Empower Your Wallet, One Healthcare Expense at a Time

Enroll in health or dependent care reimbursement accounts during Open Enrollment this fall

Reimbursement accounts have helped Kiyona Wadsworth, left, and Andy Scott one expense at a time.
Duke Children's Hospital pharmacy tech Kiyona Wadsworth, left, with her daughter, Mckenzy. Photo courtesy of Kiyona Wadsworth.

“Being a single mother, you never know what expenses may pop up, when it comes to your child or even getting sick yourself,” she said. “It’s definitely a blessing to have that extra help.”

Are you facing dependent care or out-of-pocket health care costs? Duke’s health care and dependent care reimbursement accounts are designed to save you 30 cents, on average, for every dollar contributed to an account.

Contributions to accounts are automatically deducted from your pay and are not subject to federal or state taxes. You can only sign up or re-enroll during Open Enrollment, which starts on Oct. 16, or within 30 days of a qualifying life event such as marriage or birth of a child.

“The pre-tax savings stretches your money by reducing your taxable income,” said Saundra Daniels, plan manager for Duke Human Resources.

Here’s how the accounts work:

Health Care

Wadsworth, the pharmacy tech, was automatically enrolled in the health care reimbursement account through her Duke Basic medical plan when she joined Duke in 2020. To help offset higher out-of-pocket expenses of the Duke Basic plan, these members receive an annual contribution from Duke to their health care reimbursement account.

If you’re in one of Duke’s other medical plans – or not covered by a medical plan – you must sign up for a reimbursement account to be enrolled.

The maximum contribution you can make to any health care reimbursement account in 2023 is $3,050. The account can be used for eyeglasses, prescription medication, co-pays and deductibles and other out-of-pocket expenses. You’ll receive a health care card that works much the same way as a debit card for expenses at point of sale. Up to $610 of unused funds can be carried over into the 2024 plan year.

The Scott family on a summer adventure. Photo courtesy of Andy Scott.

Dependent Care

Over summers, Andy Scott and his wife have sent their daughters, Miriam, 11, and Ingrid, 8, to camp for art, sports and horseback riding.

Scott sets aside $5,000 pre-tax – the maximum annual contribution – from his pay each year through Duke’s dependent care reimbursement account. The dependent care account covers expenses for eligible day care, babysitters, and intersession camp, as well as dependent adult care during working hours for disabled spouses or parents who live
with the employee.

“The dependent care reimbursement account has been the most beneficial resource during my time at Duke because it has allowed me to plan for summer camps and after school programs apart from my take home pay, which is helpful to factor in a monthly budget,” said Scott, senior assistant director of special events for Alumni Engagement and Development.

Scott, who has been enrolled in the dependent care reimbursement account for at least eight years, has also used the account for daycare.

“For us,” he said, “it’s been a huge help.”

Discover how to save: hr.duke.edu/reimbursement.

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