Question: My employer just distributed a new copy of the “Summary Plan Description” that says our Cafeteria Plan contributions are limited to $2,500 per year. It used to be higher. They say it’s Obamacare. True?
Answer: Under the ACA, employee contributions to health care flexible spending accounts or Cafeteria Plans will be reduced to $2,500 per year for any plan year starting in 2013. The Plan Year is the 12-month period specified in your Summary Plan Description (SPD) that determines the beginning and ending dates of plan contributions. The plan year should not be confused with the “Claim Period” which is the period specified in the SPD of at least 12 months that determines the beginning and ending dates of expenses eligible for reimbursement. In other words, it is the period of time that claims can be incurred and reimbursed from current plan contributions. The beginning date always coincides with the beginning of the plan year, but the end date may not.