Current Provider: Optum Financial

  • Customer Service: 866-347-7276
  • FSA Enrollment Guide (PDF)
  • Flex Spending Forms
  • Website: Optum Financial
  • To login/register: Optum Financial uses a login experience called HealthSafe ID. This security feature uses two-factor authentication and allows you to use a single username and password when accessing other Optum sites that use HealthSafe ID. Download Step-by-step instructions (PDF) for creating a HealthSafe ID. Note: If you have previously used HealthSafe ID, you do not need to create a new one. You should click the Sign in button on the HealthSafe ID page to access your account. If you can’t remember your HealthSafe ID credentials, you can easily reset them during the sign-in process.

Flexible Spending is a tax savings opportunity by paying health premiums and out-of-pocket health and child care expenses with pre-tax dollars.


Regular faculty or staff members working 50% FTE or more are eligible to participate in three flex plans: Health Insurance Premium, Health Care Spending, and Dependent Care Spending (described below).

Enrollment Period

Eligible employees may enroll within 31 days after their date of hire, during the annual open enrollment in November and/or within 31 days after a family status change. You must re-enroll each year to continue your participation in this plan. Continued participation is not automatic.

Effective Date

Benefits eligible new hires and rehires become eligible for coverage on their date of hire. Changes to benefit coverage due to a life event or job change into a benefits-eligible role will also be effective as of the date of the event provided the change is made within 31 days of the event. For important information on making changes due to a life event or job change, see the Guidelines for Health Care Benefits Enrollments and Changes (PDF). Changes made during the annual Open Enrollment period in November are effective January 1 of the subsequent year.


Health Insurance Premium: The employee’s monthly premium for the university-sponsored health plan is automatically deducted from employee’s gross wages thus reducing their taxable earnings.

Health Care Spending: Employees may elect to contribute up to $3,050 per calendar year on a pre-tax basis to pay for eligible out-of-pocket health care expenses such as health, dental, prescription drug or vision plan deductibles, copays and coinsurance, eyeglasses, contact lenses and hearing aids. WashU couples may each contribute up to the individual annual maximum amount. The minimum annual contribution is $120.

Dependent Care Spending: Employees may elect to contribute up to $5,000 per calendar year if single or married and filing a federal tax return jointly with your spouse ($2,500 per calendar year if married and filing separately). Contributions are made on a pre-tax basis and can be used to pay for eligible dependent care expenses such as licensed day care, preschool or babysitting services for dependents under the age of 13. To be eligible, services must be rendered for the sole purpose of allowing the parents to work or attend school full-time. The minimum annual contribution is $120.

Note that the pre-tax contribution elections by highly compensated employees may be reduced annually to comply with IRS non-discrimination testing requirements. The required non-discrimination testing is typically done in the first calendar quarter of each year and may result in a further reduction in the maximum contribution amount for the remainder of the year. For 2024, the annual pre-tax limit for Dependent Care FSA contributions by highly compensated employees (employees who earned $150,000 or more in 2022) has been reduced to $2,850 for single tax filers or married tax filers filing jointly with their spouse. (The limit will remain $2,500 if you are married filing separately from your spouse.) We expect that this reduced limit will remain in place for 2025.

Tax StatusMinimum ContributionMaximum ContributionAdditional Information
Non Highly Compensated
Single Filer$120$5,000 
Married Filing Jointly$120$5,000Must coordinate contributions with spouse to ensure you do not exceed this joint limit
Married Filing Separately$120$2,500Per spouse
Highly Compensated
Single Filer$120$2,850 
Married Filing Jointly$120$2,850Spouse can make up the difference (e.g. $2,150 to reach the statutory $5,000 maximum limit)
Married Filing Separately$120$2,500Per spouse

Important Dates

Normally any funds contributed during a calendar year may be used for qualified expenses incurred during that calendar year through March 15 of the following year while enrolled in the FSA and employed at Washington University. Claims for reimbursement must be submitted by April 30 of the year following the year the amounts were contributed. For example, amounts contributed in 2023 can be used for qualified expenses incurred while enrolled in 2023 through March 15, 2024, and claims must be submitted by April 30, 2024.

Filing Claims with Optum Financial

All health care and child care spending account claims are to be filed directly with Optum Financial. Optum Financial offers convenient ways to submit claims: