New Vendor for Flexible Spending, Commuter Transit and Parking
Sentinel Benefits is the administrator for 2017 contributions to Flexible Spending Accounts and the pre-tax Commuter Transit and Parking programs. See the links below for more information about eligible expenses and Sentinel Benefits.
The website is https://www.sentinelgroup.com/home and their phone number is 888-762-6088.
Note that all 2016 contributions will be reimbursed by Benefit Strategies. If you have a Benefit Strategies debit card and intend to use the card for health care expenses during early 2017 (the “grace period”), you should keep your old card until you have used up the 2016 contributions. Contact Benefit Strategies directly at the number on your card for more information.
Finally, if you enroll in Brown’s Consumer-Directed Health Plan administered by UnitedHealthcare, federal law prohibits you from receiving any reimbursement in 2017 from amounts contributed in 2016 to a flexible spending account. You must spend your 2016 contributions by December 31, 2016.
Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs)
Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) are optional accounts set up to help eligible employees decrease taxes and increase take-home pay. Use the money in a Flexible Spending Account to pay for eligible medical and dependent care expenses.When a Flexible Spending Account is established, the employee will receive a debit card to access account funds. Employees now have the option to pay for eligible expenses without waiting for reimbursement checks and also minimize out-of-pocket expenses at the time of service.
Brown University offers two types of accounts to help stretch paycheck dollars.
Healthcare Flexible Spending Account
A healthcare flexible spending account allows employees to set aside pre-tax dollars to pay for eligible health and/or dental care expenses such as:
- Coinsurance, copayments, and deductibles
- Certain over-the-counter products
- Dental, vision, and hearing expenses that aren't covered by the plan
- Weight loss (i.e., obesity-related) and smoking cessation
Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account
A dependent care flexible spending account allows employees to set aside pre-tax dollars to pay for eligible dependent care expenses such as:
- After-school day care expenses
- Preschool tuition
- Elder care
- Day camp