2016 Flexible Spending Account reminders

Medical FSA:

  • If you or your family members are enrolled in a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) medical care reimbursement account for 2016, you must incur all expenses by Dec. 31, 2016. This is a change from prior years, which allowed expenses through March 15 of the following year.
  • This year, up to $500 of unused money in your 2016 medical care FSA account will be rolled over into a 2017 FSA account. Claims for reimbursement must be submitted by April 30, 2017. Money remaining in your 2016 FSA account above the $500 rollover limit on April 30 will be lost. The $500 that is rolled over must be used for eligible medical expenses incurred between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2017, or it, too, will be forfeited. The $500 rollover does not offset the 2017 election amount; it is added to it.

Dependent care FSA:

  • Dependent care flexible spending accounts have different rules than medical accounts. Participants can incur expenses for reimbursement through March 15, 2017, against their 2016 annual amount.
  • Claims must be submitted to PayFlex by April 30, 2017; after April 30 unused funds will be forfeited.
  • It is important that 2016 claims are submitted prior to submitting 2017 claims so that 2016 funds will be exhausted prior to 2017 dollars being used.

Log in to the Cornell PayFlex website to:

  • submit claims for expenses incurred between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2016, for your medical care FSA;
  • submit claims for expenses incurred between Jan. 1, 2016, and March 15, 2017, for your dependent care FSA; and
  • view claims prior to each deadline that were denied for reimbursement due to incomplete documentation.

You must re-enroll in an FSA every year

There is no automatic re-enrollment process – you must take action during your enrollment period to elect a 2017 FSA. The endowed open enrollment was Nov. 1-18. The open enrollment period for contract college faculty and staff began Nov. 14 and continues through 5 p.m. EST Dec. 16.


Contact Benefit Services at 607-255-3936 or via email at benefits@cornell.edu if you have questions.