Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA)

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA): are a value-added feature that allows participants to set aside money on a pretax basis for expenses they know they will incur, such as health care or dependent care. This feature enhances the benefits package for members, while lowering employers' FICA taxes.


Contributions to FSAs means lower taxes for members and employers.

  • Lowers FICA taxes
  • Controls benefit costs
  • Manages compensation
  • Employees pay for expenses with pretax dollars

Two Separate FSA Options:

CareFirst offers the following options:

  • Health Care Expense Reimbursement – Participants can pay for eligible health care expenses on a pretax basis, thereby cutting costs by reducing their federal income tax, FICA tax, and in most states, their state income taxes. Typical out-of-pocket health care expenses include, but are not limited to:
    • Health care deductibles and copays
    • Prescription drug copays
    • Dental expenses, including copays, deductibles, dental implants, orthodontia
    • Vision expenses, including eye exams, eye glasses, contact lenses and solution, laser-eye surgery
    • Chiropractic care
    • Diabetic care
    • Hearing aids
    • Acupuncture
    • Physical therapy
    • Smoking cessation programs
  • Dependent Care Reimbursement – Dependent care expenses include, but are not limited to:
    • Day care centers for children or the elderly
    • Day camp (overnight camp fees are not allowed)
    • Before- and after-school program
    • Preschool (not kindergarten)

Participants who pay for dependent day care expenses for children under the age of 13 or for adult dependents such as elderly parents may realize more tax advantages than the federal income tax credit. To compare savings, your employees will need to consider the following factors:

  • Tax filing status
  • Adjusted gross income
  • Amount of expense
  • Number of dependents in day care

For more information about this plan, contact our Member Services Department at the phone number on your member ID card.

Note: Use this FSA calculator to see how participating in your employer's FSA can help you pay less tax, and increase your net take home pay.