University of Wisconsin–Madison

Flexible Spending Accounts

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) allow you to withhold tax-free dollars from your paychecks to spend on certain health care and dependent daycare expenses. The program is administered by Connect Your Care (CYC), a part of Optum Financial. Your annual election will be divided between 24 benefits eligible paychecks (no deductions taken on C pay periods) or 18 pay periods for employees paid over 9 months.

Log in to your Flexible Spending Account


All employees, including rehired annuitants, are eligible to enroll in this program, except:

  • Student Hourly employees
  • University Staff Temporary employees
  • Student Assistants with one of the following titles: Fellows, Scholars, Trainees
  • Employees-in-Training with one of the following titles: Grad Intern/Trainee, Post-Doc Fellow/Trainee


If you are a newly hired employee:

  • You have 30 days from the date employment begins to enroll.
  • Coverage will be effective on the first of the month on or following your hire date.

If you are a currently enrolled employee:

  • You are required to re-enroll each year during Annual Benefits Enrollment to continue participation. Enrollments do not carry forward from year to year.

If you have any questions regarding your eligibility or enrollment options, contact HR.

Health Care FSA

The Health Care FSA covers eligible expenses that are not covered or are partially covered by insurance plans, such as prescription drugs, medical deductibles, copays, and coinsurance amounts. You may also use this account to pay for eyeglasses, dental expenses, and certain over-the-counter drugs and supplies. See IRS publication 502 for more detail on qualified expenses.

These expenses can be incurred by you, your spouse and/or a qualifying child or relative.  See IRS publication 969 for more detail on whose expenses may qualify.

Read the FSA unsubstantiated claims process for procedures, employee communications, and timelines.

You are not eligible for the Health Care FSA if you enroll in the High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) with the Health Savings Account (HSA). Consider enrolling in the Limited Purpose FSA instead.

Limited Purpose FSA (LPFSA)

A Limited Purpose FSA (LPFSA) covers eligible dental and vision expenses. You may also use LPFSA dollars for medical expenses once your HDHP medical deductible is met. These expenses can be incurred by you, your spouse and/or a qualifying child or relative. This plan is only available if you are enrolled in a HDHP plan design. See IRS publication 969 for more detail on whose expenses may qualify.

Dependent Care FSA

A Dependent Care FSA covers eligible expenses for the physical care of dependents, either inside or outside the home. If you are married, your spouse must be unable to provide dependent care because they work, are actively looking for work, are enrolled in and attending school full-time, or are themselves physically or mentally incapable of self-care.

Eligible dependents include your qualifying child, spouse, and/or qualifying relative. See IRS publication 503 for more detail on whose expenses may qualify.

This account does not pay for medical, dental, and/or vision expenses for your eligible dependents.

FSA Contribution Limits and Deadlines

FSA Account Type 2023 Amounts Contribution 2024 Amounts Contribution
Health Care FSA $50 – $2,850 $50 – $3,050
Limited Purpose FSA $50 – $2,850 $50 – $3,050
Dependent Day Care FSA $0 – $2,500 or $5,000 (depending on tax filing status) $0 – $2,500 or $5,000 (depending on tax filing status)

Minimum annual election is $50. These accounts are use-it-or-lose-it. The plan year is January 1 of current year – December 31 of current year. If an employee’s Health Care or Limited Purpose FSA has unused funds on December 31, up to $610 will rollover to the following plan year; any amount over $610 will be lost. There is no rollover for the Dependent Care FSA; any amount unspent by the deadline will be lost. The deadline to file the current year’s claims is March 31 of next year. If eligible, carryover will appear in your health care FSA on/around April 15th.

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