The Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) are administered by Highmark Blue Shield. For all questions, Highmark's customer service representatives can be reached at 1-800-914-4384.

From Highmark Blue Shield’s website, you can easily submit your cost share (copayments, deductible, coinsurance) to your FSA and request payment be made directly to your network doctor or hospital. This prevents you from having to “pay up front” and wait for reimbursement from your FSA. If you would prefer to have the payment sent directly to you, that is an option as well. You can have the payment direct deposited to your bank account or have a check sent to you. For instruction on how to use your FSA for these various payments, please review How to Pay Expenses Using Your FSA.

You also have the ease of using the “debit” card provided by Highmark, which gives you the benefit of having your entire year’s election UP FRONT; you may need to submit receipts after you have used your debit card in order to satisfy IRS regulations for “substantiation”.  Use of the debit card is voluntary, but provides the convenience of not having to pay out of pocket and wait for your reimbursement.

All FSA reimbursements must be submitted to Highmark no later than March 31 of the following calendar year for active employees.

If you have terminated or retired, you have 90 days from the termination/retirement date to submit receipts for reimbursement. Please note that you may only submit receipts that you've incurred on or before your termination/retirement date.

Please see the Frequently Asked Questions to learn about the great changes and how you can save tax money.

Tools & Tips

If you have unused money from 2014, you will need to use the “Pay Now” feature to access those funds, and you have until March 31, 2015 to do so.  

After January 1, 2015, if you use the debit card, it will automatically pull from your 2015 funds.  

To avoid having to submit receipts and/or receiving letters from Highmark asking for “substantiation”, DO NOT use the debit card for services other than office visit copayments and prescriptions.  You are not required to use the debit card - it is just one of the options you have available to you.

You are able to pay your providers directly from your FSA or pay yourself back when you have paid out of pocket for a service:

  • “Pay Provider” - Means you are paying the provider directly from your FSA account and Highmark will submit the payment to the provider on your behalf. 
  • “Pay Myself” -  Means you are reimbursing yourself for services you will be billed for or have already paid.  Highmark will send a check or direct deposit to YOU from your FSA. 
  • “Mark As Paid” - Means that you are not intending to pay yourself or the provider, but rather you are just organizing your claims so they indicate previous payment was made.

This is useful when you know that you used your debit card for a particular service, as those claims will be listed in your account. 

When paying your provider or paying yourself, you may select up to 10 claims or lines per claims, per submission. If you have more than 10 claims that you want to pay, select up to 10 then click submit. You can then go back and select more claims to pay.

If you are submitting claims for dental, orthodontia, or vision expenses, you will need to produce documentation of your balances regardless of whether you use the debit card or pay out of pocket and enter your own claim.  

Please contact Highmark Blue Shield at 800-914-4384 if you have any questions about your medical claims or your flexible spending account.

Tutorial Video on Managing Your FSA




Regular full-time employees may participate in either or both of the following flexible spending accounts (FSA):
Health Care Flexible Spending Account - This account allows you to set aside funds on a pretax basis to cover anticipated out-of-pocket medical, dental, and vision care expenses for yourself and for your dependents. The maximum allowable amount for a health care FSA is $2,500 for 2015.

If both you and your spouse/same-sex domestic partner are employees of Penn State and have FAMILY coverage under the PPO Savings Plan (high-deductible) with the Health Savings Account (HSA), a HEALTH CARE Flexible Spending Account (FSA) cannot be opened under either employee. The IRS does not permit use of a health care FSA when enrolled in an HSA. (The Dependent Care FSA is available to either employee up to the IRS limits)
Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account - This account is for employees who have day care needs for their children or an adult dependent. It allows you to set aside funds on a pretax basis to reimburse work-related day care expenses that are incurred for the care of eligible dependents. Unlike the health care FSA, money contributed to the dependent day care FSA is still subject to Pennsylvania state income tax. The maximum allowable amount for a dependent day care FSA is $5,000 for 2015. Check out the dependent care brochure from Highmark.


  • Both FSAs require employees to make a new election each year
  • Newly hired employees must elect FSA participation during the first 31 days of employment

Additional Resources


Please use the following link for the most up-to-date versions of Highmark's spending account reimbursement claim forms. If you need help finding a Highmark form, please contact Highmark directly at (800) 914-4384.

Medical, Prescription, and Spending Account Forms for Highmark Members