Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAFEDS) Open Season 2023

The Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAFEDS) Program Open Season begins Monday, November 13, 2023, and continues through Monday, December 11, 2023. During this time, if eligible, you can enroll in a:

  • Health Care FSA (HCFSA) or a Limited Expense Health Care Account (LEX HCFSA), and/or
  • Dependent Care FSA (DCFSA)

Accounts are established on a “plan year” basis, i.e., January 1 through December 31. For the HCFSA and LEX HCFSA, you may carry over up to $640 of unspent funds from 2023 into 2024, if you re-enroll in the same account for 2024.

Account options

Flexible Spending Accounts allow you to set aside money, on a pre-tax basis, for certain kinds of common expenses. You reduce your taxes while paying for services you would have to pay for anyway. This program provides three types of accounts:

  1. Health Care FSA (HCFSA): allows pre-tax reimbursement of eligible medical expenses not covered or reimbursed by insurance. Examples include co-payments, co-insurance, and deductibles.
  2. Limited Expense Health Care Account (LEX HCFSA): is used in place of HCFSA if you are enrolled in a High Deductible Health Plan with a Health Savings Account. It allows pre-tax reimbursement of eligible dental and vision expenses only.
  3. Dependent Care FSA (DCFSA): allows pre-tax reimbursement for child care or adult dependent care expenses necessary to allow you or your spouse to work, look for work, or attend school full-time. Eligible family members include a child, up to age 13; and/or a person of any age whom you claim as a dependent on your Federal income tax return and who is mentally or physically incapable of self-care.


First, determine how much money to allot for the calendar year and make your election(s).

Second, equal installments of the amount elected will be withheld from your paycheck throughout the year. These allotments will be deposited into your FSA(s) each pay period.

Third, when you incur an eligible expense, you will pay for it out of pocket, and then submit a claim for reimbursement.  If your health or dental plan participates in automatic reimbursement, you will be automatically reimbursed without submitting a claim form.

Effective date

All Open Season elections will be effective January 1, 2024. Elections will be reflected on your Leave and Earnings Statement for the pay date of January 5, 2024.  Report any problems to FSAFEDS.


HCFSA and LEX HCFSA: If currently eligible for enrollment under the Federal Employees Health Benefits program, (even if you are not currently enrolled) you will be able to elect a HCFSA. However, if you are enrolled in a High-Deductible Health Plans with a Health Savings Account, you cannot enroll in a HCFSA. You have the option of electing a LEX HCFSA.

DCFSA: All employees with qualified dependents may elect to enroll in the DCFSA, except temporary employees with no fixed work schedule whose tour of duty is six months or less.


For the HCFSA and LEX HCFSA, you may elect a maximum annual election of $3,200. For the DCFSA, you may elect a maximum annual election of $5,000 per household or $2,500 each if married, filing separately.  For all accounts, the minimum election must be $100. The allotments will be made before Federal, state and social security taxes are calculated.

Possible forfeitures

Any money not used in your account(s) by the end of the Benefit Period will be FORFEITED. This is known as the “use or lose” rule. The FSAFEDS Carryover allows you to bring up to $640 of unspent funds into the following year when you re-enroll in a HCFSA or LEX HCFSA. The FSAFEDS Grace Period for a DCFSA provides you with an additional 2 ½ months (January 1 to March 15) to incur for dependent care expenses against your prior year’s account. You have until midnight Eastern Time on April 30th following the end of the Benefit Period to file claims for reimbursement for eligible expenses incurred during the previous Benefit Period.

You are encouraged to carefully plan how much money to contribute to your account(s). The FSA Savings Calculators can help you calculate allotments based on your individual situation, as well as indicate your potential tax savings. Neither OPM, nor NIH, has the authority to make an exception to this IRS rule.


Enroll via FSAFEDS website or by calling an FSAFEDS Benefits Counselor at 1-877-372-3337, (TTY: 1-866-353-8058), Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m., EST.  If you want to participate in 2023 you must re-enroll. Enrollments do not carry forward year-to-year.

Helpful links


The FSAFEDS Program is administered by WageWorks, Inc.  Questions may be directed to 1-877-FSAFEDS (372-3337) or TTY: 1-866-353-8058.