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.

FSA Tips & Tools
Substantiation Process 

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.

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.

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 2014.

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 Day 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 2014. 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