TexFlex updates due to COVID-19
The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 contains provisions that allow for the following changes to the TexFlex program:
The carryover limit is temporarily removed
All unused funds from Plan Year 2020 accounts will carry over to your Plan Year 2021. There is no limit to the amount that can be carried over. You don’t need to take any action to make this happen. WageWorks is working on ensuring your funds are carried over and will notify you when the carryover is complete. (Previously, you could carry over up to $500 each plan year.)
You have more time to use your funds after you stop contributions or leave employment
If you leave employment or stop participation in the program before the end of Plan Year 2021, you can continue to incur claims for reimbursement until August 31, 2021. (Previously, you could only submit claims for dates of services and expenses that occurred on or before your last day of employment or before you stopped participation.)
You can make changes to your TexFlex elections without a QLE
For the 2021 plan year, you can increase or decrease your contribution amount and end your enrollment in TexFlex without a qualifying life event (QLE). You cannot reduce your contribution to an amount less than what you’ve already contributed and/or have been reimbursed. Example: If you’ve contributed $300, you cannot reduce your annual contribution below $300. If you have been reimbursed $500, you cannot reduce your annual contribution below $500. (Previously, you could not make changes to your TexFlex account without a QLE.)
You can submit dependent care claims for children up to age 14
If you enrolled in the dependent care FSA prior to January 31, 2020 and had a qualifying dependent who turned (or will turn) 13 during the 2020 or 2021 plan years, you can submit claims for that child until they turn 14. (Previously, you could only submit claims for children age 13 or under.)
You can make changes online by logging into your ERS OnLine account or by calling ERS at (877) 275-4377. If you would like more information about these changes or other TexFlex information, please call us toll-free (844) 884-2364 (TTY:711) any time between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. CT, Monday through Friday. You may also visit us at www.TexFlexERS.com.
Flexible spending accounts (FSAs)
WageWorks and the Employees Retirement System of Texas (ERS) are committed to providing participants with continued access to their TexFlex benefits during this unique time. As part of that commitment, we’ve extended the time you have to substantiate a debit card swipe. You will now have an additional 90-days (or 180 days from the date of the card purchase) to provide your documentation to WageWorks. Please note, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) still requires that we verify all debit card charges are for eligible expenses. This change gives you more time to submit your documentation.
If you have questions about your debit card or the substantiation process, please log in to your TexFlex account or contact TexFlex Customer Care toll-free at (844) 884-2364 (TTY: 711), Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. CT.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allows for the following changes to flexible spending accounts (FSAs):
- Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs and medicines no longer require a doctor’s prescription in order to be paid for or reimbursed through an FSA. This means that participants in a health FSA can now use the benefit to pay for OTC items like cold medicine, allergy medicine and pain relievers, without having to make an extra trip to the doctor to receive a prescription. This new guideline is effective immediately and is retroactive to January 1, 2020.
- Menstrual care products are now eligible to be paid for or reimbursed through an FSA, HRA or HSA. This will allow participants in health FSAs to use their benefit to pay for menstrual care products, which are described as “tampon, pad, liner, cup, sponge, or similar product used by individuals with respect to menstruation”, as they will now be considered qualified expenses. This new guideline is effective immediately and is retroactive to January 1, 2020.
Commuter spending accounts (CSAs)
As state agencies implement health and safety measures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), some employees are moving to remote work status. If your daily commute is impacted by these actions and you experience reduced or eliminated daily commute expenses, you should consider reviewing your commuter spending account (CSA) contributions to make sure your election still fits your needs.
Here are some things to keep in mind as you review your CSA account and election options:
- The TexFlex CSA is a month-to-month program. This means you can change your contribution amount or end your enrollment in the program at any time. Elections must be made by the last business day of the month so the monthly contribution can be deducted the following pay period. Example: Changes made by April 30 are processed by May 31 and are deducted from your June 1 paycheck.
- Excess balances over $3 carry over month-to-month and you can use funds as long as you are actively employed. Balances of $3 or less will be forfeited.
- The IRS limits commuter reimbursement to $270 per month regardless of your account balance. Any unused amount exceeding $3 will carryover each month.