Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account

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 Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account - Discovery Benefits

Who couldn’t use a little more money?  That’s what you’ll receive when you take advantage of the Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA).  A Dependent Care FSA allows you to set aside a portion of your salary, before taxes, to pay for qualified dependent care (day care) expenses.  Because that portion of your income is not taxed, you end up with more money in your pocket.

To be eligible for this type of account, both you and your spouse (if applicable) must work, be looking for work or be full-time students.  You may receive reimbursement up to the current balance in your account at the time the request is made.

The annual IRS limit for this type of account is $5,000.  If you are married and file separate returns, you can each elect $2,500 for the calendar year.  When choosing how much to set aside for dependent care, please note that any unused funds remaining in your Dependent Care Account at the end of your plan year will be forfeited.  Maritz has implemented a grace period, which allows you to incur eligible expenses until March 15 of the following calendar year.  Claims and supporting documentation must be submitted by April 30, 2019. Any funds remaining in your 2019 Dependent Care FSA Account after April 30, 2020 will be forfeited.

Eligible Dependents
•    Children under age 13 who are claimed as a dependent for tax purposes
•    Disabled spouse or disabled dependent of any age
•    Aging parents who live in your home and are unable to take care of themselves

Ineligible Expenses
•    Costs claimed as a dependent care tax credit on your tax return
•    Services provided by one of your dependents
•    Expenses for nighttime babysitting or overnight camps
•    Expenses paid for school (Kindergarten and above)

Recurring Dependent Care Reimbursement

You can eliminate the need to submit substantiation throughout the year for dependent care expenses by enrolling in Recurring Dependent Care.  This process only requires you to submit one form per year for each day care provider used during the year. 

If your cost of dependent care per month is less than your monthly payroll deduction or you have currently contributed more to your plan than you have incurred in expenses, you do not qualify for Recurring Dependent Care, and you’ll need to file claims as services are incurred.

The Recurring Dependent Care Request Form can be found in the consumer portal on the Discovery Benefits website HERE.  This form must be completed by you as the participant and by your day care provider, confirming the amount per week that you pay for day care.  A separate form must be completed for each provider if you use more than one. 

Once you have submitted this form, nothing is needed the rest of the year, unless you change daycare providers or your cost of day care for the year will be less than the annual amount you are contributing to the FSA.  You will receive automatic reimbursements following each pay period contribution paid into the FSA account, without having to file any additional claims.  If there are times throughout the year that you miss a week or two of daycare, no worries,  as long as you know you will have paid more in daycare expenses by the end of the year than you have paid into the account through payroll deductions.  Just keep all receipts for daycare actually received during the year in case of IRS audit, to verify you did pay for daycare at least as much as you were reimbursed. 

Accessing Your Account

Access your Discovery Benefits online account at www.discoverybenefits.com.  You can submit expenses for reimbursement online, through the toll-free fax, via email or by mail.  Your money will be directly deposited into your checking or savings account, or you can receive a check in the mail.

If you don’t use the Recurring Dependent Care Reimbursement option, and your daycare provider accepts credit card payments, you can use your Discovery debit card to pay for dependent care expenses directly from your account instead of paying out-of-pocket and filing a claim for reimbursement.  You have the convenience of one debit card for all benefits you have through Discovery, so if you also have the HSA or Commuter benefits with Discovery, you would use the same debit card for all three plans.  However, please note that you would still need to provide documentation to Discovery Benefits to verify the daycare expenses being paid with your debit card.

Another option to request reimbursement for your Dependent Care expenses is to file a claim on the website at www.discoverybenefits.com and submit supporting documentation to Discovery Benefits. 

Supporting documentation for your daycare expenses can be the itemized bill from your daycare provider that includes the name of your daycare provider, name of your child, dates the care was provided, and the amount.

An alternative to getting an itemized bill or receipt from your daycare provider is to print a copy of the Dependent Care Verification form on the www.discoverybenefits.com website.  After filing your dependent care reimbursement claim online, complete this Dependent Care Verification form and have your daycare provider sign where indicated.  Submit the completed form to Discovery Benefits as your supporting documentation for the claim.

Discovery Benefit Mobile App

The free Discovery Benefits mobile app gives you the power to manage your benefits anytime, anywhere. This means it is easier to use and manage your hard-earned dollars, view recent account activity and check your balance whenever and wherever is convenient for you.

With the mobile app, you can get instant notifications on the status of claims, upload claim documentation, report a card as lost or stolen, check account balance and activity and more.

Download it today on your Apple or Android device.