Flexible Spending Accounts

What is a Flexible Spending Account (FSA)?

Regular full-time or regular part-time employees can set aside pre-tax dollars for reimbursement of health care expenses not paid by the insurance plans or dependent care. A fixed amount determined by the employee is withheld from your paycheck before deductions for income and social security taxes are calculated, and kept in an account. Checks are produced weekly to reimburse employees for their submitted eligible expenses. Employees who choose to participate in the flexible spending accounts must keep in mind that the money deposited must be used during the plan year or it will be forfeited, as described below.

The plan offers two different spending accounts:

1) for the reimbursement of health care expenses (excluding insurance premiums). Maximum allowed is $3,200 for the plan year (1/1/2024 - 12/31/2024). If you will be enrolling mid-year, this amount may be pro-rated based on the number of months you are eligible to participate.

2) for the reimbursement of dependent care expenses. Maximum allowed will be $5,000 ($2,500 if filing jointly) for plan year (1/1/2024 - 12/31/2024).

These accounts are administered by HSA Bank. If you need assistance, please reach out to the HSA Bank Client Assistance Center by calling toll free at 1 (800) 357-6246. This line is available 24 hours per day. More online tools are available, please register online at: HSABank.com.

An annual Open Enrollment period allows employees to re-enroll or make changes in their spending accounts. Changes are not allowed outside Open Enrollment unless the employee experiences a life status change such as: marriage or divorce; birth or adoption of a child; termination or commencement of a spouse's employment; death of a spouse or child; loss of eligible status for employee benefits.

Re-enrollment is required each year for participation in the next plan year.

The plan year is from January 1st to December 31st with an additional two and a half month grace period for medical, dental, vision and dependent care expenses. The deadline to incur expenses is March 15th and all reimbursement requests must be submitted to HSA Bank by March 31st.

See "How the Plan Works" below for more information.

Table of Contents

How the Plan Works

During Open Enrollment, an employee who chooses to participate in a flexible spending account elects the monthly dollar amount for pretax payroll reduction. This amount is deposited into the flexible spending account on a monthly basis. After the employee incurs eligible out of pocket expenses, you may submit a copy of an itemized receipt or Explanation of Benefits (EOB) along with a claim form to HSA Bank for reimbursement from the account. Alternately, for the healthcare flexible spending account only, the employee may obtain a debit card that will come preloaded with the employee's chosen annual election. As always, the employees that participate in flexible spending are required to keep all receipts for these qualified purchases - but in the case of the debit card user, they only need to turn them in to HSA Bank when requested.

Expenses are claimed based on the date services were provided, not on the date services are paid. Qualified expenses incurred during the plan year (January 1 - December 31) are reimbursable. In addition, a grace period has been instated which allows the employee to continue incurring qualified expenses through March 15 as part of the previous plan year. Expenses incurred must be filed as claims prior to March 15th, each plan year. Any expenses incurred for flexible spending that have not been submitted for reimbursement by March 31st are considered unclaimed funds and will be forfeited.

Health Care Flexible Spending Account

This account allows employees to set aside pre-tax dollars for out-of-pocket medical, prescription and dental expenses (amounts that have not already been paid or reimbursed by insurance) such as deductibles and coinsurance, copayments, vision expenses and other health care related expenses. Over-the-counter medications (except insulin) are no longer eligible for reimbursement. Over-the-counter medications with a prescription, will continue to be reimbursable through your flexible spending account.

Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account

This account allows an employee to pay for child care or for the care of a disabled child or elderly dependent parent living with the employee, with pre-tax dollars. Because total family income is one factor in determining whether this plan will provide favorable tax treatment over the current child care tax credit, please review examples provided in the Flexible Spending Account Summary Plan Description or contact a qualified tax professional.

Limited Purpose Flexible Spending Account

SPU offers a limited purpose FSA that can be used for dental and vision expenses only. This is the only FSA option that can be used by employees who also have a Health Savings Account (HSA).

Why would I wanted to have a limited FSA and an HSA?

  1. Having a limited FSA along with your HSA can allow you to maximize your tax savings! For example, if you anticipate that you will have dental and/or vision expenses this plan year (January - December), you can defer up to $3,200 into your limited FSA, save the taxes on those expenses and let that money accumulate in your HSA for future use.
  2. Once you reach the minimum deductible for medical expenses, the monies in your limited FSA can be used for medical expenses as well after that date. This is helpful if you anticipate medical costs that will end up exceeding the deductible.

What if I terminate?

  • Both the Health Care and Limited Purpose FSA will terminate based on the last date of employment, and expenses incurred after this date will not be eligible for reimbursement.  If your withholdings exceed your reimbursement at the time you separate from SPU, you may choose to continue to participate through COBRA.  Please contact human resources for more information.

Premium Only Plan

Seattle Pacific University makes it possible to pay benefit premiums such as medical, dental and vision with pretax dollars through the Premium Only Plan. Participation is automatic unless the employee completes a waiver form.

During the annual Open Enrollment employees are automatically re-enrolled in the Premium Only Plan, unless the employee completes a waiver form at that time. 


 FSA's are administered by HSA Bank. Forms may be printed and sent in manually or filled in online and emailed. Please see www.HSABank.com for complete submission options available to you.

HSA Bank Contact Information

As of January 1, 2021 HSA Bank is the new administrator of all the tax-favored accounts offered through the University. Whether an eligible employee chooses the HSA or HRA medical plan choice, Aetna provides only the underlying medical plan coverage for all. It is the actual FSA, HSA, and HRA accounts that are administered by HSA Bank.

HSA Bank Client Assistance Center: 1 (800) 357-6246

This line is available 24 hours per day.

Online Tools: please register online at: HSABank.com