Inside Iowa State

Inside Archives

Submit news

Send news for Inside to, or call (515) 294-7065. See publication dates, deadlines.

About Inside

Inside Iowa State, a newspaper for faculty and staff, is published by the Office of University Relations.

Feb. 15, 2008

Claim your flex expenses by March 31

by Paula Van Brocklin

The deadline for claiming reimbursements from 2007 health care and dependent care spending accounts is March 31. But if you don't have a receipt or other valid document (like an explanation of benefits form from your health care provider), you'll have to do some legwork to recoup your money. Any funds remaining in flexible spending accounts after the March 31 deadline are forfeited per Internal Revenue Service guidelines and ISU policies.

If you want to put that money in your pocket, here are a few tips.

Keep your receipts

If you threw out your 2007 receipts along with your 2007 calendar, contact your medical and dental clinics or pharmacy.

"A provider might be willing to print out that information, or you may get a list of your 2007 expenses at your pharmacy," said Jane Walter, human resource specialist.

Health care providers and pharmacies track the costs your insurance covered throughout the year, and also how much you paid from your own pocket. That's the amount you can claim through your flexible spending account.

Walter said employees might be surprised at the types of purchases the Internal Revenue Service approves for reimbursement - medical alert bracelets, over-the-counter pain relievers and vaporizers, for example. But, Walter warned, don't try to beat the system by submitting invalid claims.

"You've got to have good documentation in case of an audit, because when it comes down to it, it's between you and the IRS," she said.

For a list of IRS-approved health care expenses, go to or

The process for claiming dependent care expenses is a little simpler. If you have no receipts (Wellmark does not accept copies of canceled checks, credit card statements or bank statements), your daycare provider should sign and complete the dependent care portion of the reimbursement form.

How to submit claims

Once you've rounded up your receipts, you need to complete a claim form (only a hard copy is accepted), and mail or fax it to Wellmark by March 31 (postmarked). Forms are located at or Contact information appears on the form.

As for 2008 ...

If you don't want to scramble finding receipts for 2008 health care and dependent care reimbursements, Walter recommends submitting claims throughout the year.

"Claims can be submitted after the January 31 payroll," she said. "You don't have to wait until the all money is there."

Walter said the annual elected amount for health care accounts is available in February, though dependent care reimbursements may be delayed if the claim is more than the monthly contribution.


The deadline for claiming flex expenses is March 31.