Using Your Benefits Card in a New Plan Year
Remember when to use the Benefits Card for your BESTflex Plan Health Care FSA or EBC HRA to avoid having to repay your plan.
New Plan Year: When to Use Your Benefits Card
Your Benefits Card pays for eligible expenses with dollars from the current plan year. So it’s important for you to know when your plan year ends and a new one begins. When a new plan year starts, ask yourself these questions before using your Benefits Card.
✔ Do you have funds available in the current plan year? Log in to check your balance.
✔ Are you paying for an expense that occurred in the current plan year? Log in to view your plan year dates.
✔ Is your card active with no outstanding documentation requests on your account? Log in and you'll see a pop-up for any outstanding documentation requests.
If you answered YES to each of the questions, use your Benefits Card!
New Plan Year: When to Pay Out of Pocket and Submit for Reimbursement
If you answered No to a single question on the checklist, do not use the Benefits Card to pay for the expense. Pay for the expense with your preferred payment method and submit an online claim for reimbursement. Here’s more information about these scenarios.
- No New Plan Year Funds. You did not make an election to contribute funds to your Health Care FSA in the new plan year, or your employer is not contributing funds to your EBC HRA in your new plan year.
❌ If you swipe the card when you do not have new plan year funds, your transaction may be denied for insufficient funds. Or if your card payment is accepted and the transaction is processed later, you could owe money to the current plan year.
- Expense from the Prior Plan Year. IRS guidelines say you can only use current plan year funds to pay for current plan year expenses.
❌If you use your Benefits Card to pay for a prior plan year expense, the card will use current plan year funds and you could owe money to the current plan year.
- You Have Outstanding Documentation Requests. Your card may be temporarily deactivated until you provide outstanding documentation for Benefits Card transactions.
❌ If you use your Benefits Card for payment when it has been temporarily deactivated, it will likely be declined. If the payment is accepted and processed later, you could owe money to the current plan year.
Benefit Plan Pro Tips
Near the end of every plan year, review how your BESTflex Plan or EBC HRA works to make sure you’re using it to your best advantage.
- Log in to your online account to review how your plan works.
- Review your remaining balance, your plan year start and end dates, your deadline for submitting claims for the ending plan year, and more.
- Contact our Participant Services team with additional questions.