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Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA Feds)

Flexible Spending Account (FSA)

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) allow employees to set aside pre-tax dollars to help cover expenses related to health care, child care and/or adult dependent care. Since most of us already spend money on deductibles, co-pays, prescriptions, and dependent care, FSAs can help to mitigate the cost of these expenses due to the tax-free nature of the accounts. For the federal government, third party provider, Sykes Health Plan Services (SHPS), Inc. administers all FSAs. There are three types of FSAs available – Health Care FSA, Limited Expense FSA and Dependent Care FSA. A list of Frequently Asked Questions can be found below and at

When is the benefit period?

  • Benefit period runs from 1 January to 31 December of each calendar year
  • Grace period is from 1 January to 15 March of the following year
    • The grace period covers eligible expenses that are made from 1 January to 15 March of the year following the benefit year. Any expenses incurred during the grace period will be applied towards the prior year’s balance of funds


How does it work?

  • Choose a specified amount to be deducted over the course of the year ($250 - $5,000). The amount specified will be deducted incrementally from your bi-weekly pay check.
  • After obtaining eligible services, submit reimbursement claim for eligible health care related expenses and receive the money that is already set aside in your account.
  • Once you elect to place money into an FSA, this election is irrevocable (unless there is a Qualifying Life Event (QLE)).


How do you enroll?

  • Employees must enroll and/or re-enroll each year during the Federal Open Season. Plans do not automatically roll-over
  • New employees have the opportunity to enroll up to 60 days after their appointment as long as they enroll prior to October 1
  • If a new employee comes on board after October 1, he/she must wait until the Federal Open Season period to enroll in FSA Feds
  • All open season enrollments are effective January 1 of the following calendar year
  • An employee is ineligible to continue making contributions to your FSAFEDS account after retirement or separation from the Federal Government


Types of FSAs and Eligible Expenses:

  • Health Care FSA (HCFSA)
    • Helps to pay for expenses that are not paid by FEHB or any other insurance
    • HCFSA Expenses include health plan deductibles, co-payments, co-insurance, prescription medications (no longer covers over the counter medications), mileage to obtain medical care, and certain other expenses that are not covered by your FEHB insurance plan
    • The minimum you may elect each year is $250 and the maximum is $5,000
  • Limited Expense (LEX) HCFSA
    • For employees currently enrolled in the FEHB High Deductible Health Plan with Health Savings Account (HSA) or Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA)
    • LEX Expenses are limited to dental and vision care out-of-pocket expenses
    • The minimum you may elect each year is $250 and the maximum is $5,000
  • Dependent Care FSA (DCFSA)
    • The DCFSA is used to pay for expenses associated with eligible child care or adult dependent care for qualified dependents that is necessary to allow you or your spouse to work, look for work, or attend school full time
    • Any active employee is eligible to participate in the DCFSA. Intermittent or Seasonal employees who are expected to work less than 6 months in a calendar year are the only exception.
    • Dependents must be claimed on income tax returns
    • Adult dependents must be physically or mentally incapable of caring for themselves
    • There is a $5,000 household limit ($2,500 if married, filing separately) on the amount that can be set aside in a DCFSA


How and when do I submit a claim for reimbursement?

  • For HCFSA and LEX accounts, you may elect the available amount once the first allotment is received. For example, during enrollment if you request an account of $2500 to be established, as soon as the first deduction comes out of your pay check, you may claim reimbursement for the entire amount of $2500
  • For DCFSA accounts, only the account balance may be claimed at one time. For example, if you request an account of $2500 to be established, but through your deductions, the account only has $500, you may only claim up to $500 reimbursement
  • Last day to submit claims for any year is on April 30 of the following year


Dependent Care FSA (DCFSA) Claim Form  
Health Care FSA (HCFSA) Claim Form  
Paperless Reimbursement Form and Reference Guide  
OPM BAL 03-803: Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts and other Child Care Subsidies  
OPM BAL 08-803: The Federal Flexible Spending Account Program (FSAFEDS): Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Tax Act (HEART Act)  
OPM’s Flexible Spending Accounts  
Department of the Navy (DON) Benefits Website for Flexible Spending Accounts  

Contact Information


Phone: 1-877-372-3337

TTY Phone: 1-800-952-0450