your paycheck and how much you will need for eligible expenses. Use the Reimbursement Account Estimator Tools at MyFlorida.com/MyBenefits.com to help you plan your flexible spending expenses for the year

(back to top)


12. How long before I am reimbursed for expenses?

Beginning in January 2011, MRA and LPMRA participants can use debit cards to pay some health care expenses. Similar to using a checking account debit card, present your myMRA debit card at the doctorís office or pharmacy, and the provider deducts the amount from your account. Some health care expenses require you to submit paper claims, or if you donít have your debit card with you, you can file paper claims later. DCRA participants must mail or fax completed FSA Claim Forms to the People First Service Center for claims processing. If the expenses are eligible, you usually receive payment within two weeks through direct deposit.

(back to top)


13. How many myMRA debit cards can I get?Can my dependents use them?

Each MRA subscriber receives two debit cards. Your dependents can use them; however, it is important that you monitor your available balance.

(back to top)


14. How do I monitor my available balances?

Log in to People First, click Health & Insurance, then click Benefits Choices. The a to your account(s) is on the right under Helpful as.

(back to top)


15. What happens if I have more expenses than I set aside in my FSA?

Any eligible medical expenses beyond the amount you designated for your FSA are your full responsibility. You may be able to claim them on your income tax return. Work with your tax advisor to determine that.

(back to top)