Pre-tax Savings Plans

Prepare for future medical expenses with a university pre-tax saving/spending plans. Review the benefits eligibility matrix to determine your eligibility.

Plan overview: 

The HCFSA allows you to pay for certain eligible out-of-pocket medical, dental and vision expenses not covered or reimbursed by insurance and incurred by you or your federal tax dependents.

You may contribute, pre-tax, a minimum of $10 per month up to $2600 per calendar year. 

You cannot make contributions to both an HCFSA and a Health Savings Account (HSA). You may not use this account to reimburse insurance premiums.

Features and Considerations:

  • Enrollment in a medical and/or dental plan is not required for you and/or your federal tax dependents to participate in the HCFSA.
  • Select an annual amount to spend throughout the plan year (July 1 –June 30).
  • You must spend the money in your account within the predetermined amount of time, or you'll lose it.
  • You must re-enroll each year during Open Enrollment and specify how much you wish to contribute for the plan year.

Choose your plan

Review monthly contribution rates

You may contribute pre-tax, a minimum of $10 per month up to $2600 per calendar year. Your payroll deduction will be calculated as your annual election divided by the number of remaining pay periods in the plan year (July-June).

Your contribution is for the plan year. However, for tax purposes, you are responsible for keeping track of your total calendar-year contributions. Your final contribution will be June 30.

You will be allowed to incur expenses through Sept. 15.

Effective date is the 1st day of the month following the date Employee Services receives your form.

  - Plan Comparison

Get an apples-to-apples look at CU's two tax-advantaged health savings plans with our Comparison Chart, on the next tab of this page.

  What this plan covers

You can pay for eligible out-of-pocket medical, dental and vision expenses not covered by insurance with funds from an HCFSA.

Over-the-counter (OTC) medications and drugs may be covered, but they must be used to treat an existing or imminent medical condition. You cannot claim OTC items used for general good health.

Please refer to the ASI website to verify eligible expenses.

Expenses qualify for the HCFSA when they are incurred, not when they are paid.

Effect on Taxes and PERA

Taxes:

  • Cafeteria plan dollars are deducted from your pay pre-tax, meaning before federal, state, FICA (Social Security), and Medicare taxes are paid. Your taxable income is reduced by the amount you contribute.
  • Participating in cafeteria plans reduces the salary on which annual contributions to Social Security are calculated, which may result in a reduction of the Social Security benefits received at retirement.

PERA:

  • Participating in cafeteria plans reduces the total contribution (both yours and the university's) to PERA.
  • Your PERA retirement annuity or disability retirement is based on your PERA Highest Average Salary (HAS) calculation. Since cafeteria plans reduce the salary on which PERA calculates benefits, your PERA retirement benefits may be reduced.

Review the FSA plan document.

Use your plan

 Claim Assistance

You must file claims for reimbursement by Nov. 15.

You can call 303-860-4200, option 3, to discuss your options with an Employee Services benefits professional.

ASIFlex Mobile App

Handle your HCFSA on-the-go with the ASIFlex mobile app. This free app, for Android and Apple devices, lets account holders access their HCFSA, view their up-to-date balances and file claims 24/7. Whether you are at the doctor's office or the pharmacy, just take a picture of your itemized receipt/statement and electronically file a claim of reimbursement. This skips the step of scanning, faxing and copying paper forms and keeping the process eco-friendly. 

Learn more and download the app.

ASIFlex Debit Card

  • What is an ASIFlex Debit Card?
    • The ASIFlex Debit Card is a limited-use, pre-paid debit card that lets you, your spouse and your dependents pay for qualified out-of-pocket eligible medical expenses with HCFSA funds without submitting a traditional claim.
  • How do I use the ASIFlex Debit Card?
    • When you need to pay for an eligible purchase, present your ASIFlex card at the time of purchase. This will then pay for the health care service/product straight from your HCFSA account. The use of the card is not paperless, and supporting documentation may be required to substantiate a transaction.
    • See a list of eligible expenses
      • When seeing a health care (medical/dental/vision) provider, ask for an itemized statement/receipt of the service received. The statement must include:
        • Who - the patient name
        • What - a description of the health care service or supply
        • Where - the health care provider name/address
        • When - the date the service/supply was provided, regardless when paid
        • How Much - the dollar amount you owe (do not include amount paid by insurance)
      • If purchasing a qualified health care expense not from a medical provider, documentation can be:
        • Explanation of Benefit (EOB) - If covered by insurance, you can submit a copy of your insurance plan EOB statement.
        • Prescription Drugs - Prescription receipt, a printout from your pharmacy, or a copy of the itemized mail-order statement.
        • Over-the-Counter Health Care Products - Copy of the merchant's itemized receipt that shows the store name, date, product description and the dollar amount.
        • Over-the-Counter Drugs/Medicines - Copy of your attending physician's prescription, and the itemized merchant receipt that shows the store name, date, product description and dollar amount. 
  • When can I use the ASIFlex Debit Card?
    • The FSA Debit Card can only work at:
      • Merchants that are set with an MCC code claiming that purchase/service as a medical good or service.
      • Stores that confirm at the point of sale that an item is eligible for the Flexible Spending Program (FSA).
  • How do I receive a card?
    • HCFSA account holders can order a card by logging into their online account and completing the "FSA Debit Card Application." Two cards will be sent to the home address within 14 business days in a plain white envelope.

Learn more about the ASIFlex Debit Card.

The FSA Store

Did you know that HCFSA account holders can pay for Band-Aids, skin-care products and travel essentials with HCFSA funds? The FSA online store sells only FSA-eligible products, many times at a discounted rate, all online for a one-stop shop for your health care products.

After creating an online account, users can purchase online with either their FSA debit card or other payments and have FSA-eligible products delivered to their home, without having to worry if they are covered. Eligible products sold range from travel essentials and first-aid kits to skin-care products and shoe insoles. 

Don't have a FSA debit card? You can still buy from the FSA store with a qualified form of payment. The FSA store will provide the appropriate documentation to file a claim of reimbursement.

Visit the FSA store.

When does my coverage end?

You must re-enroll each year during Open Enrollment and specify how much you wish to contribute for the plan year.

It is very important to carefully plan your election amount as any contributions left in the account will be forfeited.

Address Changes

To change your address, phone number and email:

  1. Log in to your campus portal at my.cu.edu.
  2. Select the NavBar in the right-hand corner.
  3. Select the CU Resources link. 
  4. Under the My Info and Pay menu, select Employee Profile. Here, you can update your addresses. phone numbers, emergency contacts, email addresses and more.

Review the FSA plan document.

Plan overview: 

An HSA is like an IRA for your health care that helps you to prepare for and manage health care costs. HSAs offer three tax benefits: tax-free saving, growth and spending on qualified medical expenses anytime, from today throughout your retirement.

HSAs can complement your retirement plan, helping you prepare for the estimated $250,000 or more that most people will need for retirement medical expenses. HSAs can also be used to save and pay tax-free today for your health care expenses—from doctors' visits to prescriptions, as well as dental and vision expenses.

You can pair an HSA with CU Health Plan – High Deductible, as long as you are the primary member.

You cannot be enrolled in both a Health Care Flexible Spending Account (HCFSA) and an HSA.

Eligibility:

  • You must be enrolled in CU Health Plan - High Deductible as the primary member, on the first day of the month.
  • You have no other active medical plan coverage, including Medicare.
  • You cannot be claimed as a dependent on someone else's previous year tax return.
  • You may open an HSA anytime of the year - not just during Open Enrollment.

Choose your plan

Review contribution limits

The maximum amount the IRS allows you to contribute to your HSA in 2017 is $3,400 for individual coverage and $6,750 for family coverage.  The maximum amounts in 2018 will increase to $3,450 for individual coverage and $6,900 for family coverage.  If you are age 55 or older, you can contribute an additional $1,000.

When you start an HSA through CU, you can set up pre-tax HSA contributions from your paycheck. You can make contributions to your HSA up to the annual IRS contribution limits on an after-tax basis and deduct them from your return. 

HSA funds are yours to keep even if you don't use them, and they carry forward year after year.

  - Plan Comparison

Get an apples-to-apples look at CU's two tax-advantaged health savings plans with our Comparison Chart.

For more information on what an HSA is, visit the Optum website:

  What this plan covers

Your HSA offers tax-free contributions and spending on qualified medical expenses, even in retirement. Expenses include doctor's visits and prescriptions, as well as dental and vision expenses.

See what health care expenses qualify.

Taxes

You won't be taxed, even after you retire, as long as you use the money in your HSA for qualified medical expenses for you, your spouse and your tax dependents.

These tax savings can allow you to save up to $25 or more for every $100 contributed to your HSA.

Income tax savings

  Without an HSA With an HSA
Income $1,000 $1,000
HSA Contribution $0 $1,000
25% Federal Income tax -$250 $0
Money to spend on qualified medical expenses $750 $1,000

Use your plan

 Getting started

First, watch a quick overview about using your HSA:

Then, call 303-860-4200, ext. 3, and our benefits professionals will walk you through the enrollment process.

When does my coverage end?

You can enroll in an HSA anytime during the plan year, not just Open Enrollment. 

The money in your HSA doesn't expire, and it carries over from year to year, even if you change jobs or retire.

Address Changes

To change your address, phone number and email:

  1. Log in to your campus portal at my.cu.edu.
  2. Select the NavBar in the right-hand corner.
  3. Select the CU Resources link. 
  4. Under the My Info and Pay menu, select Employee Profile. Here, you can update your addresses. phone numbers, emergency contacts, email addresses and more.
 

 

  Health Savings Accounts (HSA)
(Internal Revenue Code section 223)
Health Care Flexible Spending Accounts (HCFSA)
( Internal Revenue Code section 125)
What is the purpose of having one of these accounts? While you can use your HSA to reimburse yourself with pre-tax dollars for qualified medical, dental and vision expenses, the primary benefit of this account is to help you build up your account balance to pay for medical expenses in retirement. These accounts can rollover from year to year. Unneeded balances can be invested similar to a 401(k). If you or your federal tax dependents incur medical, dental and/or vision expenses that aren’t covered by your insurance, you can use this plan to reimburse yourself for those costs that qualify using pre-tax dollars.
Is it available to university employees?

Yes; you must be enrolled in the CU Health Plan-High Deductible as the primary member.

Yes; participation in a medical plan through your employer is not required. You must re-enroll each Open Enrollment to participate.
May I enroll in both HSA and HCFSA? No; you may not contribute to a health savings account and participate in a health care flexible spending account.
Who is eligible to contribute? Benefits-eligible employees Benefits-eligible employees
Who administers the account? OPTUM ASI Flex
What are the maximum contribution amounts for the 2017 tax year?

$3,400 individual coverage
$6,750 family coverage.
Individuals age 55 or older can make additional "catch-up" contributions of $1,000.

$2,600
What are the maximum contribution amounts for the 2018 tax year?

$3,450 individual coverage

$6,900 family coverage

Individuals age 55 or older can make additional "catch-up" contributions of $1,000.
 

No change until open enrollment 2018-19
Is this a pre-tax contribution? Yes Yes
Can contributions be used to pay for health care premiums? No; exceptions are: COBRA, health care premiums while receiving unemployment compensation, long-term care insurance and Medicare (premiums for Medicare supplemental plans are NOT allowed).
See IRS publication 969.
No
Can the unused contribution be rolled over? Yes No; all unused contributions are forfeited. However, a participant has until Sept. 15 of each year to utilize the prior benefit year’s contribution. The deadline to submit claims is Nov. 15.
Can I take my contributions with me if I switch jobs? Yes No
Can I withdraw the funds for non-qualified health care expenses? Yes, however the IRS will impose a 20% penalty tax.  Penalty-free withdrawals are allowed once you turn age 65, or if you become disabled or die. However, distributions will be taxable as ordinary income.
See IRS publication 969. 
N/A
Are there IRS rules to remember? Yes; IRS maximums are calculated on a calendar-year basis. Consult your tax advisor if you have another HSA account.    Yes; IRS maximums are calculated on a calendar-year basis. Consult a tax advisor if you have had another FSA account in the same calendar year.
Are there any fees charged? Typically HSA accounts have fees associated with them; however, as an eligible CU employee, the fees are paid by CU. Note: If you become ineligible or terminated, you are responsible for the fees. No
Do the account contributions accrue interest? Yes No
Can a surviving spouse set up an account through CU? Not through CU. Retirees and surviving spouses can set up a post-tax account with any financial institution as long as they are enrolled in a qualified high-deductible plan, and not enrolled in Medicare. No
Can PERA members participate if they're within 3-5 years of retirement? Yes; the health savings account does not affect your highest average salary calculation. Yes; however, participation will affect your highest average savings calculation.
Do I have to make contributions to the account throughout the year, or can I make a lump sum contribution? While you may make lump sum contributions, by default, your annual HSA allocations are divided and deducted equally from the paychecks you’ll receive for the remainder of the plan year. However, you may make changes monthly (subject to payroll deadlines). Your total annual allocation is divided by the number of pay periods remaining in the plan year. Lump sum contributions are not allowed.
If I have immediate eligible expenses, can I be reimbursed up to my annual allocated amount? No; employees will be reimbursed up to the current account balance. Yes; total plan-year contributions are available the first day of the plan year.

 

Plan overview: 

This account allows you to pay for the cost of caring for your federal tax dependents so you (and your spouse, if you are married) can work, look for work or attend school full time.

You can pay for care for your dependents including children younger than 13, your spouse and older mentally or physically incapable dependents. Expenses include day care and at-home care.

This plan is not for your dependent spouse's and/or children's health care expenses.

Features and Considerations:

  • Select an annual amount to spend throughout the plan year (July 1 - June 30).
  • You/your household contributes a minimum of $10 a month, up to a maximum of $5,000 each plan year ($2,500 is you are married and file taxes separately).
  • You must spend the money in your account within the predetermined amount of time, or you'll lose it.
  • You must re-enroll each year during Open Enrollment and specify how much you wish to contribute for the plan year.

Choose your plan

Review monthly contribution rates

You may contribute pre-tax, a minimum of $10 per month and up to $5,000 per calendar year ($2,500 if you are married and file your taxes separately). 

Your contribution is for the plan year. For tax purposes, you are responsible for keeping track of your total calendar-year contributions, including any contributions made by your spouse.

You will be allowed to incur expenses through Sept. 15.

Effective date is the 1st day of the month following the date Employee Services receives your form.

  What this plan covers

This plan covers care for federal tax dependents. Federal tax dependents, for the DCFSA purposes, include any qualifying child or relative younger than 13, your spouse and older dependents who are mentally or physically incapable of self-care and who live in your home at least eight hours each day. If you are divorced, the dependent must be your son or daughter for whom you have more than 50 percent physical custody.

Qualifying providers can provide care in your home or outside your home. Care provided outside your home and in a facility caring for more than five individuals must be licensed by the state.

Expenses may not be paid to your spouse, to children younger than 19 at the end of the year in which the expenses are incurred, or to any other individuals for whom you or your spouse are entitled to a personal tax exemption as a dependent.

Please refer to the ASI website to verify eligible expenses.

Expenses qualify for the HCFSA when they are incurred, not when they are paid.

Effect on Taxes and PERA

Taxes:

  • Cafeteria plan dollars are deducted from your pay pre-tax, meaning before federal, state, FICA (Social Security), and Medicare taxes are paid. Your taxable income is reduced by the amount you contribute.
  • Participating in cafeteria plans reduces the salary on which annual contributions to Social Security are calculated, which may result in a reduction of the Social Security benefits received at retirement.
  • Reimbursements from your DCFSA may reduce or eliminate dependent care tax credits on your federal income tax return. For most people, DCFSA reimbursements provide a greater benefit, but everyone's tax situation is different, so it is best to compare tax savings on an individual basis.

PERA:

  • Participating in cafeteria plans reduces the total contribution (both yours and the university's) to PERA.
  • Your PERA retirement annuity or disability retirement is based on your PERA Highest Average Salary (HAS) calculation. Since cafeteria plans reduce the salary on which PERA calculates benefits, your PERA retirement benefits may be reduced.

Review the FSA plan document.

Use your plan

 Claim Assistance

You must file claims for reimbursement by Nov. 15.

Dependent day care expenses are incurred when the day care is provided. This means you must receive the dependent day care services before you file a claim for those services.

You can call 303-860-4200, option 3, to discuss your options with an Employee Services benefits professional.

ASIFlex Mobile App

Handle your FSA on-the-go with the ASIFlex mobile app. This free app, for Android and Apple devices, lets account holders access their FSA, view their up-to-date balances and file claims 24/7. Just take a picture of your itemized receipt/statement and electronically file a claim of reimbursement. This skips the step of scanning, faxing and copying paper forms and keeping the process eco-friendly. 

Learn more and download the app.

When does my coverage end?

You must re-enroll each year during Open Enrollment and specify how much you wish to contribute for the plan year.

It is very important to carefully plan your election amount as any contributions left in the account will be forfeited.

Address Changes

To change your address, phone number and email:

  1. Log in to your campus portal at my.cu.edu.
  2. Select the NavBar in the right-hand corner.
  3. Select the CU Resources link. 
  4. Under the My Info and Pay menu, select Employee Profile. Here, you can update your addresses. phone numbers, emergency contacts, email addresses and more.

Review the FSA plan document.

Plan overview: 

The POP allows your monthly and dental benefits costs to be deducted from your pay before taxes are calculated.

Features and Considerations:

  • Once you elect to participate in the POP, your enrollment will continue from plan year to plan year. Changes are allowed only at Open Enrollment.
  • If you have dependents enrolled in university benefits who do not qualify as federal tax dependents for health coverage purposes, their premiums are not eligible for the POP, and you may incur imputed income.

Choose your plan

  What this plan covers

Your monthly medical and dental benefits costs can be deducted from your pay before taxes are calculated. This will reduce your taxable income and withhold fewer dollars for Social Security, and for state and federal taxes.

Taxes

As your benefits costs will not be taxed, your taxable income will decrease and fewer dollars will be withheld for Social Security, and for state and federal taxes.

Employee Services requires a Same-Gender Domestic Partner (SGDP) Tax Certification of Dependency for Tax Treatment of Medical Benefits for SGDPs and their dependents to deduct the relevant portions of their premium, pre-tax.

Use your plan

 Claim Assistance

You can call 303-860-4200, option 3, to discuss your options with an Employee Services benefits professional.

When does my coverage end?

Once you elect to participate in the POP, your enrollment will continue from plan year to plan year. Changes are only allowed during Open Enrollment. 

Address Changes

To change your address, phone number and email:

  1. Log in to your campus portal at my.cu.edu.
  2. Select the NavBar in the right-hand corner.
  3. Select the CU Resources link. 
  4. Under the My Info and Pay menu, select Employee Profile. Here, you can update your addresses. phone numbers, emergency contacts, email addresses and more.