2019 Flexibile Spending Account Enrollment Period

What: An FSA allows you to set aside funds for medical and dependent care expenses on a pre-tax basis, thereby reducing your taxable income and increasing your take-home pay. The MTA sets up its account through the P&A Group and you can begin spending your entire year’s allocation on January 1, 2019. The MTA recovers any money you spend through 24 payroll deductions during the calendar year. There are no deductions withholdings for the first and last paychecks in the calendar year.

When: Open enrollment begins on November 1 and continues through December 15. Now is a good time for you to review the FSA guidelines (click here for a copy of the new FSA Enrollment Guide) and think about how much money you want to set aside for your additional expenses. You can set up either or both types of accounts, depending on your needs. The maximum is now $2,600 for Medical Expense Reimbursement FSAs and $5,000 for a Dependent Care Assistance account. The $2,600 maximum for Medical Expense Reimbursement is new for 2019.

What’s covered? Here are some typical expenses for which you can use your Medical Expense Reimbursement account: Co-payments for physicians’ visits, prescription drugs, glasses, contact lenses, and dental expenses that aren’t covered by your medical or dental insurance. To see what other expenses are eligible, check the list on the P&A website or call 800-688-2611 to ask a P&A customer service representative.

You can also set up a Dependent Care FSA to set aside money to pay for qualified child care and babysitting (when you’re at work), or for dependent care – such as for your parents or other eligible dependents in your family.

How do I use it? To make accessing your accounts even easier, P&A Group will provide you with a special MasterCard that works like a debit card and which you can use to pay for qualified expenses. If you have been participating in the FSA for the last three years, your card will expire and you’ll get a new card in the mail from the P&A Group.

A very important caveat: Because of IRS Regulations, FSA accounts are use-it-or lose-it, which means that any money left in your account after June 30, 2020 will be forfeited. Expenses incurred from January 1, 2019 through March 15, 2020 are eligible and you have until June 30, 2020 to submit them to the P&A. It doesn’t take a lot of bookkeeping to ensure that you don’t forfeit your money.

How can I track my usage? You can access your account balance at any time on the P&A website. You can also provide them with your email address and you’ll get an email every time you use your card or submit a claim. The email will also show your current account balance.

Remember: Open enrollment for FSAs for 2019 begins on November 1 and continues through midnight, December 15, 2018. If you are currently enrolled in this benefit program and want to continue, you must re-enroll. You can complete your enrollment online at www.padmin.com or call the P&A Group at 1-800-688-2611.