Health Flexible Spending Account

The Health Flexible Spending Account, offered under the Brown University Flex Plan, allows employees to set aside portions of salary on a pre-tax basis for health and/or dental expenses not covered by an insurance plan for reimbursement.

For the current plan year or upon initial eligibility, employees may elect a minimum of $240 up to a maximum of $2,500 for eligible expenses incurred by the employee or eligible dependent(s).

Eligibility

Regular faculty, staff, and members of the Public Safety bargaining unit working 50+% time (based on academic year), and SEIU and USAW-RI bargaining unit members working 25+ hours/week are eligible to participate in the Health Flexible Spending Account under the Brown University Flex Plan.

Claims can be submitted for expenses incurred by the employee, spouse, and eligible dependents. A person generally qualifies as a dependent if: (1) that person lives in the employee's home for the entire year as a member of the household (unless a full- time student under age 26) or is closely related to the employee; and (2) that person is a US citizen or resident, or a resident of Canada or Mexico for some part of the calendar year in which the employee's tax year begins; and (3) the employee provides more than half of the dependent's total support for the year.

For additional information about dependents, including children of divorced or separated parents, review Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Service Code or consult with a tax advisor.

Coverage

Some covered expenses* for medical reimbursement include the following:

Ambulance hire

Eye exams

Nurses' expense and board

Braille books/magazines

Eye glasses and contact lenses

Nursing care

Crutches

Hearing exams and aids

Smoking cessation programs

Difference in cost between private & semi-private hospital rooms

Health and dental copayments (e.g., the 20% payment you make for certain medical services)

Prescriptions, drugs and certain over-the-counter products.

Electric wheelchair

Health and dental deductibles

Weight loss programs prescribed
to treat a specific medical condition

* to the extent that some services are not reimbursable under another policy, such as employee health coverage from the University

Covered expenses must be incurred during the plan year on or after the employee's date of eligibility. Under IRS regulations, expenses are incurred when the service is provided, not when the bill is paid.

Certain expenses specifically are NOT covered. A few examples are: the cost of health or dental insurance premiums, claims which are reimbursable under another policy, Medicare Part B premium costs, life insurance and income protection policies, illegal operations, travel for rest or change, and medically unnecessary cosmetic surgery. Fees for weight loss programs to benefit general health and health club dues are also ineligible for reimbursement.

Allowable Contribution

Employees may elect to set aside a minimum of $240 up to a maximum of $2,500 per year in a Health Flexible Spending Account. Brown will deduct the elected contribution in equal amounts among the number of regularly scheduled paychecks remaining in the calendar year.

Please note contributions may not be changed during the year.

Grace Period and Reimbursement

There is a 2 1/2 month "grace period" following the end of the plan year, which means employees have until March 15 to incur claims for any contributions made during the previous calendar year.

All requests for reimbursement must be submitted to Benefits Strategies, LLC, the plan administrator, no later than April 15. This includes claims for expenses incurred during the grace period. The April 15 deadline means if mailed, claims must be postmarked by that date, and if faxed, the fax received at Benefit Strategies.

Benefit Strategies LLC
P.O. Box 3910, Manchester, NH 03105-3910
Fax: 401-457-7266

Participants must budget expenses carefully because, under IRS rules, Brown cannot refund the amount that remains in a Brown Flex account at the end of the Health Flexible Spending Account grace period of March 15 unless you claim all expenses by April 15. If funds are not claimed by April 15, employees will lose the unspent funds.

To obtain more information, call Benefit Strategies LLC at 1-800-371-7542.

This summary is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a legal contract. In cases where disputes occur, the Plan Document will be the ruling and binding instrument.