Life Event Guide – FSA
Not All Healthcare Change Events Permit FSA Changes
You are not permitted to change your health FSA elections because of a reduction in hours of service or because you intend to enroll in a plan offered through the public Marketplace.
Under current federal tax rules, your ability to change your HCFSA and DCFSA elections is limited.
You may change your enrollment once each year during the annual enrollment period. You will be notified in advance of the annual enrollment dates. Coverage changes will take effect the following January 1. You must check your enrollment confirmation for any errors. If you do not correct any errors within the enrollment period or, with the permission of Stryker, after the end of the enrollment period but before January 1, you will not be permitted to make any changes unless you subsequently have a qualifying life event or qualify for HIPAA special enrollment rights as described next.
In most cases, you cannot change your HCFSA or DCFSA election during the year. However, mid-year election changes may be permitted if you experience a qualifying life event as provided in the following chart. Keep in mind, changes due to a new enrollment or qualifying life event will not be permitted after the last pay period during the calendar year.
Qualifying Life Event
Healthcare Flexible Spending Account (HCFSA)
Day Care (Child and Adult) Flexible Spending Account (DCFSA)
Marriage, declaration of domestic partnership, birth or adoption
You may enroll or increase your HCFSA election.
You may enroll, increase or decrease your DCFSA election if the event affects your day care expenses and the change is consistent with the event.
Death of tax dependent, divorce, annulment or termination of domestic partnership
Note: Legal separation is not considered a qualifying life event
  • You may enroll or increase your HCFSA election if coverage is lost under another health plan (e.g., your spouse's plan).
  • You may decrease your HCFSA in the event of a death of a tax dependent
You may enroll, increase or decrease your DCFSA election if the event affects your day care expenses and the change is consistent with the event.
Change in the employment status of employee, spouse, dependent or domestic partner (e.g., change in work hours, change between salaried and hourly, loss of employer sponsored coverage and leaves of absence)
You may enroll or increase your HCFSA election if eligibility under another employer health plan is affected.
You may enroll, increase or decrease your DCFSA election if the event affects your day care expenses and the change is consistent with the event.
Change in residence or work site
N/A
You may enroll, increase or decrease your DCFSA election if the event affects day care expenses and the change is consistent with the event.
Employee or dependent becomes eligible or loses eligibility for Medicare or Medicaid
You may enroll or increase your HCFSA election if there has been a loss of Medicare or Medicaid.
N/A
Court issues order regarding medical coverage of child (qualified medical child support order or QMCSO)
You may enroll or increase your HCFSA election if you are required to provide coverage for a dependent not previously covered.
N/A
Change in amount charged by current day care provider
N/A
You may increase or decrease your DCFSA election based on whether your costs increase or decrease, but only if the change in cost is not imposed by a relative.
Change in day care provider
N/A
You may increase or decrease your DCFSA election, based on whether the change causes your costs to increase or decrease, regardless of whether the new provider is a relative.
Need for day care changes (e.g., child begins kindergarten)
N/A
You may enroll, increase or decrease your DCFSA election. The change must be consistent with the event.
Another employer's plan cancels or reduces FSA elections due to discrimination determination
You may enroll or increase your HCFSA election if you elected HCFSA under the other employer's plan for the same plan year.
You may enroll or increase your DCFSA election if you elected DCFSA under the other employer's plan for the same plan year.
Enrollment period for coverage under another employer's plan occurs while your elections are in effect
You may not change your HCFSA election.
You may decrease your DCFSA election if your spouse elects coverage under a DCFSA offered by his/her employer.
Changes to your healthcare and/or day care (child and adult) flexible spending account elections must be consistent with the qualifying life event. Your Benefits representative must approve benefit election changes. If you have a qualifying life event as shown in the previous chart, you must contact your Benefits representative and provide proof of the life event (if applicable) within 30 days of the event (including the date of the event) in order to change your healthcare and/or day care election. Additional elected amounts will be eligible for use on all services incurred on and after the effective date of the change.
Taking a Family or Medical Leave of Absence
If you qualify for an approved leave of absence under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), your HCFSA and/or DCFSA participation will continue while you are away from work. If your FMLA leave is paid, your contributions will continue to be deducted from your paycheck—just as though you were actively at work. If your leave is unpaid, your per-paycheck contributions will resume when you return to work. The new per-paycheck contributions will be based on the number of remaining pay periods, your remaining annual contribution amount and the contributions that were missed during your absence. All FSA election change requests are subject to review and approval by your Benefits representative.
Reporting Qualifying Life Events
You have 30 days following a qualifying life event (including the date of the event) to contact your Benefits representative and submit an enrollment form to request an FSA election change. You will also be asked to provide documentation that verifies your qualifying life event within 30 days of the qualifying life event. If you miss the 30-day election change period, you won't be able to change your FSA election until the next annual enrollment period.