I have 2 issues related to a job change and my FSA with my previous employer

I gave a two week notice on 2/23/2015. The employer chose not to keep me in the office for those 2 weeks, but would pay me through 3/6/2015. My medical & dental coverage would end on 2/28/2015. I had requested $2500 for the flex spending account. We submitted eligible expenses we had through the insurance termination of 2/28/2015...my wife also had physical therapy that went through 2/28/15. The employer refused to release flex spending funds as of my date of notice, though my insurance coverage was through 2/28/15. This doesn't sound correct: shouldn't they release funds from flex through cancellation of medical/dental insurance?

Also, my entire family was on my insurance coverage. The new employers plan isn't as good as my wife's plan, so the entire family went under my spouse's insurance plan (we had not been on it in the past) and it is an HSA. Is there a conflict with the FSA I had under my old employer, and joining my spouse's HSA after the FSA terminated?

1 Answer 1


Some of this may depend on how your employer chose to deal with your notice period. Most employers employ you for the duration (which means you'd be covered for March on your insurance). They could 'send you home' but pay you (in which case you're an employee for the duration still); or they could terminate you on your notice day, and give you effectively a severance equal to two weeks' pay. That is what it sounds like they did.

They should have made this clear to you when you left (on 2/23). Assuming you work in an at-will state, there's nothing wrong (legally) with them doing it this way, although it is not something I believe is right morally. Basically, they're trying to avoid some costs for your last two weeks (if they employ you through 3/6, they pay for another month of insurance, and some other things). In exchange, you lose some insurance benefits and FSA benefits.

Your FSA terminates the day you terminate employment (see this pdf for a good explanation of these issues). This means that the FSA administrator is correct to reject expenses incurred after 2/23. The FSA is in no way tied to your insurance plan; you can have one or the other or both. You still can submit claims for expenses prior to 2/23 during your runout period, which is often 60 or 90 days.

In the future, you will want to think ahead when leaving employment, and you may want to time when you give notice carefully to maximize your benefits in the event something like this happens again. It's a shady business practice in my mind (to terminate you when you give notice), but it's not unknown.

As far as the HSA/FSA, you aren't eligible to contribute to an HSA in a year you're also in an FSA, except that they use "plan year" in the language (so if your benefits period is 6/1/yy - 5/31/yy, that's the relevant 'year'). I'd be cautious about opening a HSA without advice from a tax professional, or at least a more knowledgeable person here.

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