Flexible Spending Accounts

What is a flexible spending account (FSA)?
The HSHS benefit plan offers two flexible spending accounts:
  • Health Care FSA
  • Dependent Care FSA
FSAs are like a sale. Money you set aside in the accounts is taken off the top of your pay before taxes are withheld. You contribute to the account(s) with pre-tax dollars deducted from your paycheck. This lowers your taxable income, and you don’t pay taxes on the money you use from your account(s). When you enroll, you decide how much to set aside in your account(s) during the 2024 calendar year for:
  • Health care expenses for services you or your dependents receive between January 1, 2024, and March 15, 2025.
  • Dependent day care expenses for services you receive between January 1, 2024, and December 31, 2024.
When you have an eligible expense, you file a claim to reimburse yourself from your account. For the Dependent Care FSA, it’s important to compare the tax savings you might have under the FSA to what you might save using the federal dependent day care tax credit.
How much can I contribute to a Flexible Spending Account (FSA)?
  • The minimum contribution amount is $5 per biweekly pay period.
  • The maximum contribution for the dependent care (DCRA) FSA is $5,000 per year. If you file your federal income tax as “married filing separately,” the maximum amount that you may deposit into the dependent care FSA is $2,500 per year.
  • The maximum contribution amount for the health care (HCRA) FSA is $3,200 for 2024.
What if I do not use all of the money in my flexible spending account (FSA) before the deadline?
Based on IRS regulations, you must use all the money in your Dependent Care FSA by December 31, 2024. For the Health Care FSA, HSHS offers a grace period that lets you use your 2024 FSA for expenses incurred up to March 15, 2025. Keep in mind that these time limits apply based on the date of service, not the date billed. For both accounts, you have until May 1, 2025, to claim reimbursement. If you do not, the money left in your account(s) is forfeited.
How do I access my Flexible Spending Account (FSA) information?

2024 Contributions will need to be submitted to Health Equity.

For 2023 Contributions
 - After your FSA enrollment information is reported to Tri-Star by HSHS, your account information is available through the Tri-Star website at www.tri-starsystems.com. To access your account you will need to click on “My Account” to be brought to the secure login page. Once there, you will type your email address for the user name in the box. Next, you need to type in your Tri-Star password & click Login.

If you have never enrolled previously or you are having trouble logging in you will need to contact Tri-Star customer service at 1-800-727-0182, option #1 to provide a valid email address. Once you have provided the customer service representative your email address you will need to initiate the password reset process at the Tri-Star login page. You can do this by clicking on the link “I forgot my Password or I never received one”. The next screen that will be populated will ask you for your email address and once you provide that you can click Submit. You should receive an e-mail from Tri-Star regarding your password. If the email address provided matches what Tri-Star has on file, a time-sensitive link will be sent to that email address instructing you on how to reset your password. Following the link contained in the email you will be required to answer security questions before being allowed access to your account.

Once you have accessed your account, you can:

  • E-file or view claims for either or both of your Health Care Reimbursement Account and Dependent Care Reimbursement Account.
  • View details of FSA claims paid, such as date of payment, payment type, and amount.
  • View your account summary which provides a balance of the funds that are available.
  • Set up or change direct deposit information for FSA reimbursement purposes.
  • Enter the Benny Card system site to check approval status of card use, card payments awaiting documentation from you and other card information.

For a more in-depth guide to learn or review how to use Tri-Star’s system you can access the How-To Guide by clicking here.

What is the HealthEquity Visa Health Account Card? What is the advantage of using this card?
The HealthEquity Visa Health Account card works like a debit card for eligible health care FSA expenses. Use it to pay for eligible expenses at the pharmacy, including OptumRx for maintenance medications, hospital or your doctor or other health care provider’s office. Through the card, you access money you have elected to set aside each pay period in your health care FSA. 

When you pay for eligible health care expenses with this card, you do not have to use your own money up front and then wait for reimbursement. The card also gives you the ability to purchase qualified over-the-counter items such as nicotine gum or patches that are not eligible for reimbursement through manual claim submission.

It’s important to keep all documentation related to each expense you have in case the documentation is requested by the IRS or HealthEquity s to substantiate your claims.  

Only use the debit card for expenses that have not and will not be paid by the HSHS Medical Plan, HSHS Dental Plan, and/or VSP Vision Plan by the option(s) in which you are enrolled.
Why do I need to submit receipts or copies of claims or medical bills to Tri-Star/Health Equity?
The IRS requires proof that the expense was qualified for reimbursement through a health care FSA.

For 2023 contributions, receipts/proof will be submitted to Tri-Star Systems and they will request documentation from you in order to substantiate your claim.

For 2024 contributions, receipts/proof will be submitted to Health Equity our new third party administrator for and they will request documentation from you in order to substantiate your claim.
What happens to my FSA if I leave HSHS?
If you are leaving HSHS you may still submit claims for both the health care and/or the dependent care FSA.

Health Care FSA:
  • Claims for services received through your employment end date are eligible for reimbursement.
  • Qualifying health care claims must be filed with Tri-Star Systems (2023 contributions) or Health Equity (2024 contributions) by May 1 of the year following the plan year in which you contributed to the spending account.
  • Your debit card will be automatically canceled on your employment end date.
  • You will need to submit claims directly to Tri-Star (2023 contributions) or Health Equity (2024 contrtibutions) for reimbursement.
Dependent Care FSA:
  • Claims may be submitted for dependent care expenses up to the amount in your account at your employment end date and must be incurred prior to your employment end date.
  • Qualifying dependent care claims must be filed with Tri-Star Systems (2023 contributions) or Health Equity (2024 contributions) by May 1 of the year following the plan year in which you contributed to the spending account.
  • If you did not have any qualifying dependent care expenses as of the day your employment ends, you are not eligible to file any claims for reimbursement per IRS regulations.