HR Fast Facts: Can an Employee Enroll or Make Changes to Their FSA After Experiencing a QLE?

If an employee has gone through a qualifying life event and would like to enroll in — or make changes to — a Flexible Spending Account, there are some things they need to consider.

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How to Support Employees Newly Caring for Elderly and Aging Parents

If an employee has gone through a qualifying life event (QLE) and would like to enroll in a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), they should contact their benefits administrator.

Generally, FSA contribution changes due to a QLE must reflect the nature of the event. For example:

  • If an employee’s dependent turns 26, it would be acceptable for the employee to decrease their FSA contribution to reflect the loss of a dependent.
  • If an employee adopt a baby, they may want to increase their elections to accommodate the new medical expenses and/or day care costs for the new family addition.
  • If an employee gets married, they may want to increase their elections to accommodate the new medical expenses for their spouse.
  • If an employee’s spouse loses their job (and therefore loses coverage), it would be acceptable for the enrollee to increase their FSA contribution (or sign up for the first time).

Unacceptable changes

An example of an unacceptable change is employee who wants to reduce their Child & Elderly Care FSA contributions after the birth of a child. Though birth is a QLE, the reduction is not consistent with the QLE.

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