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

May 24, 2011, Volume 57, No. 34

If you have an unused balance in your Health Care or Dependent Care Pre-Tax Expense Accounts, 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 the full balance in your account each plan year, you lose that unused money.  

Penn’s 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 below). Keep in mind that the expenses must be incurred while you are actively participating in the accounts.

Account Type

Plan Year

Time frame to incur expenses

Deadline to submit claims

Health Care and
Dependent Care

July 1, 2010–
June 30, 2011
(current plan year)

July 1, 2010–
September 15, 2011

September 30, 2011

July 1, 2011–
June 30, 2012
(new plan year)

July 1, 2011–
September 15, 2012

September 30, 2012

If you elected the Aetna High Deductible Health Plan with a Health Savings Account (HSA) during Open Enrollment using up your Health Care Pre-Tax Expense Account is even more important than ever. When your new medical plan takes effect on July 1, 2011, you won’t be able to participate in the HSA portion of the plan unless your Health Care Pre-Tax Expense Account is completely exhausted. If you don’t use up your balance by June 30, 2011, your HSA account won’t be available until October 1, 2011. Visit the Human Resources website at www.hr.upenn.edu/benefits/openenrollment.aspx for more information about the Aetna High Deductible Health Plan.

For more details on the Pre-Tax Expense Accounts, including listings of eligible expenses and instructions on how to file a claim, visit www.hr.upenn.edu/benefits/pretax or call the Penn Benefits Center at 1-888-PENNBEN (1-888-736-6236), Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.–6 p.m.

Almanac - May 24, 2011, Volume 57, No. 34