What is a Flexible Spending Account (FSA)?
There are two types of FSA plans available to eligible GIC members, a Health Care Spending Account (HCSA), which is used to pay for medical expenses for you and your eligible dependents; and a Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP), which can be used to pay for childcare or assistance with disabled adult dependents.
Both of these plans lower your income tax liability by the amount of your deductions. In exchange for the tax savings that these programs offer, the IRS imposes a use-it-or-lose-it rule. This means that you must use all the money in your account by the end of the plan year, or you lose that money, subject to the grace period.
Enrollment & Eligibility
Active state employees who are eligible for GIC benefits may enroll in a Health Care and/or Dependent Care FSA for the upcoming plan year (July 1, 2023 - June 30, 2024) during Annual Enrollment. Even if you are enrolled in one or both FSAs this year, you must re-enroll if you wish to participate in Fiscal Year 2024 (July 1, 2023 - June 30, 2024).
New state employees and employees who experience a qualifying event during the year may enroll in an FSA for partial-year benefits. For the Health Care FSA, new hire participation begins at the same time as other GIC benefits. For the Dependent Care FSA, participation begins on the first day of employment.
Employees who experience a qualifying event during the year may enroll for partial-year benefits. For the Health Care FSA, new hire participation begins at the same time as other GIC benefits. For the Dependent Care FSA, participation begins on the first day of employment.
Members may also add, change, or stop participation in either or both FSA plans in response to a qualifying event, such as marriage, divorce, birth of a child, change in employment, or (DCAP only) change in childcare provider. You can enroll in a Health Care FSA for as little as $250 or as much as $3,050/year. You can enroll in a Dependent Care FSA for as little as $250 and as much as $5,000/year (or $2,500 if married and filing separate tax returns).
Administrative Fee: You pay a $1.00 monthly administrative fee regardless of whether you enroll in one or both FSAs.
To enroll in an FSA, learn more about Health Care and Dependent Care FSAs, and view other eligible expenses, go to massfsatasc.com. Additional enrollment instructions can be found on this website; be sure to have your employee ID, agency and department name available.
Note: You must re-enroll every year.
How can an FSA save you money?
With an FSA, you set aside money every paycheck on an income tax-free basis. You can use this money during the year to pay for eligible expenses — tax free.
|Breakdown of paycheck & deductions
|Not participating in HCSA or DCAP plan
|Participating in HCSA or DCAP plan
|Gross Yearly Pay
|HCSA Annual Contribution (Pre-tax)
|DCAP Annual Contribution (Pre-Tax)
|Sample Tax Withholdings of 25%
|Yearly Health Care Expenses
|$2,000 (Claims reimbursed)
|Yearly Daycare Expenses
|$4,000 (Claims reimbursed)
|Net Available Income
The GIC’s FSA plans have a 2.5 month grace period, with an additional month allowed for claim submissions. This means that you will have until September 15 to incur claims (based on date of service) for a plan year that ended on June 30. You will then have until October 15 to submit those claims for reimbursement. During the grace period from a previous year, if there is also an election for the current year, any available funds from the previous year will be used first to pay for qualifying claims on both FSA plans.
The GIC wants its members to be aware that the Fiscal 2023 Plan Year grace period will be administered by TASC, and claims submitted for reimbursement or direct payment will have to be sent to TASC for processing.
New Health Care Savings Account (HCSA) Rule
HCSA funds can now be used to purchase Over-The-Counter (OTC) medications and some medical supplies without a prescription.
Important information for 2022-2023 plan year FSA participants
In exchange for the tax savings these programs offer, the IRS imposes a use-it-or-lose-it rule. This means that you must use all the money in your account by the end of the plan year, or you lose that money, subject to the grace period.
TASC will be your new administrator of FSA benefits beginning with our upcoming plan year, and the grace and runout period for the current plan year (ending 6/30/23) will also be administered by TASC. TASC will work closely with Benefit Strategies to transfer any balances you have remaining as of 6/30/23 from Benefit Strategies, your current FSA administrator, to TASC.
There will be a period of time after the current plan year ends when your funds will not be available. This blackout period will start at midnight on 6/30/2023 and will last until approximately 7/18/23, and is necessary to allow your FSA plans to be finalized by Benefit Strategies and your balance information to be sent to TASC for upload into your new TASC account.
This does not mean that you cannot incur expenses during this time. For any expenses incurred during this time, please pay for the expenses personally then submit your claim to TASC via the online participant portal, the mobile app, or fax, once your grace/runout plan is active. We apologize for any inconvenience caused during this time.
The last day the Benefit Strategies claim card will be functioning for HCSA is 6/30/23.
All eligible manual claims received at Benefit Strategies on 6/30/23 will be processed and paid. Please plan accordingly as claims received after this time will not be accepted by Benefit Strategies and you will be required to resubmit them to TASC.
Your new TASC Card® will be mailed out and is expected to be functioning beginning 7/1/23 for the start of the upcoming plan year, but any balances from your current plan year will not be available until approximately 7/18/23. Administrative Fee: You pay a $1.00 monthly administrative fee regardless of whether you enroll in one or both FSAs.