Experient Health Explains Changes in Rules Governing Health Flexible Spending Accounts

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Previously, any money put into a health flexible spending account could not be carried over into the next year.

A big change to the rules governing health flexible spending accounts (FSAs) was recently announced by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Experient Health wrote in its Blog that highlights changes in health insurance regulations, health care reform and health education.

Experient Health is the health insurance arm of the Virginia Farm Bureau.

On Oct. 31, the IRS released Notice 2013-71, which relaxes the “use-or-lose” rule for health FSAs.

"Previously, any money put into a health FSA could not be carried over into the next year, although reimbursements were allowed to be paid for qualified expenses incurred in a “grace period” of up to two and a half months after the end of the plan year," Experient Health explained in its Blog post.

"Under the relaxed rule, employers will now be able to allow participants to carry over up to $500 in unused funds into the next year. Any unused FSA amount above $500 will be forfeited. This modification applies only if the plan does not also incorporate the grace period rule."

This new carryover does not affect the $2,500 limit on salary reduction contributions.

"This means the plan may permit the individual to elect up to $2,500 in salary reductions in addition to the $500 that may be carried over."

For ease of administration, a cafeteria plan is permitted to treat reimbursements of all claims for expenses that are incurred in the current plan year as reimbursed first from unused amounts for the current plan year and, only after exhausting these current plan year amounts, as then reimbursed from unused carryover amounts from the preceding plan year.

To implement the new $500 carryover option, a cafeteria plan offering a health FSA must be amended to include the carryover provision.

To learn more, Experient Health recommends contacting a Benefits Consultant.

About Experient Health:

For years, Experient Health, a Virginia Farm Bureau company, has helped people find the right insurance coverage and get the most for their health care dollars. The Richmond, Va.-based group is dedicated to providing high quality health insurance options to customers in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington DC. As a result, its consultants, with an average of more than 20 years experience, are intimately familiar with the states’ provider networks, products and regulations.

Representing the top national insurance carriers, Experient Health provides customers with multiple policy options designed to meet wellness needs and financial requirements.

Experient Health grew out of Virginia Farm Bureau and is a “hometown agency” in that it operates a network of more than 100 offices. However, it boasts the resources and technology of larger firms.

Consultants are available online, via phone and through their offices.

Learn more at http://www.experienthealth.com, utilize the online health insurance quote calculator or contact a consultant directly at 855.677.6580.

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Brad Spence
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since: 04/2013
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