2021 Flex Spending Account (FSA) Open Enrollment

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2021 Flex Spending Account (FSA) Open Enrollment

The FSA open enrollment period will run from November 2 – 30, 2020. Submissions will not be accepted after 10 pm on November 30.

The program can assist state employees in saving money to pay for necessary health or dependent care expenses because money they set aside in their accounts is not subject to federal, state, and social security taxes. To ensure that employees are aware of these benefits, we need your help in distributing information about the program during the enrollment campaign and throughout the year.

The FSA is comprised of three important benefits for employees: the Health Care Spending Account (HCSA), the Dependent Care Advantage Account (DCAA), and the Adoption Advantage Account. Eligible employees may choose to enroll in any or all of the benefits. More than 20,000 state employees are already taking advantage of these benefits in 2020 and we expect interest will continue to grow.

Health Care Spending Account

The annual contribution that an employee may make to the HCSA is $2,750 for the 2021 plan year. The maximum contribution may change annually since it is indexed to inflation. Contributions are made through pre-tax payroll deductions and may be used for eligible health care expenses that are not covered by a health insurance plan.

Dependent Care Advantage Account

State employees may contribute up to $5,000 per year per household in the DCAA for elder care, disabled dependent care, or child care expenses. Employees’ contributions are deducted biweekly from their gross pay and deposited into the appropriate account. After eligible services have been received, the employee submits a claim form for reimbursement. Certain employees are eligible for an employer contribution which is contributed to employees’ accounts by their employer.

Adoption Advantage Account

Eligible state employees may contribute up to $14,300 in the Adoption Advantage Account for the 2021 plan year. Contributions are made through pre-tax payroll deductions and may be used for expenses related to the adoption of an eligible child.

Important Information

Effective January 1, 2020, over-the-counter drugs and medicines are eligible for reimbursement without a written prescription through the HCSA. Also, menstrual care products are now considered medical expenses that are eligible for reimbursement through the HCSA.

The DCAA employer contribution will be available in 2021 for unions that have agreements to participate in the employer contribution program. The following employees are currently eligible for the employer contribution:

• Employees of Executive Branch state agencies, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, or State University of New York who are designated M/C or represented by CSEA, UUP, GSEU, NYSCOPBA, or DC-37

• Employees of the Legislature, Office of Court Administration, NYS Energy Research and Development Authority, or Environmental Facilities Corporation

• Employees of the Unified Court System, except those designated unrepresented (Negotiating Unit #88)

The employer contribution may be available to state employees in other bargaining units for the 2021 plan year pending conclusion of negotiations and ratified contracts. Based on salary, the employer contribution will provide up to $800 for eligible employees who enroll in the DCAA. For employer contribution updates, please visit the FSA website at goer.ny.gov/FSA or call (800) 358-7202.

New state employees who are unable to enroll by the November 30 deadline because they have not been assigned a NYS EMPLID may enroll for the 2021 plan year by submitting a 2021 change in status application within 60 days of their hire date. The 2021 change in status application system will be available starting December 1, 2020.

2021 FSA Open Enrollment Campaign

Employees may obtain enrollment information, request an enrollment book, or enroll online at goer.ny.gov/FSA or by calling the FSA Hotline at (800) 358-7202.

Employees will need their NYS EMPLID, department ID, and bargaining unit to complete an application. Employees will have the option to select any or all of the benefits offered through the FSA and may choose the amount they want to set aside in each account. After they submit an application, they will receive an email notification that their application has been received and will be processed. Employees who prefer not to use online enrollment may call (800) 358-7202, and a customer service representative will take the application information.

Once their applications have been processed, employees will receive written confirmation that their enrollment has been accepted, regardless of whether they enroll online or by phone.

Use It or Lose It

Due to the tax advantage that flexible spending accounts provide, the IRS has strict guidelines regarding contributions. According to IRS regulations, any money that remains in an FSA account at the end of the three-month runout period, January 1 through March 31, 2022, is forfeited. This is commonly known as the “use it or lose it” rule. We strongly encourage employees to carefully estimate their annual expenses and to submit their claims before the end of the runout period.


Participants currently enrolled in the FSA program must re-enroll during the open enrollment period if they wish to continue their benefits in 2021. Current program participants will receive re-enrollment instructions in late October directly from HealthEquity, the administrator for the FSA.

To request an enrollment book or enroll online go to goer.ny.gov/FSA or call the FSA Hotline at (800)-358-7202.




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