General Lab Information

Mid-year Changes to Health Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Elections in Response to COVID-19  

June 15, 2020

Based on IRS Notice 2020-29, Brookhaven Science Associates (BSA) is allowing employees to make mid-year changes to their Health Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA) elections for 2020 without a Qualifying Event. Employees may increase or decrease future contributions or add or drop coverage for 2020 in the Health Care FSA. This a one‐time election for 2020, and any other Health Care FSA elections will require a Qualifying Event.

Employee benefit elections are generally irrevocable for the calendar year unless a Qualify Event occurs. Qualifying Events allow an employee to increase, decrease, add or drop coverages mid-year that relate to the Qualifying Event.

Many BSA employees who previously elected to contribute to their Health Care FSA for 2020 have experienced a significant decrease in health care expenses as they comply with the applicable stay-at-home orders. They have not been able to use their Health Care FSA contributions as originally planned, since it has been difficult to schedule appointments with physicians and dentists, and for non-urgent surgeries, procedures, and tests. This means they may lose money that they have contributed to the FSA in 2020.

BSA will not allow current participants in the Health Care FSA to reduce their 2020 contributions elections to a point below the amount they have already been reimbursed by the FSA in 2020. BSA will also not allow for a reduction that would result in a refund of a participant’s unused contributions to the FSA.

To make this change, contact Erin Gettler at egettler@bnl.gov or Ext. 5126 or Jennifer Froehlich at jfroehlich@bnl.gov or Ext. 3724 in the Benefits Office. You will be provided with a Benefits Election Form to complete. This form must be submitted to the Benefits Office between June 17 and June 30, 2020. Elections will be effective July 1, 2020.