Save money for eligible expenses with an FSA

Flexible Spending Accounts


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. UVA FSAs, including Dependent Daycare Reimbursement Accounts, are managed by Chard Snyder.

FSAs enable you to pay for certain expenses on a pre-tax basis, making your money go farther. 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 Requirements

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-Benny 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.
  • 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.

What are the allowable contributions?

Money contributed to UVA FSAs must be used during that year, as funds do not roll over. FSAs do have grace periods to spend the money beyond year’s end. You may continue to spend unused FSA 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.

*Note: If you sign up for Basic Health with a Health Savings Account (HSA) during Annual 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 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.

When are funds available to spend?

When you may spend money from these accounts varies by account type.

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

    For FSAs, the full contribution amount you choose for the year is available as soon as the account is open. The flexibility to spend planned FSA contributions before they accrue can be helpful.

    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.

     

  • Dependent Daycare Reimbursement Accounts

    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.

Can I have 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.

For additional information about FSAs, visit the Flexible Spending Account page.

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 Benny Card, at the time of purchase for eligible expenses. See below for more information about the Benny Card.
  • Submit claims from your accounts online through Chard Snyder’s website.
  • Submit a paper claim form by fax, mail, or email.

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 Benny card

    • When you open an FSA and/or a Dependent Daycare Reimbursement Account, you will receive your prepaid benefits card, the Benny 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 Benny Card, even when changing your account type. Benny Cards are reused from year to year.
    • The HSA Overview video gives a brief overview of how the Benny Card works.
    • Before using your Benny Card, you must activate it following the included instructions.
    • Use the card to pay for eligible expenses. Benny 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 Benny 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.

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

What Happens When I Leave UVA?

If you are enrolled in either the FSA or the Dependent Daycare Reimbursement Account, you have the following options when you terminate employment:

  • Deduct your regular monthly contribution from your last paycheck and continue participation until the end of the month in which you terminate employment (this option happens automatically)
  • Continue participation until the end of the plan year as a COBRA participant

If you choose to continue with COBRA:

  • 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.
  • Contact Chard Snyder to enroll in COBRA, at 888.302.9805

Contact the HR Solution Center at 434.243.3344 for more information about each of these options.