OPM announced this week it is allowing new flexibilities to the Federal Flexible Spending Account Program (FSAFEDS) and will be offering a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) soon for health care and dependent care Flexible Spending Accounts.

During the SEP, details of which will be announced by OPM and FSAFEDS in the near future, participants in Health Care Flexible Spending Accounts (HCFSA) and Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts (DCFSA) will be able to increase or decrease their current elections to their plans.

The SEP will also allow enrollment or re-enrollment in a 2021 HCFSA or DCFSA for anyone who did not enroll or re-enroll during last fall’s Open Season. Those who do so will be able to submit qualified medical expenses after their enrollment becomes effective. Those who had been enrolled in an account during 2020 but did not re-enroll during the Open Season last fall would now have access to any 2020 carryover funds in their account, if they re-enroll during the SEP.

The following flexibilities to FSAFEDS accounts were announced by OPM and are now in place for account participants:

• Full carryover for a HCFSA and Limited Expense FSA (LEX FSA) if you re-enroll in a 2021 HCFSA or LEXFSA

• Extension of the grace period for a DCFSA for plan years 2020 and 2021

• Permitting reimbursement of dependent care expenses for dependents through age 14 for 2020 and 2021 under a DCFSA

• Allowing DCFSA participants to increase their election up to $10,500 for 2021 ($10,500 for single or married filing jointly and $5,250 for married filing separately). This can be done now by experiencing and submitting a Qualifying Event, including an increase in dependent care expenses. Go to FSAFEDS, click “Enroll in a Plan” on the home page, select Qualifying Life Event and follow the instructions.

• Eligibility of face masks and hand sanitizing wipes (with a minimum of 60% alcohol)

Participants and those interested in participating in these Flexible Spending Plans should go to FSAFEDS to learn more.