A Flexible Spending Account is a personal, yearly account that allows you to contribute pre-tax dollars that can be used for qualified expenses. There are two separate accounts under the FSA: Healthcare FSA and Dependent Care FSA.
Healthcare FSA is used for medical, dental, vision, pharmacy costs. Dependent care FSA is used for dependent related costs, such as childcare, summer camp & adult day care costs. Childcare & summer camp costs are limited to the age of 12, unless a child is disabled. Then it is unlimited. Adult day care is for parents/ grandparents who live with you.
The minimum contribution amount for 2017 is $120 toward each FSA benefit. The maximum for Healthcare FSA for 2017 is $2600. The maximum for Dependent Care FSA for 2017 is $5000 ($2500 if married & filing taxes separately).
The amount you choose to contribute is deducted from payroll in equal installments (same amount every pay period). Any FSA dollars you do not use expire at the end of the year. So make sure to estimate your FSA contributions carefully to avoid losing your money!
An FSA has an open/closed enrollment period, typically at 31 days. Make sure to check with your company benefits team to ensure you enroll for the FSA on time.