Save money for eligible expenses with an FSA

Flexible Spending Accounts


Overview

To help UVA employees maximize their money for medical, pharmacy, dental, vision, and dependent-care expenses, the University has two options: Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) and Dependent Daycare Reimbursement Accounts.

  • The Health Care FSA can be used to pay medical, pharmacy, dental and vision expenses 
  • The Dependent Care Account FSA can be used to pay dependent care expenses 

FSAs make it possible for you to pay for certain expenses on a pre-tax basis. 

All Health Plan participants may have some form of an FSA, but Basic Health participants may only have a Limited FSA for eligible dental and vision expenses. 

UVA FSAs, including Dependent Daycare Reimbursement Accounts, are managed by Chard Snyder. Any reimbursements you receive from Chard Snyder must be deposited directly into your personal checking or savings account. FSAs for new hires and those newly eligible for an FSA are effective on the first of the month following the submission of the enrollment request in Workday.

Types of Accounts

Expand the items below to learn more about the various types of savings accounts. 

A Flexible Spending Account makes it possible for you to pay for certain expenses on a pre-tax basis, which makes your money go farther. 

  • Full Flexible Spending Account (FSA)

    • May be used by Choice and Value Health participants
    • Helps offset out-of-pocket health care expenses, such as copayments, deductibles, coinsurance, and certain over-the-counter medications
    • Full amount of annual contributions available after your first paycheck of 2022
  • Limited Flexible Spending Account (LMT)

    • Available for Basic Health participants
    • Helps offset out-of-pocket dental and vision care expenses; may be used in combination with a health savings account
    • Full amount of annual contributions available after your first paycheck of 2022
  • Dependent Daycare Reimbursement Account

    • Funds available after they have been put into your account (meaning the amount increases as additional contributions come from your paychecks)
    • May be more beneficial than the federal dependent care tax credit for most individuals whose adjusted gross income is greater than $25,000 (consult a tax professional for an assessment of your personal situation)

    For example, setting aside $5,000 in a Dependent Daycare Reimbursement account enables you to spend the whole $5,000 on daycare. Receiving the $5,000 in pay would leave roughly $3,500 after taxes for daycare expenses.

Eligibility

Some eligibility requirements are unique to each FSA; others apply to most, if not all, of the accounts.

  • Employment Status

    In general, to be eligible for FSAs (including Dependent Daycare Reimbursement Accounts), you must be a full- or part-time UVA employee, and regularly scheduled to work at least 20 hours/week. To be eligible for FSAs, you must be:

    • Faculty
    • Classified Staff
    • Medical Center Team Member
    • Postdoctoral Research Associate
    • Senior Professional Research Staff
    • University Staff
    • Housestaff

    Mandatory Direct Deposit: For all paper claims, direct deposit is required. If you are a new enrollee, you must provide direct information on your personal Chard Snyder account for reimbursement of all non-Benefit Card transactions. 

  • Health Plan Type

    UVA offers two types of FSA: Full and Limited. Your UVA Health Plan option determines which type of FSA you are eligible for.

    • Choice or Value Health participants may enroll in the Full FSA, which can be used for eligible medical, dental, and vision expenses.
    • Basic Health participants may enroll in the Limited FSA, which can be used for eligible dental and vision expenses. They can also enroll in a Health Savings Account, which can be used for eligible medical, dental, and vision expenses.
    • Salaried employees who work at least 20 hours/week and who waive UVA coverage may enroll in the full FSA, which can be used for eligible medical, dental and vision expenses.
  • Dependent Criteria

    To be eligible for a Dependent Daycare Reimbursement Account, your dependents must meet one of the following criteria:

    • Are under age 13 at the time of service and are claimed as dependents on your taxes.
    • Are unable to care for themselves, such as adult children with disabilities or elders. (These dependents are eligible regardless of age.)

    All dependents must live with you for more than half the year for you in order to use funds from a Dependent Daycare Reimbursement Account for their care.

    Note: A Dependent Daycare Reimbursement Account may be more beneficial, in terms of a tax benefit, than the federal dependent care tax credit for most individuals with an adjusted gross income > $25,000. Consult a tax professional for an assessment of your personal situation.

Contributions and grace periods

Money contributed to UVA FSAs must be used during that year, as funds do not roll over. FSAs and DCAs do have grace periods to spend the money beyond year’s end if you did not end your employment during the calendar year and are enrolled in the FSA or DCA program on December 31 of the plan year. You may continue to spend unused funds until March 15.* The deadline to submit claims is April 30. Since the money is use-or-lose, make sure you put aside an amount that will be reasonable for you to spend within the allotted time.

Keep in mind that contributions are for the calendar year, regardless of when you are hired. For example, consider an employee who is hired in October and signs up for an FSA. If the person chooses to contribute $500 for the remainder of that year, all $500 would need to be spent before the end of the grace period on March 15 of the following year.

If your Healthcare FSA or Dependent Care Account (DCA) employee deductions aren’t taken from your paychecks because you don’t have enough earnings, the missing deductions will be taken from future paychecks when you again have enough earnings to withhold FSA deductions. Workday will only take one additional missing FSA and/or DCA  deduction, per benefit, from each future paycheck in addition to any current deduction until all missing deductions are paid.

Changes to your FSA and DCA contributions can only be made during the annual Open Enrollment period each October or after a qualified life event like a loss of dependent eligibility or a birth or adoption. Review the Qualified Life Events and Requirement Documentation document for a list of life events and required documentation needed to request a change. Qualified life event change requests, along with appropriate documentation, must be submitted within 30 days of the life event and must be consistent with the life event. Coverage changes will be effective the first of the month following receipt of the application and documentation at UVA HR if received within 30 days of the qualified life event. If you elect to stop your FSA or DCA account, reimbursement will only be available for dates of service that occur on or prior to the end of the month in which you stop your account contributions. 

*Note: If you sign up for Basic Health with a Health Savings Account (HSA) during Open Enrollment after having a full FSA previously, your FSA balance needs to be $0.00 by December 31, regardless of the grace period, for your HSA to be open at the beginning of the next year. Visit the Basic Health HSA page for more information.

  • FSAs (for health, dental, and vision expenses)

    For both limited and full FSAs, the following annual contribution information is the same:

    Minimum: $120

    Maximum: $2,500

  • Dependent Daycare Reimbursement Accounts

    The following are the annual contribution limits:

    Minimum: $120

    Maximum: $5,000 (household limit)

    When choosing how much to contribute, try to anticipate dependent eligibility changes. For example, if your child will be turning 13 mid-year, plan your contributions accordingly so you don’t over-contribute for a full year of care.

  • Managing Contributions

    UVA’s FSAs and health savings accounts (HSAs) are managed by Chard Snyder.

    Full FSA

    The Full FSA contribution amount you choose for the year is available as soon as the account is open and after your first paycheck of the year. The flexibility to spend planned FSA contributions before they accrue can be helpful. Payroll deductions for the FSA would continue through the remainder of the year.

    For example, if you choose to put $500 in a limited health care FSA for the year, you would be able to use that full $500 for eligible dental and vision expenses after the first paycheck of the year. 

    FSAs opened during the year for new hires and qualified life events are effective the first of the month after the enrollment is processed. The full contribution amount you choose for the remainder of the year is available after your first benefits-deduction paycheck of the month in which coverage is effective.

    Dependent Daycare Reimbursement Account

    Dependent Daycare Reimbursement Account funds are available after they have been deposited in your account by payroll deductions each paycheck. It takes a few bank days after payday for payroll-deducted funds to show in your account.

    These funds must be used by the end of the calendar year. However, UVA has a grace period of 2 1/2 months. This allows you to spend FSA money through March 15 of the following year. After the grace period ends, you will lose any remaining money in your FSA account. 

    Mandatory Direct Deposit: For all paper claims, direct deposit is required. If you are a new enrollee, you must provide direct deposit information to Chard Snyder for reimbursement of all non-Benefit Card transactions. You can enter your direct deposit information on your personal Chard Snyder account or the Chard Snyder Mobile App. 

How do I use my FSA and/or Dependent Daycare Reimbursement Account?

UVA FSAs and Dependent Daycare Reimbursement Accounts are managed by Chard Snyder. After contributions are in your account, there are several ways to use those funds for eligible expenses:

  • Use your prepaid benefits card, the Benefit Card, at the time of purchase for eligible expenses. See below for more information about the Benefit Card.
  • Submit claims from your accounts online through Chard Snyder’s website or Chard Snyder Mobile App. 

Always remember to keep receipts for your records and to illustrate the funds were used properly - in the event of an IRS inquiry.

  • Register at www.Chard-Snyder.com

    The first time you use Chard Snyder to access your FSA or Dependent Daycare Reimbursement Account information, you will need to register.

    • Go to www.chard-snyder.com and click on “Login.” Under “Employees,” click on “Access your FSA, HRA, HSA Advantage, TRP accounts.”
    • Under “New User?” click on “Create your new username and password.”
    • Follow the prompts to create your username and password. You must provide your social security number or Employee ID (found on your UVA ID card), so have that information handy.
    • Begin using the Chard Snyder website to access your information.
  • Check your account balance, view transactions, and file claims

    To access your account information, and tools for spending FSA and/or Dependent Daycare Reimbursement Account funds, follow these steps:

    • Go to www.chard-snyder.com and click on “Login.” Under “Employees,” click on “Access your FSA, HRA, HSA Advantage, TRP accounts.”
    • Enter your login credentials.
    • Use buttons on the home screen or other pages you can navigate to from there to manage your account.
  • Use your Benefit card

    • When you open an FSA and/or a Dependent Daycare Reimbursement Account, you will receive your prepaid benefits card, the Benefit Card, in the mail to your home address. If you have had an account managed by Chard Snyder previously while working at UVA, you will reuse the same Benefit Card, even when changing your account type. Benefit Cards are reused from year to year.
    • Before using your Benefit Card, you must activate it following the included instructions.
    • Use the card to pay for eligible expenses. Benefit Cards are smart cards, meaning they will only work for allowable expenses. If you have more than one account, such as an FSA and a Dependent Daycare Reimbursement Account, the Benefit Card is usually smart enough to pull from the appropriate account.
    • To ensure funds have been used from the correct account, always confirm transactions by logging into the Chard Snyder portal.
    • Keep your receipts for your records and to illustrate the funds were used properly - in the event of an IRS inquiry.

    Using your Benefit Card

  • Eligible Expenses

    An eligible expense is any healthcare expense approved by the IRS for reimbursement through an FSA. Reimbursements are only issued for eligible expenses incurred by the employee, their spouse or their eligible dependents. Expenses that occur before the beginning of the FSA plan year are not eligible.

    Flexible Spending Account Eligible Expenses


    The Limited FSA allows dental, vision and preventative care expenses to be paid for on a tax-free basis. The expenses are limited so that an employee can be enrolled in a Health Savings Account at the same time. Reimbursements are only issued for eligible expenses incurred by the employee, their spouse or their eligible dependents. Expenses that occur before the beginning of the FSA plan year are not eligible.

    Limited Flexible Spent Account Eligible Expenses


    The Dependent Daycare FSA allows certain out-of-pocket daycare costs to be paid on a pre-tax basis. Services must be provided while the employee and their spouse are at work, looking for work or attending classes as a full-time student. Expenses that occur before the beginning of the FSA plan year are not eligible.

    Dependent Daycare FSA Eligible Expenses

    Find out more about what’s eligible and not eligible under your plan.

Leave-Related Changes

You can only contribute to a health care FSA during unpaid leave, not to a dependent care FSA.

If you want to receive reimbursements during unpaid leave, you must make after-tax contributions to your account; reimbursement is based on the total amount you elect for the year and will be paid on request.

If you did not cancel or request a change in participation before taking leave and you return in the same year, you will pay more monthly or biweekly to reach your annual contribution amount.

FAQs

  • Can I enroll in an FSA with Basic Health?

    Basic Health participants may have a limited FSA for eligible dental and vision expenses. For medical services and prescription costs, you must use HSA funds. Basic Health participants may not have a full health care FSA. Chard Snyder also administers UVA’s FSAs, so you can use the information above to login to see your FSA information as well as HSA details.

    For FSAs, the full contribution amount you choose for the year is available as soon as the account is open. For example, if you choose to put $500 in a limited health care FSA for the year, you would be able to use that full $500 for eligible dental and vision expenses after the first paycheck of the year. Payroll deductions for the FSA would continue through the remainder of the year.

  • What happens when I terminate my employment or FSA enrollment?

    What happens to the money in my account(s) if I terminate employment or enrollment in the FSA Program during the plan year?

    • For a dependent daycare FSA, if there is a balance in your account when your employment or enrollment ends, your benefit termination date is the last day of the month in which you terminate enrollment or employment. You can file claims for eligible daycare expenses incurred before your benefit termination date. You must file these claims before April 30th of the following calendar year. If you do not have any eligible expenses to be reimbursed, the balance in your account is forfeited.
    • For a healthcare FSA, if there is a balance in your account when your employment or enrollment ends, your benefit termination date is the last day of the month in which you terminate enrollment or employment. You can file claims for eligible health care expenses incurred before your benefit termination date. You must file these claims before April 30th of the following calendar year. If you do not have any eligible expenses to be reimbursed, the balance in your account is forfeited.
    • For a healthcare FSA, you may also elect to continue participation in the FSA Program until the end of the plan year as a COBRA participant.
      • You will be responsible for paying your current election, an account administrative fee, and the COBRA administrative fee of 2% on a monthly basis.
      • This monthly payment will be due on or before the first of each month through the end of the current plan year.
      • You will receive enrollment information from Chard Snyder if you are eligible for enrollment in a COBRA healthcare FSA.
  • Help me compare the health savings account and flexible savings account

    All active, benefits-eligible employees enrolled in Basic Health are able to have a Health Savings Account (HSA). Funds in your HSA can be used for eligible health care, dental, and vision expenses. Funds in these accounts roll over each year and are yours to keep for future health care costs.

    If you are enrolled in a Health Savings Account, you are not eligible for a Full Healthcare Flexible Spending Account, but you can enroll in a Limited and/or Dependent Daycare Flexible Spending Account to maximize your savings.

    A Flexible Spending Account (FSA), makes it possible for you to pay for certain expenses on a pre-tax basis, which makes your money go farther.

    Here are resources to help you learn more:

  • What is the grace period with FSAs and what expenses can be submitted during this period?

    A grace period provides you with an extra 2 1/2 months to spend last year's money. UVA offers a brief grace period into the following year, so you will have until March 15th to incur expenses. The deadline to submit claims is April 30th. 

    The Full Flexible Spending Account, Limited Flexible Spending Account, and Dependent Daycare Reimbursement Account do have grace periods to spend the money beyond year's end if you are enrolled in the FSA or DCA program on December 31st of the plan year. 

    The expenses must be used for eligible services and the expense must be incurred during the calendar year for which the account was opened or during the 2 1/2 month grace period from January 1st to March 15th of the following calendar year. The grace period is designed to give you an opportunity to incur expenses and use all the funds in your account if you contributed more than was actually needed for the calendar year. 

    If you are switching from Value Health or Choice Health to Basic Health and you have an FSA, then you will be closing your FSA. You will need to have a balance of $0.00 in your FSA by January 1, 2022 to open your HSA. Otherwise:

    • Your HSA cannot be opened, and you will not be able to make employee contributions until April 1, 2022
    • Deposited funds will become available for use on the third bank day after payday
    • You will not be able to use money in your account to cover any expenses incurred prior to April 1, 2022

    Understanding the UVA Benefit Savings Accounts

     

    What happens when a claim is rejected at the end of the year when switching from FSA to HSA? 

    If you have filed claims using your remaining FSA funds within the plans calendar year, there are times when some or all of a claim can be rejected. If rejected, the FSA contributions used for the claim are refunded to the account balance. Please provide yourself with enough time to submit and process claims before the end of the plans calendar year to prevent falling into the Grace Period.

  • Can I access my Chard Snyder portal or mobile app while traveling abroad?

    No, due to increased security concerns and for the safety of the consumer accounts. Chard Snyder does not allow consumer portal access or mobile app access from foreign countries.

  • When can I make changes to my Healthcare and/or Dependent Care FSA?

     

    You can only make changes to your Healthcare and/or Dependent Care FSA during Open Enrollment or a QLE (must follow event type):

    • Marriage, divorce, or annulment
    • Birth or adoption/placement for adoption
    • Loss of dependent eligibility
    • Death of spouse or child
    • Change in worksite (DCA QLE)

     

    Examples:

    • The employee experiences the birth or adoption of a child, and elects to increase their Healthcare and Dependent Care FSA
    • The employee’s job location is changed, and childcare is no longer needed. The employee can stop their Dependent Care FSA

     

  • Can I use my Dependent Care FSA to pay for Dependent Health Costs?

    No.  The dependent care flexible spending arrangement is not for healthcare expenses.  Its purpose is to allow employees to exempt up to $5000.00 per household, from taxes, for the specific use of dependent day care expenses while working.  Expenditures may cover childcare costs for child dependents under 13 or for qualifying dependent adults residing with the employee.  Other restrictions apply regarding employee eligibility, expense eligibility, and compensation eligibility from dependent care FSA funds.