January 22 Email from Harvard Benefits Office

The following message was sent by the Harvard Benefits Office to all Harvard staff on January 22, 2021:

 
Dear Colleague,

On December 27, 2020, the federal Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) was signed into law. Under this law, employers may adopt certain changes to their Health and Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) rules for 2020 and 2021. The University will be adopting the following changes:

2020¬†FSA¬†Plan Year¬†(January 1 ‚Äď December 31, 2020)

  • Carryover of all unused 2020 Health Care and Limited Purpose¬†FSA¬†funds into a 2021¬†FSA:¬†Unused 2020 Health and Limited Purpose¬†FSA¬†balances will carry over into a 2021¬†FSA. Participants have¬†until March 15, 2022¬†to incur eligible expenses and¬†until March 31, 2022¬†to file for reimbursement for any funds in a 2021 health care and limited purpose¬†FSA, including carryover amounts. This is a change from the usual grace period. Please allow 3-5 business days for this change to be reflected in your Benefit Strategies account.
  • Reimbursement Deadline Extension for 2020 Health Care and Limited Purpose¬†FSA¬†expenses incurred in 2020:¬†Participants who incurred eligible health care expenses in 2020 have¬†until June 1, 2021¬†to submit for reimbursement.
  • Extending Grace Period for Dependent Care¬†FSA:¬†Participants with a balance in a 2020 Dependent Care¬†FSA¬†have¬†until December 31, 2021¬†to incur eligible expenses and¬†until January 31, 2022¬†to file for reimbursement. This is an extension of the original grace period of March 15, 2021 to¬†incur expenses and March 31, 2021 to file for reimbursement.
  • Dependent Care¬†FSA¬†Expenses for Aged-out Dependents:¬†The Dependent Care¬†FSA¬†limits reimbursement of qualifying dependent care expenses to children under age 13. However, the CAA allows for reimbursement of qualifying expenses for children who turned 13 in 2020. The University will adopt this change for the 2020 Plan Year. The above-mentioned extended grace period applies to these expenses.

For additional information, refer to the 2020 Plan Year FSA CAA Changes FAQs on HARVie.

2021 Plan Year¬†(January 1 ‚Äď December 31, 2021)

  • Midyear Prospective Changes to¬†FSA:¬†Typically, changes to an¬†FSA¬†are only allowed within 30 days of a¬†qualifying life event¬†(QLE). The CAA allows employers to increase flexibility so that changes can be made outside of a QLE. The University will allow employees to make the changes outlined below to their 2021¬†FSAs through September 30, 2021 (no changes will be accepted after September 30, 2021 unless they are within 30 days of a QLE). All changes are effective prospectively (going forward) only. You can find¬†FAQs¬†on HARVie.
  • Health¬†FSA¬†(including limited purpose).¬†Election changes will be effective as of the date the completed form is processed by the¬†Benefits¬†Office.* You may make the following changes:
  • Enroll in or increase current election:¬†If you are enrolling for the first time this year, expenses incurred prior to the effective date are not eligible for reimbursement. If you are increasing your election, the additional amount can only be used for expenses incurred on or after the effective date of the increase.
  • Reduce current election: You cannot reduce your election to less than what you have already been reimbursed (includes any pending claims) or have contributed, whichever is higher, as of the effective date of the reduction.
  • Cancel current election:¬†Expenses incurred on or after the cancellation date will not be eligible for reimbursement. If you have been reimbursed more than you have contributed, your annual election amount will be changed to the amount you have been reimbursed, and you will see adjusted deductions for the remainder of the year.
  • Dependent Care¬†FSA.¬†Election changes will be effective as of the date the completed form is processed by the¬†Benefits¬†Office.* You may make the following changes:
  • Enroll in or increase current election:¬†If you are enrolling for the first time this year, expenses incurred prior to the effective date are not eligible for reimbursement. If you are increasing your election, the additional amount can only be used for expenses incurred on or after the effective date of the increase.
  • Reduce current election: You cannot reduce your election to less than what you have contributed to-date.
  • ¬†Cancel current election: Your election will be cancelled going forward. Per IRS regulations, you can be reimbursed for eligible expenses incurred through December 31, 2021.

How to change your current 2021 FSA Election If you wish to change your current 2021 election, please complete the Mid-Year FSA Change Form and submit it to benefits@harvard.edu, by fax to 617-496-3000, or by mail to: Harvard Benefits 114 Mt Auburn Street, 4th Floor Cambridge, MA 02138 You can access your FSA account through the Benefit Strategies Portal where you can review your current balance and reimbursements to-date, or you can email them at hvdflex@benstrat.com.

Regards,

Harvard Human Resources, Benefits

 

*Forms must be received by the Thursday of the week prior to a pay week for those on a weekly or biweekly pay cycle in order for the change to be reflected in that paycheck; and by the 15th of the month for those on a monthly pay cycle. We recommend that you email or fax your completed form for timely processing.

Receipt of this email does not guarantee eligibility for Harvard’s FSA benefit

The information contained in this e-mail may be confidential and is intended solely for the use of the named addressee. Access, copying or re-use of the e-mail or any information contained therein by any other person is not authorized. If you are not the intended recipient, please notify us immediately by returning the e-mail to the originator.

Any information contained in this e-mail about Harvard University’s benefit plans is intended to be accurate. The provisions of the benefit plan documents will govern to the extent there is any inconsistency between those documents and the information contained in this e-mail.

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