Flexible Benefits Plan

Employees must re-enroll every year to continue in the Flexible Spending Plans. Even if you participated in the medical reimbursement and/or dependent care reimbursement account during the present year, you must re-enroll to participate for the next year.  Open Enrollment will be held in the fall of each year.

What is a Flexible Spending Account?

If you paid for any out-of-pocket medical and dependent care expenses this year and are not currently enrolled in the University's Flexible Spending Account plan, you are paying more in taxes than you would have if you were enrolled in the program. A flexible spending account allows you to take money from your compensation and place it into accounts for medical and dependent care expenses. These funds are not taxed, thereby potentially saving you hundreds of dollars. The money put aside in the account is then used by you to pay eligible medical and dependent care expenses. These payments can be made via the debit card provided or you can make the payments and request reimbursement from the funds in your account.

Changes for 2017

For 2017 claims, you will log in a new website stateoftn.payflexdirect.com and create a new username and password. The Quick Reference guide will assist you on account balance, and how to file a claim. Quick reference guide

  • The University of Tennessee Health Science Center is changing from the grace period method to the carry over method. This means that you will no longer be able to use claims dated past December 31st for your prior year plan, instead you will be allowed to carry over up to $500.00 into your 2018 plan. (If you are changing from a Flex plan to a Health Savings Plan then this carry over will have to be in a Limited Purpose Flex Plan (this can only be used for dental and vision claims)
  •  The Flex visa card will no longer have Dependent care amounts loaded to it, so you will not be able to use the cards at your child care provider (most providers did not take the cards anyway)
  • A Limited Purpose FSA (LPFSA) will be offered this year for those employees that have an Health Savings Account

There are four different FSA plans available

  • Medical
  • Limited Purpose
  • Dependent Care
  • Parking and Transportation


You may set up a FSA to pay many of your and your family's medical expenses that are not already covered by insurance, such as the insurance plan deductible or copayment amounts, contact lenses or glasses, certain non-cosmetic dental procedures, prescription drugs or their copayment amounts, hearing aids and other qualified expenses. You do not qualify for a medical FSA if you are enrolled in the HealthSavings CDHP. However, you can put money in a limited purpose FSA for dental and vision expenses.

Limited Purpose 

While anyone who wants to can enroll in a limited purpose FSA, those who are enrolled in the HealthSavings CDHP with a health savings account (HSA) may find it particularly attractive since they may not enroll in the medical FSA option. You can use the limited purpose FSA to pay for certain dental and vision costs not covered by insurance.

Dependent care

You may set up a FSA to pay for certain dependent-care costs such as after-school care, baby-sitting fees, adult or child daycare and preschool. You must be working and your spouse must be either working, looking for work, in school full time or incapable of self-care

Transportation and Parking Plan

Participation in the Qualified Transportation and Parking Plan requires the completion of the Transportation and Parking Reduction Form. Please note that you cannot participate in the Parking Plan if your parking is deducted from your paycheck because that is already treated as a pre-tax deduction.


The maximum amount you can contribute to a FSA is set by the IRS each year (typically in late October or early November), and the limits are subject to change yearly. Employers have the right to set a lower amount than the IRS maximum. The annual contribution limits for 2017 are:

  • Medical FSA – $2,550 (If you and your spouse each have a healthcare FSA, you can each contribute $2,550)
  • Limited purpose FSA – $2,550
  • Dependent care FSA – $5,000 (per household)
  •  Transportation and parking FSA – $255 per month for each

What Happens if I Go On Leave of Absence without Pay, Change to Term, Retire, or Otherwise Terminate Employment

If you go on leave of absence without pay, change to term, retire, or otherwise terminate your employment, your flex plan will be shut down as of the date you terminate or are placed on leave. You will have 90 days to submit claims for expenses incurred prior to the leave, retirement, or termination date. In the event of your death, your beneficiary or estate may be reimbursed for expenses incurred prior to your death. Claims for those expenses may be filed through April 30th of the following year. An employee returning from a Leave of Absence will not automatically be reenrolled in a reimbursement account program. The employee must request re-enrollment and complete a new enrollment form within the first 30 days after returning.