TexFlex updates due to COVID-19

TexFlex updates due to COVID-19

NOTE: ERS is quickly reviewing the options recently allowed under the Consolidated Appropriations Act that may provide relief for anyone with funds remaining in a TexFlex health, limited-purpose and/or dependent care flexible spending account. Please check back for more information.

Flexible spending accounts (FSAs)

WageWorks and the Employees Retirement System of Texas are committed to providing participants with continued access to their TexFlex benefits during this unique time. As part of that commitment, we’ve extended the time you have to substantiate a debit card swipe.  You will now have an additional 90-days (or 180 days from the date of the card purchase) to provide your documentation to WageWorks. Please note, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) still requires that we verify all debit card charges are for eligible expenses. This change gives you more time to submit your documentation. 

If you have questions about your debit card or the substantiation process, please log in to your TexFlex account or contact TexFlex Customer Care toll-free at (844) 884-2364 (TTY: 711), Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. CT.   

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allows for the following changes to flexible spending accounts (FSAs):

  • Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs and medicines no longer require a doctor’s prescription in order to be paid for or reimbursed through an FSA. This means that participants in a health FSA can now use the benefit to pay for OTC items like cold medicine, allergy medicine and pain relievers, without having to make an extra trip to the doctor to receive a prescription. This new guideline is effective immediately and is retroactive to January 1, 2020.
  • Menstrual care products are now eligible to be paid for or reimbursed through an FSA, HRA or HSA. This will allow participants in health FSAs to use their benefit to pay for menstrual care products, which are described as “tampon, pad, liner, cup, sponge, or similar product used by individuals with respect to menstruation”, as they will now be considered qualified expenses. This new guideline is effective immediately and is retroactive to January 1, 2020. 

IRS Notice 2020-29 allows for the following changes for FSAs:

  • FSA participants can make changes to their FSA elections without a qualifying life event (QLE) including decreasing and ending enrollment through August 31, 2020. Participants should contact ERS if they want to change or end their FSA. 
  • Health care, limited-purpose and/or a dependent care FSA participants can use their Plan Year 2020 funds to pay for eligible expense through December 31, 2020
  • A carryover of up to $500 is allowed from the plan year ending August 31, 2020 and up to $550 from the plan year ending August 31, 2021. The carryover is automatic and only applies to the health care and limited-purpose FSAs. Participants do not need to take action to carry over up to $550 in from Plan Year 2021 to Plan Year 2022. 

Commuter spending accounts (CSAs)

As state agencies implement health and safety measures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), some employees are moving to remote work status. If your daily commute is impacted by these actions and you experience reduced or eliminated daily commute expenses, you should consider reviewing your commuter spending account (CSA) contributions to make sure your election still fits your needs. 

Here are some things to keep in mind as you review your CSA account and election options:

  • The TexFlex CSA is a month-to-month program. This means you can change your contribution amount or end your enrollment in the program at any time. Elections must be made by the last business day of the month so the monthly contribution can be deducted the following pay period. Example: Changes made by April 30 are processed by May 31 and are deducted from your June 1 paycheck. 
  • Excess balances over $3 carry over month-to-month and you can use funds as long as you are actively employed. Balances of $3 or less will be forfeited.
  • The IRS limits commuter reimbursement to $270 per month regardless of your account balance. Any unused amount exceeding $3 will carryover each month.
If you’d like to check the balance on your card, please visit TexFlexERS.com. If you have questions, please call TexFlex Customer Care toll-free at (844) 884-2364, Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.