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California State University, Long BeachCalifornia State University, Long Beach

Flexible Benefit Plans

Flexible benefits plans help you save money by allowing you to pay for certain eligible expenses with pre-tax dollars. The tax savings can help offset the impact of these expenses on your disposable income. If you enroll on a timely basis, coverage begins on the first of the month after your date of hire. You also may enroll during any annual open enrollment period.

Health Care Reimbursement Account (HCRA)

The CSU Health Care Reimbursement Account is a voluntary benefit for eligible employees that offer significant tax advantages and could increase an employee's take home pay. The plan allows for the reimbursement of out-of-pocket health expenses from money deducted from an employee's paycheck before federal, state and FICA taxes are deducted. Taxable income on an employee's annual W-2 statement will be reduced by the amount placed in the account.

Participants in HCRA must re-enroll during every annual open enrollment period to participate during the following Plan Year. Enrollment is not automatic, even if the employee participated the previous year.

Expenses eligible to be reimbursed from the CSU Health Care Reimbursement Account are expenses incurred by an employee, employee's spouse, and dependents (including domestic partner) for the diagnosis, cure, treatment or prevention of disease, and for treatments affecting any part or function of the body. The expenses must be to alleviate or prevent a physical defect or illness. Expenses solely for cosmetic reasons or expenses that are merely beneficial to a person's general health are not reimbursable. For general information, refer to IRS Publication 502 (Medical and Dental Expenses).

Effective January 1, 2016, the maximum contribution to a Health Care Reimbursement Account Plan is reduced from $5,000 annually, to $2,550 annually ($212.50 per month maximum).

You can file a claim for reimbursement online through Application Software, Inc.'s website, or by completing the claims form and attaching a receipt for expenses.

Claims can be filed and will be reimbursed based on the following schedule:

Claim Receipt Date Claim Reimbursement Date
5th of the month 15th of the same month
15th of the month 25th of the same month
25th of the month 5th of the following month

Dependent Care Reimbursement Account (DCRA)

The CSU Dependent Care Reimbursement Account is a voluntary benefit for eligible employees that offer significant tax advantages and could increase an employee’s take home pay. The Plan allows for the reimbursement of out-of-pocket dependent care expenses from money deducted from an employee’s paycheck before federal, state and FICA taxes are deducted. Taxable income on an employee's annual W-2 statement will be reduced by the amount placed in the account. For information regarding Expenses eligible refer to IRS Publication 503.

To be reimbursed from the CSU Dependent Care Reimbursement Account expenses must be for certain dependent care if the care is required in order for the employee (spouse) to work. Eligible dependents for whom the DCA reimbursements can be claimed are:

  • A child under age thirteen (13), for whom an employee or spouse can claim dependent status on their income tax return,
  • A spouse who is physically or mentally unable to care for him/herself, or
  • A financially dependent member* of an employee's household, who regularly spends at least eight hours each day in the employee’s home.

* Including an employee's domestic partner if the domestic partner is a dependent.

Participants in DCRA must re-enroll during every annual open enrollment period to participate during the following Plan Year. Enrollment is not automatic, even if the employee participated the previous year.

Employees may contribute any amount from a minimum of $20 per month to a maximum of $416.66 a month ($5,000 annual maximum). However, if an employee is married and filing a separate tax return, the annual maximum is $2,500. If an employee or spouse's earned income is less than $5,000 a year, the maximum contribution is equal to that person's earned income.

You can file a claim for reimbursement online through Application Software, Inc.'s website, or by completing the claims form and attaching a receipt for expenses.

Claims can be filed and will be reimbursed based on the following schedule.

Claim Receipt Date Claim Reimbursement Date
5th of the month 15th of the same month
15th of the month 25th of the same month
25th of the month 5th of the following month

Flexible Spending Account Debit Card

FlexCash Plan and Tax Advantage Premium Plan (TAPP)

The CSU offers two plans that help employees manage their benefit needs and save valuable tax dollars. If an employee has medical and/or dental group (employer) coverage not offered by the CSU, the FlexCash Plan pays cash in lieu of CSU coverage, allowing the employee to receive only the coverage needed. If an employee elects health coverage through the CSU, the Tax Advantage Premium Plan (TAPP) allows for the payment of health insurance premiums on a pre-tax basis, reducing federal, state and FICA taxes.

If an employee chooses to participate in FlexCash, the following monthly after-tax payments are made to the employee:

Benefit Waived Payment
Medical and Dental $140
Medical Only $128
Dental Only $ 12

The CSU may change these amounts in the future, subject to collective bargaining.

FlexCash Enrollment Eligibility

In accordance with the new market reform provisions of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), CSU is prohibited from offering FlexCash to employees who elect to opt out of employer-sponsored health coverage and enroll in "individual" health coverage.

In order to comply with these reform provisions it is necessary to have other qualifying group health coverage to receive the FlexCash in lieu of CSU-sponsored health coverage. Qualifying group health coverage means health coverage that provides minimum value and is maintained by an employer or an employee organization.

If covered under an individual health insurance policy (for example, coverage from Covered California or another insurance marketplace) or by Tricare, Medicare or Medi-Cal, this is considered to have 'individual' health coverage and is not eligible to receive FlexCash in lieu of other health coverage.

If cancellation of the FlexCash health benefit option causes a cancellation in other health coverage, enrollment in CSU-sponsored health coverage within 60 days of the termination of the FlexCash health benefit option will be possible.