Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Program

This page is intended to be a general overview of the FSA Program. For details of the FSA Program, please see the State of Illinois Flexible Spending Account Reference Guide. The administrator of this program is ConnectYourCare (CYC).

The FSA Program is a simple way to set aside tax-free money for eligible medical and/or dependent care expenses. While participating, your FSA contributions will be deducted pre-tax from each paycheck, and deposited into your account, lowering your taxable income for the year. The FSA plan year begins each July 1 and ends on June 30.

The FSA Program has two separate plans. If you are eligible, you may participate in one plan, or both plans simultaneously:

  • The Medical Care Assistance Plan (MCAP) is used for eligible medical and health care expenses, including prescription medications, copays, deductibles, and coinsurance that are not paid by health, dental or vision insurance.
  • The Dependent Care Assistance Plan (DCAP) is used for costs related to eligible dependent care, such as nursery schools, before- and after-school care, and adult day care facilities.

Enrollment in the FSA program is available only during your first 30 calendar days in a State benefits-eligible job, during the annual Benefit Choice period in May, or within 60 calendar days following an applicable Qualifying Event. During these times, you can enroll through CMS MyBenefits. You must re-enroll each year during Benefit Choice to continue participating in MCAP and/or DCAP.

Medical Care Assistance Plan (MCAP)

Eligibility

To be eligible for participation in the MCAP, you must be receiving a regular paycheck (typically bi-weekly or monthly) from which deductions can be taken, be eligible to participate in the State health plans, and be one of the following:

  • A permanent employee with an appointment of at least 50%.
  • An employee hired for at least 4.5 months (one semester) at 100% time.
  • An employee with an appointment of at least 50% for 9 months or longer.

You must be on active payroll to participate. Generally, if you go off payroll (for example, termination of employment, retirement, or unpaid leave) you are not eligible to participate in the FSA Program.

Upon returning to work from a leave of absence, you may complete and submit a new enrollment within 30 calendar days of returning to payroll.

Contribution Limits

The minimum amount that you may contribute to an MCAP account is $240 per year. The maximum amount you may contribute is determined each year by the IRS. For FY 2018 (July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018), the maximum is $2,600 per year. Pre-tax MCAP deductions will be automatically taken from each of your regular paychecks and will not be subject to state, federal, or Social Security withholdings.

Plan Summary

Important: Always keep itemized receipts and Explanation of Benefits (EOB)!

  • Documentation may be required to substantiate an expense paid using your payment card.
  • Documentation is required for any paper claim submission to CYC.

Participating in the MCAP allows you to pay for, or be reimbursed for, eligible medical expenses and health care that are not paid by health, dental or vision insurance. Reimbursement is processed through the FSA Program administrator, ConnectYourCare. Generally, MCAP eligible expenses can be paid by:

Some important information to keep in mind when using your MCAP account:

  • Your full MCAP annual contribution amount is available on the first day of the plan year.
  • You can use your MCAP card like any other credit card when paying eligible expenses. You may still need to provide supporting documentation (such as an itemized receipt) after using your card.
  • Eligible expenses for each plan year (July 1 through June 30), must be incurred (that is, services provided) during that plan year.
  • You have until September 30 to submit claims for reimbursement of eligible expenses incurred during the previous plan year (July 1 through June 30).
  • You may roll over up to $500 from one plan year to the next only if you re-enroll for the following year. Any remaining balance over $500 (all remaining balance if you do not re-enroll) will be forfeit per IRS regulations.

Dependents in MCAP

Dependents do not need to be covered on your State health insurance for their medical expenses to be reimbursed through the MCAP. However, there are still specific restrictions on who is eligible, and you will be required to provide the dependent’s name and relationship to you when submitting a claim.

Eligible expenses in the MCAP may be reimbursed for:

Dependent Care Assistance Plan (DCAP)

Eligibility

To be eligible for participation in the DCAP, you must be receiving a regular paycheck (typically bi-weekly or monthly) from which deductions can be taken, be eligible to participate in the State health plans, and be one of the following:

  • A permanent employee with an appointment of at least 50%.
  • An employee hired for at least 4.5 months (one semester) at 100% time.
  • An employee with an appointment of at least 50% for 9 months or longer.

In addition, if you are married, your spouse must be one of the following:

  • Gainfully employed
  • A full-time student
  • Disabled and incapable of self-care
  • Seeking employment and have income for the fiscal year

Special rules apply for divorced or separated parents. Custodial parents who meet certain criteria may be eligible to participate. Noncustodial parents are ineligible to participate.

You must be on active payroll to participate. Generally, if you go off payroll (for example, termination of employment, retirement, or unpaid leave) you are not eligible to participate in the FSA Program.

Upon returning to work from a leave of absence, you may complete and submit a new enrollment within 30 calendar days of returning to payroll.

Contribution Limits

The minimum amount that you may contribute to a DCAP account is $240 per year. The maximum amount you may contribute is determined each year by the IRS, and depends on your tax filing status. For FY 2018 (July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018), the maximum amounts are:

  • Single and Head of Household: $5,000 per year
  • Married and Filing Separately: $2,500 per year
  • Married and Filing Jointly: $5,000 per year

Pre-tax DCAP deductions will be automatically taken from each of your regular paychecks and will not be subject to state, federal, or Social Security withholdings.

Plan Summary

Important: Always keep itemized receipts! Documentation is required for all DCAP claim submissions.

Participating in the DCAP allows you to be reimbursed for eligible dependent care expenses. Reimbursement is processed through the FSA Program administrator, ConnectYourCare. You can submit a DCAP reimbursement claim through:

Some important information to keep in mind when using your DCAP account:

  • Your available DCAP funds are limited to your contribution balance available in your account when your claim is received by CYC.
  • Eligible dependent care expenses are limited to those incurred (that is, services provided) during working hours.
  • Eligible expenses for each plan year (July 1 through June 30), must be incurred (that is, services provided) during that plan year.
  • You have until September 30 to submit claims for reimbursement of eligible expenses incurred during the previous plan year (July 1 through June 30).
  • There is no rollover available for DCAP. Any remaining balance is forfeit at the end of each plan year per IRS regulations.

Dependents in DCAP

For DCAP reimbursements, only the custodial parent of divorced or legally separated parents can be reimbursed for child care expenses.

Eligible expenses in the DCAP may be reimbursed for dependents as defined by the IRS:

  • A qualifying child
  • A qualifying spouse
  • A qualifying relative

Resources/Links

FSA Information & Resources

Claims & Reimbursements

Additional Resources