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Frequently Asked Questions
Flexible Spending & Health Savings Accounts
Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
The County of Santa Barbara offers you a Medical, Dependent Care, Limited Purpose, Mass Transit & Parking Flexible Spending Account (FSA) through Benefits Coordinator Corporation (BCC).
In order to keep the Medical, Dependent Care, Limited Purpose FSA accounts active, a minimum employee contribution of $5.00 per pay period is needed. If you do not contribute the minimum $5.00 per pay period or you stop contributions it terminates the account and stops continued access to the plan. You would then only be able to submit claims incurred prior to the termination date of the account. The account must be active in order to use the rest of the balance in the FSA account. You will then have up to 90 days after terminating an account to submit any claims for eligible expenses incurred while your account was active.
Reminder: If you want to continue having a FSA account in 2021 you need to sign up for it again during open enrollment. They do not roll over.
Medical FSA Account
This plan allows you to pay for eligible out-of-pocket healthcare expenses with pre-tax dollars. Eligible expenses include medical, dental, or vision costs such as plan deductibles, copays, coinsurance amounts, and other non-covered healthcare costs for you and your tax dependents. You can set aside up to $2,750.
Limited Purpose FSA
This plan is only available to Blue Shield HDHP plan members. You cannot have a Medical FSA and a Limited Purpose FSA but you can have a Limited Purpose FSA and a Health Savings Account (HSA). This plan allows you to pay for eligible out-of-pocket dental & vision expenses only with pre-tax dollars for you and your tax dependents. You can set aside up to $2,750.
Dependent Care FSA Account
This plan allows you to set aside up to $5,000 per household to pay for eligible out-of-pocket dependent care expenses with pre-tax dollars. Eligible expenses may include daycare centers, in-home child care, and before or after school care for your dependent children under age 13. Other individuals may qualify if they are considered your tax dependent and are incapable of self-care. For more Information.
Mass Transit and Parking FSA Accounts
The County of Santa Barbara allows you to participate in a Mass Transit and Parking Flexible Spending Account.
Use the money for all of your eligible work-related transit and parking expenses. Ineligible expenses include tolls, car maintenance, carpools and gasoline.
Mass Transit - eligible expenses include vouchers, passes and fare cards for transportation via bus, commercial vanpool or train. Please keep in mind that the max 2021 Mass Transit FSA contribution per IRS limits is $270 per month. You must contribute a minimum of $10 per month. BenXcel will allow you to contribute a max of $260 per month because the County contributes $10 per month. ($10 County + $260 max monthly contribution = $270 per month)
Parking – includes parking at or near work, parking at or near a transportation site and Park & Ride expenses. The maximum IRS allowed amount for 2021 is $270 per month.
The Medical FSA, Dependent Care FSA and Limited Purpose FSA accounts have a grace period which means that employees have until 3/15/2021 to incur claims for the 2020 plan year. For example, you can have an expense in February 2021 and submit a claim in February 2021 using the FSA funds from 2020. The plan year is from 1/1/2020 – 12/31/2020 but because of this grace period you have until 3/15/21 to use 2020 FSA funds. The filing deadline would be 6/15/2021 to submit claims for the 2020 plan year. Any claims filed after 6/15/2021 would be denied for being late.
If you stop contributions into your FSA account your account will be terminated. You will then have up to 90 days after terminating an account to submit any claims for the time your account was active. Any claims submitted after 90 days of the account terminating will be denied for being late.
The Mass Transit, Parking FSA and HSA accounts do not have a grace period.
Health Savings Account (HSA)
A Health Savings Account (HSA) is available to employees who participate in the Blue Shield High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP). This is a tax-advantaged savings account that allows you to save pre-tax dollars to pay for eligible medical, dental and vision expenses. You can not have a Medical FSA but can have a Limited Purpose FSA. Please see Employee Benefits Booklet for more information.
New this year: Employees enrolled in a HSA account will need to go online to identify new contribution amounts for the 2021 plan year. All accounts will be defaulted to zero contribution at open enrollment.
Please keep in mind that the max 2021 HSA contribution amount per IRS limits is $3,600 for single and $7,200 for family.
The County contribution is:
$1,200 for Single
$1,800 for Family
$3,000 for Combined Coverage (Two married County Employees)
When you are entering your annual contribution amount into BenXcel the max you can enter will be:
$2,400 for Single ($2,400 + $1,200 = $3,600)
$5,400 for Family ($5,400 + $1,800 = $7,200)
$4,200 for Combined Coverage ($4,200 + $3,000 = $7,200)
For individuals age 55 or older you can contribute an extra $1,000 as annual "Catch-up".