Visit the Flex Spending Account website at www.flexspend.ny.gov for information about the program or to enroll during the open enrollment period held each fall.
What Is The Flex Spending Account?
The Flex Spending Account is a negotiated benefit for State employees. There are two parts to the Flex Spending Account:
Dependent Care Advantage Account (DCAAccount) Health Care Spending Account (HCSAccount)
Both are types of Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA). FSAs give you a way to pay for your dependent care or health care expenses with pre-tax dollars. FSAs are voluntary — you decide how much to have taken out of your paycheck and put into your DCAAccount and/or HCSAccount. Visit the Flex Spending Account website at www.flexspend.ny.gov for information about the program or to enroll.
The Employer Contribution is Now Available for the 2017 Plan Year
The Dependent Care Advantage Account (DCAAccount) Employer Contribution will be available for the 2017 plan year. Executive Branch state agency employees who are M/C or represented by CSEA, PEF, UUP, Council 82, DC-37, GSEU, NYSCOPBA, or are employed by the Legislature are eligible for the DCAAccount Employer Contribution. Employees of Roswell Park Cancer Institute, ERDA, and EFC are also eligible for the Employer Contribution. To take advantage of the Employer Contribution, for the 2017 plan year, employees must enroll in the DCAAccount by the close of open enrollment. Open enrollment ends at midnight Monday November 7, 2016. Visit www.flexspend.ny.gov for complete details and Employer Contribution Rates.
Employee Contribution for PEF Represented Employees
As a result of the ratification of the one year contract, PEF represented employees who are currently enrolled in the Dependent Care Advantage Account will have the Employer Contribution automatically applied to their account for the 2016 plan year.
PEF represented employees who enroll in the Dependent Care Advantage Account with an eligible Change In Status (CIS) event will now be eligible for the Employer Contribution for the remainder of the 2016 plan year.
Click here to read the letter to PEF enrollees
Why Should I Enroll?
If you are paying for dependent care expenses in order to work, or have medical expenses that are not reimbursable under your health insurance, you are paying for those expenses with dollars that have already been taxed. By enrolling in the DCAAccount or HCSAccount, you will pay those same expenses with whole dollars — before federal, state, and social security taxes are taken from your salary.
For the past 25 years, the DCAAccount has been consistently saving state employee participants hundreds of dollars on their dependent care expenses. The DCAAccount Employer Contribution will continue in 2016 for unions that participate in the program and have ratified contracts with the State. At present, Executive Branch state agency employees who are M/C or represented by CSEA, UUP, Council 82, DC-37, GSEU, NYSCOPBA, or are employed by the Legislature are eligible for the DCAAccount Employer Contribution. Employees of Roswell Park Cancer Institute, NYS Energy Research and Development Authority, and the Environmental Facilities Corporation are also eligible for the Employer Contribution.
The HCSAccount is a great way to help you save on many of your family’s health care expenses. Since the benefit was introduced in 2001, participation has more than tripled in size as almost 15,400 state employees used their HCSAccounts in 2015 to save money on prescription drugs, orthodontia, and other medical services provided to their families.
2016 Flex Spending Account Changes in Status and New Employees
The FSA 2016 open enrollment period ended on November 24, 2015. Employees who experience a valid change in status on or after November 25, 2015 or during the 2016 plan year, may be eligible to enroll by submitting a Change in Status application. Visit www.flexspend.ny.gov to review the 2016 Change in Status information to determine if your situation qualifies you to enroll during the plan year.