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Flexible Spending Accounts

Eligible employees can choose to participate in one or both of Alameda County’s Flexible Spending Account (FSA) programs:

These are separate flexible spending accounts that can help you save money on taxes by allowing you to pay for certain expenses with before-tax dollars. Click the links to the left for more details about each account.

How FSAs Work

  • You decide how much you want to contribute, up to plan maximums, on an annual basis into one or both of the FSAs when you enroll.
  • Your FSA contributions are deducted from your paycheck in equal amounts on a pre-tax basis.
  • Your election stays in effect for the entire Benefit Plan Year (January 1 through December 31). You cannot increase, decrease, or cancel your contributions outside of the plan’s enrollment period, unless you have a qualified status change.
  • You use your FSA contributions to pay your eligible expenses—as defined by Internal Revenue Code—under the Health, Adoption FSA or DCAP.
  • FSA elections do not carry over from year-to-year—you must re-enroll each year, even if you are currently participating.
  • Once you elect to set aside money in an FSA, you must use it for eligible expenses incurred during the plan year. If left unused, you forfeit any "leftover" funds.
  • Claims for expenses incurred during the Benefit Plan Year may be submitted for reimbursement by April 15th of the following year.

Refer to your Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for your eligibility to contribute to these programs and the maximums you may contribute.

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Health Flexible Spending Account

The Health FSA (also referred to as the “Unreimbursed Medical FSA) lets eligible employees set aside pre-tax dollars to help you pay for eligible health care expenses. You can contribute up to a certain dollar amount annually, and you do not need to be enrolled in a County-sponsored medical or dental plan to contribute. Refer to your MOU or Salary Ordinance for the maximums you may contribute.

Eligible Expenses

Health care expenses that are eligible for reimbursement under the FSA are clearly defined by the IRS. Refer to IRS Publication 502 for a complete list of eligible expenses.

Getting Reimbursed

As you incur eligible expenses, you submit claims for reimbursement from the account. You can download the appropriate claim form through the box to the right, or contact the Employee Benefits Center (EBC) to request a copy.

Remember, claims for expenses incurred during the Benefit Plan Year may be submitted for reimbursement by April 15th of the following year. Once you elect to set aside money in the Health FSA, you must use it for eligible expenses incurred during the plan year. If left unused, you forfeit any “leftover” funds. This is an IRS requirement.

Important Information for Employees

Note, the employee contribution limit, and any remaining monies from your annual County Allowance that are NOT used to purchase your pre-tax benefits, have certain limitations as set by the Internal Revenue Service.

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Adoption Assistance Flexible Spending Account

The Adoption Assistance program lets eligible employees set aside pre-tax dollars to get reimbursement for eligible expenses associated with adopting a child or children who are under the age of 18, or are physically or mentally incapable of caring for him or herself. The child cannot be the child of the spouse of the individual seeking reimbursement. The employee can salary contribute up to $6,000 per calendar year into this account. Please refer to your Memorandum of Understanding to determine eligibility.

Eligible Expenses

Qualified adoption expenses are reasonable and necessary adoption fees, court costs, attorneys fees and various other expenses. Please refer to the Alameda County Cafeteria Plan document for a description of eligible and in-eligible expenses.

Getting Reimbursed

As you incur eligible expenses, you submit claims for reimbursement from the account. Please contact the Employee Benefits Center on how to receive a claim form.

Remember, claims for expenses incurred during the Benefit Plan Year may be submitted for reimbursement by April 15th of the following year. Once you elect to set aside money in this account, you must use it for eligible expenses incurred during the plan year. If left unused, you forfeit any “leftover” funds. This is an IRS requirement.

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Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP)

The DCAP lets eligible employees set aside pre-tax dollars to help you pay for eligible dependent care expenses. You can contribute up to $5,000 annually to this program. Refer to your MOU or Salary Ordinance for the maximums you may contribute.

Eligible Dependents

Children under age 13 and dependents(s) living with you (e.g. parents, sibling, or in-law) incapable of self care are considered eligible dependents.

Eligible Expenses

Dependent care expenses that are eligible for reimbursement under the DCAP are clearly defined by the IRS. Refer to IRS Publication 503 for a complete list of eligible expenses.

Getting Reimbursed

As you incur eligible expenses, you submit claims for reimbursement from the account. You can download the claim form on the right, or contact the Employee Benefits Center (EBC) to request a copy.

Remember, claims for expenses incurred during the Benefit Plan Year may be submitted for reimbursement by April 15th of the following year. Once you elect to set aside money in the DCAP, you must use it for eligible expenses incurred during the plan year. If left unused, you forfeit any “leftover” funds. This is an IRS requirement.

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County Allowance

Alameda County offers employees an annual allowance to offset the cost of medical, dental, vision, supplemental employee life, and AD&D insurance benefits elections.

Refer to your Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) or Salary Ordinance for the current negotiated amount.

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