Plan Administered by Discovery Benefits
Southwestern University understands that each employee has a unique set of benefits needs. By providing a Flexible Benefits Plan and providing each employee with a prescribed benefit dollar amount, the University, therefore, does not mandate minimum levels of benefits or benefit program participation. An employee may choose all of the benefits provided, only a few, or none at all. Any benefit dollars not used for benefit premiums will be forfeited.
The Southwestern University Flexible Benefits Plan consists of the following benefit options:
Southwestern University will provide an employee a prescribed benefit dollar amount to pay for the cost of the benefits he/she selects under the Southwestern University Flexible Benefits Plan (medical, dental and vision insurance). With the benefit dollars provided, the employee may purchase the benefits which best suit his/her needs. Southwestern University Benefit dollars cannot be used toward other benefits provided by the University.
If the cost of the benefit programs the employee selects exceeds the benefit dollar amount provided, the employee will be responsible for any excess costs. The premium costs for the employee’s benefits may be paid on a “pre-tax” basis within limits set by the Internal Revenue Code. “Pre-tax” means that the amount that the employee spends for benefits will not be subject to Federal Income Tax or Social Security Taxes.
For each plan year, beginning January 1, the employee will be required to select the flexible benefits he/she desires. This will be an open enrollment period. The enrollment period will normally take place during the month of October or November for a January 1 effective date. At the time of enrollment, employees may add dependents or change their level of coverage. Employees will be advised before each enrollment period what the benefit dollar amount for the plan year will be and what the premium rates for each of the benefits will be. Selections will be effective for the full plan year (in the University’s case, the plan year runs the calendar year), unless the employee has a qualified change in family status .
Section 125 Plan
Southwestern University has an approved flexible benefits plan, commonly referred to as a “Section 125 Plan.” There are three components to the Plan, which allows the employee to save money on taxes: (1) Health Care Expense Account for medical, dental and vision expenses not covered under the University’s benefit plan or any other plan such as deductibles and co-insurances. The maximum annual contribution is $2,850. (2) Dependent Care Assistance used for day care expenses for a child, disabled spouse or dependent that make it possible for the employee or their spouse to work. The maximum annual contribution is $5,000. (3) Pre-tax Premium Plan allows the employee to pay their share of insurance premiums before taxes, thus reducing the cost of insurance coverage.
For more information, contact the Human Resources department.
Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Employee Guide (pdf)
FSA Frequently Asked Questions
(contact WEX for the most up-to-date listing)