A great way to plan ahead and save money over the course of a year is to participate in an FSA. An FSA lets you redirect a portion of your salary on a pretax basis into a reimbursement account, saving you money on taxes. Each year that you would like to participate in the FSAs, you must elect the amount you want to contribute.
City of Portland offers two types of FSAs that can help you save on a pretax basis for out-of-pocket expenses.
Note: FSA enrollment takes place in November--not during annual benefits enrollment--and takes effect the following January.
Additional Note: There is a monthly fee of $5.15 when you enroll in the Flexible Spending Accounts. This fee is deducted from the first paycheck of each month.
Healthcare flexible spending account
The healthcare FSA can be used to pay for eligible out-of-pocket medical, dental, vision and prescription drug expenses. Simply use your FSA debit card to pay any qualifying expenses.
Funds in the healthcare FSA are available at the beginning of the plan year and can be used for your expenses and those of your spouse and dependents, even if you and your family aren’t covered by our plan.
The maximum contribution in 2022 for the healthcare flexible spending account is $2,850 per household. This is a use-it-or-lose-it account, meaning any funds remaining in the account following the close of the plan year will be forfeited. Our plan features a carryover provision that allows you the flexibility to rollover up to $570 of your unused health FSA funds to the 2023 calendar year. The carryover feature does not apply to unused daycare FSA funds. Carryover amounts will be credited after your claim filing period.
If you are contributing to an HSA through your spouse’s plan, you are not eligible to participate in the healthcare FSA.
Election and Claim Filing Period
When you enroll in an FSA, be sure to only elect an amount that you know you will use during the calendar year (January through December). At the end of the plan year you will have a claim filing period to turn in any leftover claims for your benefits. Unused Health Care FSA balances up to $570.00 will be carried over to the subsequent plan year. Any Health Care FSA funds in excess of $570.00 is subject to the Use-or-Lose rule and cannot be refunded to you.
Accessing Your Benefits
Accessing your benefits couldn’t be easier, just swipe your Navia Benefit Card to pay for eligible health care and daycare expenses. Funds come directly out of your FSA and are paid to the provider. Some swipes require us to verify the expense, so hang on to your receipts! If we need to see it, we will send you an email or notification via our smartphone app.
You can also submit health care and day care claims online, through our smartphone app for Android
and iPhone, email, fax or mail. Be sure to include documentation that clearly shows the date, type and cost of the service.
- Online Account Access: Order additional debit cards, update bank and address information and see up to date details of your benefits.
- Online Claims Submission: Upload your documentation, complete the online wizard, and voila! a reimbursement will be on its way within a few days!
- Mobile App: MyNavia allows you to simply snap a photo and submit for reimbursement direct from your mobile device.
How much could you save?
Let’s look at an example: Employees A and B both earn $55,000 per year. They each have $2,000 in out of pocket day care expenses.
Employee A and Employee B have the same earnings and tax bracket, but Employee B saves $600 per year by contributing to an FSA!
How does it work?
During your open enrollment estimate your expenses for the plan year and enroll in the plan.
- Your annual election amount will be evenly deducted pre-tax from your paycheck throughout the plan year.
- You cannot change your annual election amount after the plan start unless you have a qualified change in status. For example, birth, death, marriage or divorce.
Check out your Navigate My Benefits and Pre-Tax Solutions pages for more details on how your plan works.
Show me my pre-tax solutions:
Health Care FSA
The federal government takes about 30% of each dollar you earn in FICA and federal income taxes, and you take home the remaining 70% to use for your living expenses. When you use an FSA, you set aside money before it is taxed, so you spend the entire 100% of your earned income on your healthcare or daycare expenses.
- Expenses for you, your spouse and tax-dependents are eligible for reimbursement, regardless of if they are covered on your medical plan.
- The Health Care FSA is a pre-funded benefit. This means you have access to your full annual election amount at any time during the plan year.
- Estimating future expenses is an important step as you prepare to enroll in an FSA. The more accurate you are in estimating your expenses the better the plan will work for you!
Common Eligible Expenses
- Prescription drugs
- Copays and coinsurance
- Office visits
- Dental work
Expenses that are cosmetic in nature are not eligible. Click here for a full list of eligible healthcare expenses.
Dependent care flexible spending account
Child care can be one of the single largest expenses for a family with children. A Dependent Care FSA (DCFSA) allows you to set aside money pretax to pay for your qualified day care expenses, saving you up to $1,700 per year!! This is also a great benefit for employees and their spouses that work or attend school full-time. You must contribute money through payroll deduction to your dependent care FSA before you can spend it. The DCFSA limit is set by the IRS and is a calendar year limit of $5,000* per household, $2,500 if married and filing separately. If your plan year is not on a calendar year, take extra care in calculating your annual election.
*For 2021, the DCFSA limit is $10,500.
- Expenses can be for your dependent children 13 and under, and in some cases elder care, and must be enabling you to work, actively look for work or be a full-time student.
- Adult day care
- Child day care
- After-school care
- Babysitting (work-related, in your home or someone else’s home)
- Babysitting by your relative who is not a tax dependent (work-related)
- Nanny or au pair
- Custodial elder care
- Transportation to and from eligible care (provided by your care provider)
- Babysitting (not work-related, for other purpose)
- Babysitting by your tax dependent (work-related or for other purpose)
- Custodial elder care (not work-related, for other purpose)
- Dance lessons, piano lessons or sports lesson
- Educational, learning or study skills services for child(ren)
- Household services (housekeeper, maid, cook, etc.)
Common Eligible Expenses
- Child Care
- Before and after school care
- Day Camps
Expenses for school tuition and overnight camps are not eligible.