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Using Your Flex Spending Account

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Written by Julie Nichols on 15 September, 2014
Using Your Flex Spending Account

As a Third Party Administrator, one of our primary functions is timely, efficient processing of reimbursement claims for Health and Dependent Care FSAs. By following the guidelines included in this article and contacting ProBenefits with any remaining questions, you will assure yourself that your claim will be processed and your reimbursement received as quickly as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are reimbursable expenses under the Health FSA?
In order to be eligible for reimbursement, an expense must meet several criteria:

    1. The expense must meet IRS guidelines for expenses considered to be primarily for medical care. Our website provides a detailed, if not exhaustive, list of reimbursable medical expenses.
    2. The expense must be incurred by the participant or the participant's eligible dependents.
    3. The expense must not be reimbursed by insurance or any other benefit plan.
    4. Reimbursement is based on the date of service, not the date of payment (except in the case of orthodontia – see below), so the expense must have been incurred during the plan year and while you were an eligible participant in the plan.

What are reimbursable expenses under the Dependent Care FSA?

Dependent care expenses must be incurred so that you and your spouse (if applicable) can work, look for work, or attend school full-time. Covered eligible expenses must be for:

    • Dependent children age 12 and under; and/or
    • A person of any age whom you claim as a dependent on your taxes, and who is mentally or physically incapable of caring for himself or herself.
    • Eligible expenses include:
      • Childcare (nursery, preschool or private sitter)
      • Before- and after-school care
      • Day camps
    • Ineligible expenses include:
      • Kindergarten tuition
      • Overnight camps
      • Expenses paid to a tax-dependent
      • Expenses not directly related to actual care

What Constitutes a Valid Claim?

All claims must contain the following:

    • Properly completed Reimbursement Claim Form
    • Supporting documentation indicating the service provider, the date(s) services were rendered, and the out-of-pocket expense for those services.

What Constitutes a Properly Completed Reimbursement Claim Form?

The following information must be supplied by the participant:

    • Participant name
    • Employer
    • Date(s) of Service. The dates of service supplied on the Reimbursement Claim Form may be a single date for one receipt or a range of dates for multiple receipts. A range of dates begins with the earliest date of service and ends with the latest date of service. Payment for services rendered is not relevant. It must be documented that the service was actually rendered during the plan year.
    • Amount. This represents the total amount the participant is requesting for reimbursement based on the included documentation.
    • Signature

What Constitutes Valid Documentation?

A good rule of thumb is that documentation must clearly show the provider name, the date of service, enough about the type of service provided that eligibility of the expense can be fully evaluated, and the amount of expense that is the participant's responsibility (not covered by insurance or any other plan). Also, for medical claims, documentation must come from the provider or insurance company. For Dependent Care only, the participant may prepare a document with the required information and have the caregiver sign it.

Valid types of supporting documentation for a Health FSA include:

    • Statement from a medical practice
    • An Explanation of Benefits (EOB) statement from the insurance company
    • An itemized cash register receipt designating "Rx" and/or eligible over-the-counter items
    • Prescription label
    • Account summary provided by a medical practice or pharmacy
    • Invoices that show the date of service (payment and/or statement dates are irrelevant), the medical provider, and the amount charged to the patient

Valid supporting documentation for a Dependent Care FSA must include:

    • Name of the Caregiver
    • Tax ID/Social Security # of the Caregiver
    • Date(s) of service
    • Amount charged

What Constitutes Invalid Documentation?

    • Credit card receipts
    • Debit card receipts
    • Cancelled checks
    • Bank statements
    • A list of expenses supplied by the participant
    • Any of the documents listed under "Valid Documentation" above that does not contain the required data; that is, the provider, date and type of service and the out-of-pocket expense

How Are Claims Received?

Claims are received via online claim entry, fax, email, or mail. All claims are processed within one to two business days after we receive them. Whether received electronically or by mail, all claims are examined for validity, entered in our database, and saved for future reference.

To submit your claim online:

    • Make a clear scan of your  supporting documentation.
      • Save in PDF or TIFF format (other file formats may not be accepted, or may result in processing delays)
      • Login to your account at and visit the Online Claims Entry area.

To submit your claim via toll-free fax:

    • Fax claim form and documentation to:
      • Direct Deposit: Fax-a-Claim 866-FAX-FLEX (that's 866-329-3539)
      • Check-by-Mail: Fax-a-Claim 877-FAX-FLEX (that's 877-329-3539)

To submit your claim by email:

    • Make a clear scan of your signed claim form and supporting documentation.
      • Save in PDF or TIFF format (other file formats may not be accepted, or may result in processing delays)
      • Email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

To submit your claim by mail:

    • Make a good, clear copy of your claim form and all documentation to send to ProBenefits, and keep your originals on file in case of lost mail.
    • Mail to:

ProBenefits, Inc.
2634 Reynolda Road
Winston-Salem, NC 27106-3817

Is Orthodontia Processed Differently?

Yes. For orthodontia prepayments only, the IRS will consider the date of payment as the date of service. This means that if you pay your portion of the expense in full at the beginning of your orthodontia treatment, you can be reimbursed right away for the full amount of your payment up to the amount available in your election, even though the full treatment may extend across multiple plan years. If you are making payments toward your orthodontia treatment, you can be reimbursed each time you make a payment. For more important details on the reimbursement of orthodontia expenses and the documentation requirements for filing an orthodontia claim, please visit this page.

How will I know if you received my claim?

Your claim will be processed within 1-2 business days after receipt by ProBenefits. The morning after your claim is processed, you will receive an emailed confirmation notifying you that we have entered your claim and letting you know of any problems. You can also check online at to see an image of your claim, with any problem areas noted.

You can log in to your account online at to make sure we have the correct email address to send your confirmaton.

If we have no email address on file, you will receive a letter by mail if there are any problems with your claim. You will still be able to view your claim status online, even if we don't have an email address.

What is the appeal process for denied claims?

The notification you will receive after your claim is processed will detail any issues with the claim and will give instructions on how to remedy the problem. Missing or inadequate information must be supplied with a properly completed Reimbursement Claim Form. After reading the notice and viewing your claim image online, please contact ProBenefits if you still have questions.

How long after the end of the plan year may claims be submitted for services rendered during that year?

Claims may be submitted up to 90 days after the end of the plan year. For example, March 31 would be the last day to submit claims for the plan year ending December 31. If you terminate your participation in the plan at any time during the year, due to a change of status or termination of employment with the sponsoring company, you have 90 days after termination of participation to submit your claims.

Are there different options available for how reimbursement is made?

Consult your Benefits Administrator to determine if your employer offers check reimbursement and/or direct deposit.

How often are reimbursements made and on what schedule?

    • For monthly check reimbursement, the rule that governs reimbursement is "in by the 5th, out on the 15th." This means that if your claim is received in our office by midnight on the 5th of the month, your check will be mailed from our office on the 15th of the month (or the last business day preceding the 15th if that date falls on a weekend or holiday).
    • For weekly direct deposit, the rule that governs reimbursement is "in by Friday, out on Wednesday." If your claim is received in our office by midnight on Friday of any given week, we will release your funds to the bank the following Wednesday. Most participants see the funds in their account by Thursday, but it may take until Friday, depending on how quickly your bank processes the payment.
    • For monthly direct deposit, the rule that governs reimbursement is "in by the 5th, out on the Wednesday prior to the 15th."


Have more questions about using your FSA?


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