In an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19, we will not be having an in-person Benefits Fair this year. Instead, we’re offering a Virtual Benefits Fair, which will consist of an online source for curated content from our benefits vendors (such as videos, brochures and more), along with special dates/times for virtual live chat options with HR staff and/or our benefit vendors. We encourage you to use these resources to help get answers to your questions or learn more about all the benefit options available to you as an MSU employee.
Dates and Times
The Virtual Benefits Fair will take place from October 12–16, with MSU HR staff and benefits vendors available to answer questions live via chat on Thursday, October 15 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday, October 16 from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. (some vendor hours may vary for live chat).
How to Join
Click on this link to the Virtual Benefits Fair webpage to join the fair.
Please register with your name and email if you wish to interact with HR staff and benefit vendors during scheduled live chat sessions. You can then use the username and password you register with to login to the fair. View this Guide to Participating in the 2020 MSU Benefits Open Enrollment Fair for more information.
Participating Benefits Vendors
The following MSU benefits vendors and MSU units will be participating in the Virtual Benefits Fair:
- Aetna Dental
- Blue Cross Blue Shield/Blue Care Network
- Delta Dental
- Livongo (Diabetes Management)
- Teladoc (Telemedicine)/Teladoc Medical Experts (Formerly Best Doctors)
Life and AD&D
Flexible Spending Accounts
MSU Benefits Plus
- ARAG (Legal Group)
- Liberty Mutual (Auto & Home)
- MetLife (Critical Illness, Auto & Home)
- Nationwide (Pet)
- Transamerica (Long-term Care)
- VSP (Vision)
- MSU Health Team
- MSU Human Resources
- MSU IT Services
- MSU Organization and Professional Development
- MSU Pharmacy
- MSU WorkLife Office
While your child care and medical care options may have changed during the COVID-19 crisis, many families are still looking for ways to save money on some common household expenses. As you consider what your family may need for the coming year, don’t forget you have benefit options available that may help. A flexible spending account (FSA) allows you to use pre-tax dollars to pay for eligible expenses, such as daycare or health care costs like copays or pain medication. In fact, using FSA funds for these types of expenses can save you an average of 30%!
MSU is happy to offer benefits-eligible employees the option to enroll in two different types of FSAs: Dependent Care FSA and/or Health Care FSA. You can enroll in one or both FSA plan types. You will manage your FSA directly with MSU’s plan administrator, HealthEquity/WageWorks.
Should I enroll in both FSA types?
Good question! The answer depends on what you and your family need. Make sure you know the eligible expenses each FSA plan allows you to use your pre-tax money on before you enroll in one or both plans.
Dependent Care FSA Eligible Expense Examples:
Health Care FSA Eligible Expense Examples:
- Medical/dental deductibles and copays
- Pain medication
- Menstrual care products
- Hearing aids
- Allergy medications
- Find a complete list here
When you enroll, you’ll decide how much money you’d like to contribute to the FSA. This money will be deducted from your paycheck (pre-tax) and divided over each pay period throughout the plan year.
How to Enroll
We encourage you to review these two FSA plan options and enroll – or re-enroll – in an FSA during the MSU Benefits Open Enrollment period in October. Before you enroll, make sure you take some time to understand each plan and estimate how much you are likely to spend on eligible expenses throughout the plan year. Since it may be difficult to plan your expenses due to the changing nature of the pandemic, we encourage you to plan conservatively. Due to IRS requirements, any unused funds left in your account at the end of the plan year will be forfeited. Learn more about FSAs – including contribution limits, deadlines, and eligible expenses – on the HR website.
Questions? Visit the FSA Plan Administrator website or call 877-924-3967. You can reach MSU Human Resources at SolutionsCenter@hr.msu.edu or 517-353-4434.
While your summer plans may look a bit different this year due to COVID-19, there are still a variety of fun things you and your family can do while practicing safe social-distancing (read more about safe summer activities on campus here). Whether you’re planning a mini road trip, family picnic, or trip to the lake, if you participate in a flexible spending account (FSA) you can use your funds to help pay for common summer necessities and/or camps for your kids.
Tips for Health Care FSA Funds
Save an average of 30% by using your Health Care FSA funds on the following eligible expenses that double as travel necessities:
- Allergy medications
- Blister care kits
- Bug bite treatments
- Sun reader eyeglasses
- SPF lip balm
- Travel first-aid kits
- Traveling neck pillows
- UV detection stickers
- And more!
Worried about buying something that isn’t considered an eligible expense? Consider shopping at the online FSA Store for worry-free purchases since everything on the FSA Store website is a guaranteed eligible expense. Be sure to check out their monthly coupons and promo codes for additional savings.
Tips for Dependent Care FSA Funds
If you have a Dependent Care FSA, chances are you haven’t been able to use your funds on childcare as much as you originally estimated due to closures from COVID-19. However, don’t forget you can also use these funds on summer camps for your kids. While many places are now offering virtual camp options, some places are still offering in-person activities with special social-distancing measures in place. See if any of the following options may interest your kids:
If you don’t have an FSA and are wondering if you should participate in one, learn more about the two types of FSAs available to benefit-eligible MSU employees on the HR website and consider enrolling in one or both types during the benefits Open Enrollment period in October this year.
Are you enrolled in a health care flexible spending account (FSA) for the 2020 plan year? A health care FSA is a great tool to help you save money on common household expenses – like first aid kits, sunscreen, or doctor co-pays – since it allows you to use pre-tax money to pay for hundreds of eligible expenses, saving you an average of 30%.
During the current COVID-19 crisis, we know families are thinking about ways to save money while also staying safe by limiting contact with others through social distancing. To help, we’d like to share some tips and updates to your health care FSA to help you stay safe AND save money.
New Items Added to the Eligible Expenses List
Recently, the CARES Act was signed into law, which expanded the list of eligible expenses you can use your health care FSA money on. Newly eligible expenses include popular over-the-counter drugs without a doctor’s prescription and menstrual care products. Find a highlighted list of new items below:
Shop for Eligible Expenses from Home – Delivered Right to Your Door
While you can shop anywhere for eligible expenses, we’d like to remind you of the convenience of using the FSA Store for easy online shopping.
- FSA-eligibility guarantee: all items on the FSA Store website are guaranteed to be eligible expenses, so you never have to worry about accidently purchasing a product that doesn’t qualify.
- Save time: if you use your FSA card while shopping on the FSA Store your purchases are automatically substantiated – no need to upload any receipts to your account.
- Stay safe: shop while practicing safe social distancing, since all items are delivered directly to your door.
Please note that anyone can shop online at the FSA Store, not just people enrolled in a Health Care FSA.
How Can I Enroll in a Health Care FSA?
Benefits-eligible MSU employees have the option to enroll in a health care FSA during Open Enrollment each year in October. Learn more about FSAs on the HR website.