October 2013
 
 
Employees with a same-sex spouse had a special open enrollment election opportunity for the medical flexible spending account (FSA) for 2013. This was due to a change in the legal status (for federal tax purposes) of a same-sex spouse.
 

Background

On June 26, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional.

On September 16, 2013, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Revenue Ruling 2013-17 and defined the term “spouse” for federal tax purposes to include same-sex spouses who were married in a state whose laws authorize same-sex marriages, even if the state in which they live does not.
 

Special open enrollment ended

The IRS began recognizing a same-sex spouse as a lawful spouse for federal tax purposes on September 16, 2013. Based on this change in legal status, state agency and higher-education employees with a same-sex spouse were given a 60-day special open enrollment period (measured from September 16, 2013 through November 14, 2013) to either:

  • Enroll in the medical FSA. Employees could elect a minimum of $240 (up to $2,500 maximum) for the 2013 plan year to be deducted pretax from their remaining paychecks through December 31, 2013.
  OR
  • If already enrolled in the medical FSA, employees could increase their 2013 election amount (up to $2,500 maximum) to be deducted from their remaining paychecks through December 31, 2013.
     

How to make a change

The special open enrollment opportunity to enroll in the FSA for 2013 ended November 14, 2013

The special open enrollment opportunity to increase the FSA election amount for the remainder of 2013 ended November 14, 2013

 

How long can I use the 2013 FSA funds?

Employees may use 2013 FSA funds for qualified health expenses incurred through March 15, 2014. ASIFlex must receive the employee’s claim for reimbursement by March 31, 2014. After that date, any funds left in the 2013 FSA will be forfeited to the Health Care Authority.
 

For more information

For general payroll and benefit questions, employees may contact their personnel, payroll, or benefits office. For enrollment questions, employees may contact ASIFlex at 1-800-659-3035 or asi@asiflex.com.

 

Already enrolled in the FSA, and don’t wish to increase your FSA election amount during the special open enrollment?
Employees may submit claims to reimburse their same-sex spouse’s qualified health expenses from their FSA for the entire 2013 plan year or from their marriage date, whichever is later. Dependents do not need to be enrolled in PEBB medical coverage for employees to claim reimbursement with FSA dollars.