2021-2022 Flexible Spending Account Opportunities

Due to federal relief opportunities that impact Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), the University is able to extend this opportunity to faculty and staff to change FSA elections, spend FSA money, and reimburse with FSA accounts. 


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FSA Spending Extended from March to December in 2021, 2022

The grace period for spending 2020 FSA accounts is extended to December 15, 2021 and the deadline to reimburse yourself and submit receipts is extended to December 31 due to a federal relief opportunity passed in response to COVID-19. The same will be true again in 2022—you can spend 2021 FSA dollars until December 15, 2022 and reimburse and submit receipts until December 31, 2022. 

These dates are extended from the regular March deadlines you may be accustomed to. FSAs are still a “use it or lose it” benefit where money is no longer available to you after the deadline, but this year, you have extra time due to federal legislation about COVID-19’s impact.

An extra perk for 2020 Dependent Care FSA members: as part of this relief package, unused 2020 FSA dollars can be used to reimburse for eligible care expenses for dependents up to age 14. Previously, only dependents under the age of 13 were eligible. Eligible expenses remain the same, and continue to include day camps.

By December 15: Finish your spending

You may spend remaining dollars in any 2020 FSA account (Health Care, Dependent Care, Limited FSA) until December 15, 2021. Find eligible expenses or check your FSA account balance.

 If you elect an FSA again for 2021, you can spend those dollars until December 15, 2022.

By December 31: Submit your receipts for reimbursement

For any expense you “incur” (items or services you’ve received but haven’t done the FSA paperwork for yet), remember to submit your receipts by December 15 to “reimburse” (pay yourself back) from any other accounts you’ve used to pay at the moment.

If you elect an FSA again for 2022, you can spend those dollars until December 31, 2022.

You can still choose whether to reimburse by a printable form, in your account portal, or on the mobile app. 


Special Opportunity FSA Election and/or Change

For the second year in a row, the federal government is allowing employers to offer an opportunity to increase, decrease, create, or revoke (stop) a 2021 FSA (dependent care or health care) election without a family status change or qualified life event. At the University, this opportunity is from June 1–30, 2021. Quick tips:

  • Go-Forward Basis: Any additions you make must be spent after the change is effective. For example, if you enroll in a 2021 Health Care FSA on June 15, 2021, you cannot reimburse yourself for an eligible expense on June 1, 2021.

  • 2021 Extension: See the above section about extended deadlines.

 Send in your FSA elections/changes by June 30, 2021: 

1. Use resources to make an informed choice. Pull out your calendar, list expenses you expect to have for the remainder of 2021, and: 

2. Fill the form for your choice (if any):

3. Send your form as a PDF or scan to benefits@umn.edu or by postal mail to UMN Total Compensation, 100 Donhowe Bldg, 319 15th Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN, 55455. 

Once your form is received, your FSA deduction will be created or adjusted as soon as administratively possible. Depending on the volume of requests we receive and the timing of your form’s arrival, it could take up to two pay periods. 

Dollar Amount Guidelines:

  • Decrease Limit: You cannot decrease your FSA election below what you have already deducted from paychecks or spent on claims (whichever is greater) in 2021. I.e., if your 2021 Health Care FSA election is $2,700, you have had $500 deducted, and you have spent $600 from that FSA, the lowest annual election you can decrease it to would be $600/annually.

  • Increase Limit: You cannot total more than the federal annual limits of $2,750 for health care FSA and the $5,000 per household for dependent care FSA. 


Questions about FSAs? Feel free to contact a Wex (formerly Discovery Benefits) FSA representative by calling 1-844-561-1333, or a University OHR Contact Center representative by calling 612-624-8647 and choosing Option 1, calling 800-756-2363, or emailing benefits@umn.edu.