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File #: 21-2750    Version: 1 Name:
Type: Request for approval Status: Agenda Ready
File created: 6/1/2021 In control: Commissioners Court
On agenda: 6/8/2021 Final action:
Title: Request by Budget Management for approval of a $5,000 maximum contribution limit for dependent care flexible spending accounts for plan year 2021-22 and transmittal of a temporary COBRA premium subsidy for eligible individuals and their qualified beneficiaries from April 1, 2021 through September 30, 2021 as allowed under the American Rescue Plan Act.
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To: Harris County Commissioners Court

Through: Shain Carrizal, Senior Director of Human Resources & Risk Management
prepared
Prepared By: Shain Carrizal, Senior Director of Human Resources & Risk Management

Subject: American Rescue Plan Act Provisions for Benefit Plan Changes
Project ID (If applicable]:

Purpose and Request:
title
Request by Budget Management for approval of a $5,000 maximum contribution limit for dependent care flexible spending accounts for plan year 2021-22 and transmittal of a temporary COBRA premium subsidy for eligible individuals and their qualified beneficiaries from April 1, 2021 through September 30, 2021 as allowed under the American Rescue Plan Act.
end

Background and Discussion:
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) increases the maximum contribution limit for dependent care flexible spending accounts from $5,000 to $10,500 (for married individuals filing a joint income tax return) for calendar year 2021. Harris County's health and related benefits, including the dependent care flexible spending account, are administered on a non-calendar year basis that coincides with the County's fiscal year. Recent guidance released by the IRS states that the increased $10,500 contribution limit would not apply to reimbursement of expenses incurred during the 2022 portion of the County's plan year. Since annual elections are made on a plan year basis, it is recommended that this provision not be implemented because of taxable income implications for both the County and participating employees. Provisions from the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) will still be implemented, which permits the rollover of remaining contributions from plan year 2020-21 to pay for qualifying health and dependent care expenses incurred during the 2021-22 plan year and to allow employees to make prospective changes in their flexible spending accounts in 2021-22 to take into account the availability of rollover funds.

Also, ARPA mandates...

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