Flexibility in Flexible Spending Account
June 4, 2009 12:27 AM   Subscribe

How flexible is the May 31st filing deadline for previous year Flexible Spending Account claims? Is it an automatic "NO!" or are they allowed to be nice and reimburse me if I have a good case for not filing before the deadline? Will it depend on my employer? It is a claim for a pretty small amount of money for them ($50) but significant for me. Do they even have an option for processing claims submitted after the deadline?

I have all the documentation for a eligible expense from December, just wondering if it is worth trying to convince them to still process my claim 4 days after the deadline.
posted by silkygreenbelly to Health & Fitness (8 answers total)
Pretty sure they're not going to be flexible on this one. Despite the irony of the name "flexible spending account" they don't tend to be flexible on these deadlines. Check to see if you've got a grace period?

Given them a call and discuss. They're nice, I'm sure, just remember the person's name and use it and be cheery and I'd guess you'll get the best possible outcome here.

This is not from experience in your exact situation, but I have had FSAs and made inquiries with good results, plus know about grace periods from other accounts (credit cards, etc.). Use Skype to call their 800 number for free to save on cell minutes if you don't have a landline =)

Good luck to you.
posted by xiaolongbao at 1:27 AM on June 4, 2009

Health insurance companies are not exactly known for being flexible with people and not finding absolutely any excuse not to pay.
posted by delmoi at 1:55 AM on June 4, 2009

When is your plan year? The plan year is not necessarily the same as the calendar year. It sounds like yours is, but it's at least worth asking to find out. Also, contact your Human Resources department and ask them when your grace period ends. Ask them what the latest date is for you to incur claims, and the latest date is for you to submit claims.

Good luck!
posted by pecanpies at 4:40 AM on June 4, 2009

Response by poster: The last date to incur was in March and any 2008 claims had a submission deadline of May 31. Hence my question: will the rep I talk to even be ABLE to process a late claim or do they have restrictions that won't even allow processing after the deadline?
posted by silkygreenbelly at 6:08 AM on June 4, 2009

Well, for my plan the submission deadline was the same as the deadline to incur expenses - March. The latter deadline is set by the IRS, but the fact that our plans have different submission deadlines implies to me that the submission rules might be set by the plan administrator and therefore be more flexible. In any case, it can't hurt to call and find out!
posted by yarrow at 6:53 AM on June 4, 2009

you had a grace period already from march to may. doubt you will get any leeway. can't hurt to ask though. Typically plans have a grace period to allow expense incurred at the last minute to be filed, but i dont' see where you will have an argument here, unless possibly you just got an EOB from your decemeber expense that you didn't know you were going to owe. I would be really suprised though.
posted by domino at 7:02 AM on June 4, 2009

Best answer: At my place of work, flex spending deadlines apply to date of service and incurred expense, not the date of filing. Our deadline is June 30. If they won't help you, it's because of your insurance company's policies, not the IRS. It's worth a try.
posted by Carmody'sPrize at 7:07 AM on June 4, 2009

Best answer: The chances of them paying on a claim (that occurred in the plan year) that was submitted late are slim to nil. It isn't up to your employer, it is up to the plan administrator. If your plan administrator is someone like ADP then the answer is no, there is no flexibility. If your company uses someone smaller and perhaps local the chances increase.

Basically I hope you have a REALLY good excuse and you can always ask but don't expect them to be accomodating. Having such extended deadlines is already their accomodation.
posted by magnetsphere at 9:06 AM on June 4, 2009

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