Changing Your Election
After you make your annual election for your Medical FSA, you cannot change your election amount mid-year unless you experience a “qualifying event.” The IRS has determined that certain life events, such as getting married or having a child, should allow employees to either increase or decrease the amount of money they are contributing to their Medical FSA, as long as the change in election is consistent with the event.
For example, if John has a $500 Medical FSA election and, in the middle of his plan year, gets married, he would be allowed to increase his election to accommodate expenses for his spouse. Another person was added to his plan, so it is reasonable that he should elect more money to cover his spouse’s expenses. In the same event, however, he would not be able to decrease his election, because lowering his election amount is not a change that is consistent with the event of adding another person to his plan.
A few examples of qualifying life events, as determined by the IRS, include:
- Change in marital status
- Change in the number of dependents
- Change in employment status
- One of your dependents satisfies or ceases to satisfy eligibility requirements
- Change in your place of residence
- Commencement or termination of an adoption proceeding
- Court judgment, decree, or order
- Entitlement to Medicare or Medicaid
- Significant cost or other coverage changes
- You take leave under the FMLA
A more in-depth description of all qualifying events can be found here.