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Do You Still Have Money in Your Pre-Tax Expense Account?

Do you have an unused balance in your Pre-Tax Expense Accounts (Health Care or Dependent Care)?   If you haven’t yet used up the money you’ve contributed to your account this plan year, you should keep some important dates in mind.  Due to an IRS regulation known as “Use It or Lose It”, if you don’t use up the full balance in your account each plan year, you lose that unused money! 

Our plan year runs from July 1–June 30 of each year. The money you contribute to the Pre-Tax Expense Accounts during each plan year can only be used for expenses incurred within certain dates (see tables below). Also note that the expenses must be incurred while you are actively participating in the accounts.

Contributions during Current Plan Year
(July 1, 2005–June 30, 2006)

Account Type

Time frame to incur expenses

Deadline to submit claims

Health Care

July 1, 2005–September 15, 2006

September 30, 2006

Dependent Care

July 1, 2005–June 30, 2006

September 30, 2006

Contributions during New Plan Year
(July 1, 2006–June 30, 2007)

Account Type                    

Time frame to incur expenses

Deadline to submit claims

Health Care, Dependent Care

July 1, 2006–September 15, 2007

September 30, 2007

As of this year, the deadline for incurring expenses has been extended for the Health Care Pre-Tax Expense Account.  Next year, the deadline extension will apply to both the Health Care and Dependent Care Accounts.

Visit the Human Resources website at www.hr.upenn.edu/benefits/ pretax/default.asp for more information on the Pre-Tax Expense Accounts including listings of eligible expenses and instructions on how to file a claim. Or call the Penn Benefits Center at 1-888-PENNBEN (1-888-736-6236), Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (select Option 3).

New Benefits Deductions Start in June

Open Enrollment is now over, and any changes you’ve made will take effect on July 1, 2006.  Even if you didn’t make any changes, new deduction rates will apply for the new plan year.  Keep in mind that your new deduction rates for all benefits plans other than Pre-Tax Expense Accounts will start in June.  New contributions for the Pre-Tax Expense Accounts will begin in July.  Visit the Human Resources website at www.hr.upenn.edu/benefits/default.asp to view rates for the new plan year.

New Vision Plan

As of July 1, 2006, Penn’s vision coverage will be provided through the new Davis Vision plan.  It’s important to note that your current vision provider may or may not be a participating member of the new plan.  You can use any provider you wish, but you’ll receive a higher level of coverage when you use one that participates in the network.  So, talk to your current provider to find out if they participate in the Davis Vision network.  If not, you may want to look for one that does.

The Davis Vision plan is administered by Independence Blue Cross. To find a network provider, call (215) 241-2990 or 1-800-841-1992 or go to www.ibx.com/vision.  Note that the Scheie Eye Institute is a participating provider in the Davis Vision network. 

For more information about Penn’s vision coverage, visit www.hr.upenn.edu and click on “Vision” under the Benefits section.

                                                —Division of Human Resources



  Almanac, Vol. 52, No. 34, May 23, 2006


May 23, 2006
Volume 52 Number 34


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