University of Idaho - I Banner
A student works at a computer

VandalStar

U of I's web-based retention and advising tool provides an efficient way to guide and support students on their road to graduation. Login to VandalStar.

Health Care Spending Accounts

Health care spending accounts help you save money on eligible out-of-pocket health care and dependent day care expenses. Your contributions come out of your paycheck before federal income and Social Security taxes, so you pay less in taxes and may have more take-home pay. You have the following options:

  • Health Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
  • Health Savings Account (HSA) *only available if enrolled in High Deductible Health Plan
  • Dependent Care Spending Account (DCSA)

View the Health Care Spending Accounts At-A-Glance Chart 

Contact

All spending accounts (FSA, HSA & DCSA) are administered by HealthEquity.  You can contact them at 888-769-8696 or www.healthequity.com

 Overview of a Health Savings Account (HSA)

  • Individual account you own that allows you and the university to contribute pre‑tax dollars to pay for qualified, out-of-pocket medical expenses now or later.
  • Remaining dollars at the end of the year roll over and can be saved for the future.
  • HSA dollars earn interest and can be invested in mutual funds once your balance is $2,000 or greater.
  • Interest and investment earnings are tax-free as long as they remain in your HSA and/or are used for eligible health care expenses.
  • You own the money in your HSA, it’s yours to keep if you leave the university or retire.

Be sure to reference The Complete HSA Guidebook provided by HealthEquity for more detailed information on Health Savings Accounts.


Contributing to an HSA

  • The university helps fund your HSA through matching contributions.
  • The university’s matching contribution is deposited into your account each pay period until the maximum amount has been deposited.
View the Health Care Spending Accounts At-A-Glance Chart for election amounts.

Spending Your HSA Dollars

  • Use your HSA funds tax-free to pay for IRS qualified health care expenses for you, your spouse and any dependents you claim on your federal tax return.
  • You are responsible for ensuring tax-free withdrawals are spent on qualified health care expenses.
  • Your contributions and withdrawals to and from your HSA must be declared on your federal tax return.

HSA participants receive a HealthEquity Visa check card. This card is linked to your HSA balance and works just like a conventional check card. Participants can also use online bill pay.

Overview of a Health Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA)

  • An FSA allows you to set aside pre-tax dollars to pay for IRS eligible health care expenses incurred by you or any other person you cover under you health care benefits or claimed as a dependent on your federal income tax return (even if you do not cover them on your medical benefits).
  • All the money in the FSA must be exhausted each year. Any money remaining at the end of the calendar year cannot be carried over and it is forfeited - “use it or lose it.”

Contributing to a Health Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA)

  • You can contribute up to $2,750 per year in the FSA
  • There is no matching contribution made by the university

View the Health Care Spending Accounts At-A-Glance Chart 


Spending Your Health Care Flexible Spending Dollars

  • Use your FSA funds tax-free to pay for IRS qualified health care expenses for you, your spouse and any dependents you claim on your federal tax return.
  • You are responsible for ensuring tax-free withdrawals are spent on qualified health care expenses.
  • Your contributions and withdrawals to and from your FSA must be declared on your federal tax return.

FSA participants receive a HealthEquity Visa check card. This card is linked to your FSA balance and works just like a conventional check card. Participants can also use online bill pay.

 

 

Overview of Dependent Care Spending Account 

You may use this account to pay for care of your eligible dependents so you (and your spouse) can work (or actively look for work) or attend school full-time. 

Generally, an eligible dependent is: 

  • Your child under age 13 (as long as you or your spouse is entitled to the income tax exemption for the child) 
  • Your disabled spouse
  • A disabled dependent of any age who lives with you at least eight hours per day

Expenses eligible for reimbursement generally include: 

  • Child care at a day camp, nursery school or private sitter 
  • Expenses for preschool and after-school child care 
  • Cost of a housekeeper whose duties include care of a qualified dependent
  • Elder care for an incapacitated adult who lives with you at least eight hours per day

When you file your federal income tax return, you will be required to supply the name, address and Social Security or tax identification number of the individual or organization providing dependent care. If you are unable to supply this information, you should not use the DCSA to pay for these dependent care services. Also, if you participate in the DCSA, you cannot claim the child care credit for these expenses on your federal tax return. 

You can contribute up to $5,000 per year ($2,500 if married and filing separately).

  • In order to contribute to a Health Savings Account, you must be enrolled in the High-Deductible Health Plan.  
  • If you are enrolled in the Standard PPO plan or have waived coverage, you may contribute to the Health Care Flexible Spending Account.  
  • You cannot contribute to both the Health Savings Account & the Health Care Flexible Spending Account simultaneously.
  • Regardless of which health plan you participate in (or if you have waived coverage), you may contribute to the Dependent Care Spending Account. 
  • Each account is treated separately. For example, you cannot use money deposited in your Health Care Flexible Spending Account to cover dependent day care expenses or vice versa. Funds cannot be transferred from one account to the other.

Physical Address:
415 West 6th Street
Moscow, ID 83844-4332 

Mailing Address:

875 Perimeter Drive MS 4332
Moscow, ID 83844-4332

Office Hours:
Monday - Wednesday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Thursday: Noon to 5 p.m.
Friday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Summer Hours
Monday - Wednesday: 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Thursday: Noon to 4:30 p.m.
Friday: 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Phone: 208-885-3697

Fax: 208-885-3330

Email: benefits@uidaho.edu

Map