More than 350,000 federal employees currently use pre-tax dollars to save money on their family’s health care and dependent care expenses through the Federal Flexible Spending Account (FSAFEDS) program. Earlier this year, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) announced that a new administrator—WageWorks—would be replacing the current provider—ADP—for the FSAFEDS program.
As part of this administrative transition, OPM recently publicized details about a claims submission blackout period that will affect all current FSAFEDS participants starting this July. From July 30, 2016 through September 1, 2016, no FSAFEDS reimbursement claims will be able to be submitted or processed. Please visit the FSAFEDS website bulletin board or read this FSAFEDS email to review the exact cut-off dates which will vary depending on whether you seek reimbursement online, or via fax, or by the U.S. mail.
NTEU recognizes that this planned claims blackout period will negatively impact employees seeking FSA reimbursements, particularly those with recurring dependent care expenses. NTEU National President Tony Reardon sent a letter to Acting OPM Director Colbert about OPM’s this announcement asking that she considers the feasibility of requiring a shorter blackout period so that FSAFEDS participants can seek needed reimbursement sooner, and to consider setting up advance payments for individuals with recurring dependent care expenses, as well as the suspension of deductions during the blackout period. NTEU believes that having to wait at least a month for claims to even be able to be submitted before being reimbursed is a hardship for many of us.
I will share OPM’s response to Tony with you as soon as I get it and will keep you updated on any further announcements on this subject.