PNC Bank (BenefitPlus) is the administrator for Kent State University's health savings accounts and flexible spending accounts.

Through PNC Bank, you can enjoy special discounts on banking products, direct deposit of your paycheck, and convenient on-campus banking. To find out more about rewards, account offerings, online banking, and more, just visit PNC Bank's website today. Note: You must re-enroll in the flexible spending account or health savings account EACH year.  Enrollment in these plans does not roll over each year. To re-enroll, you MUST use the Open Enrollment portal through your Flashline.

What is the difference between HSA and FSA accounts?


HSA (Health Savings Account)

FSA (Flexible Spending Account)


Must enroll in a High Deductible Health Plan

Cannot contribute to an HSA if enrolled in Medicare

No requirements

Contribution Limit

$4,150 single or $8,300 family (2024)

*amounts include an employer contribution

Medical FSA:    $3,050 single or family (2024)

Dependent Care FSA ("daycare"):   $5,000

Change Contributions

Anytime throughout the year

Only during open enrollment or life status change


Unused balances roll over

Use it or lose it. Funds must be used by March 15 of the following year unless separating from the university. If separating, must be used within 30 days.

NOTE: You must re-enroll each year.


Pre-tax deduction

Pre-tax deduction


How do Health Savings Accounts work?

To have a Health Savings Account (HSA), you must be enrolled in the High Deductible Health Plan.  You can elect an annual contribution which will be deducted on a pre-tax basis from each of your paychecks in equal amounts. These contributions are to help you pay for current and future healthcare costs that your insurance does not cover. Any funds leftover at the end of the year will stay and continue to grow. These moneys can be used tax-free, ONLY to cover medical costs. Feel free to review the HSA video for more information.


Does Kent State contribute to employee Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)?

Yes, $1,300 for a single high-deductible medical plan and $2,000 for a family high-deductible medical plan, if elected at Open EnrollmentNewly hired employees who elect the high-deductible medical plan, paired with an HSA, will receive a prorated employer contribution if the account is opened after the first of the year.


What does HSA catch-up contribution mean?

Similar to IRAs and 401Ks, enrollees ages 55 and over can elect to make catch-up contributions of $1,000 for individual and family plans.  


Can I enroll in the HSA mid-year?

You can begin, increase, and/or decrease your contributions to your HSA any time throughout the year. Just complete the HSA enrollment form and submit it to benefits@kent.edu. The IRS has set qualifying requirements to enroll in a health savings account, such as:

  • You must be enrolled in a qualified high-deductible health plan.
  • You must not have other medical coverage.
  • You must be 18 or older
  • An employee cannot be enrolled in Medicare
  • You cannot be claimed as a dependent on someone else's tax return.
  • You cannot be enrolled in a health care flexible spending account (FSA) or a health reimbursement account (HRA).

Individuals reaching the age of 65 who ARE NOT enrolled in Medicare can have the HSA and contribute to it. Individuals who ARE enrolled in Medicare cannot contribute to an HSA, nor receive the employer contribution. If you are considering enrollment in Medicare, remember that you can be charged a tax penalty for contributions to an HSA up to 6 months prior to your Medicare enrollment date. It's a good idea to stop all contributions to an HSA six months before the date you intend to enroll in Medicare. If you already have an existing balance in an HSA, you can continue using the HSA funds even though you cannot contribute to the account. 

For further questions on Medicare and HSAs, please contact PNC Customer Service at 844-356-9993 or contact a Social Security agent.  


How do I change my contributions to the HSA?

You can change your contributions anytime throughout the year by completing the HSA Change form or visiting our Benefits Forms Library and printing the form out.  Once complete, return it to the Employee Benefits Office in Heer Hall, Kent Campus.  The change will be made effective on the next payroll date.


If I enroll in a high deductible health plan, can I enroll in a Health Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA)? If so, how much can I contribute?

If you enroll in a high deductible health plan, you cannot enroll in the health care flexible spending account.  However, you CAN enroll in the dependent care ("daycare") flexible spending account and contribute a maximum of $5,000 for 2024.  

Learn even more about HSAs with PNC Bank's Health Savings Account Educational Library (PDF).


(Health Care and Dependent Care)

How do Flexible Spending Accounts work?

You elect an annual contribution which will be deducted on a pre-tax basis from each of your paychecks in equal amounts.

IRS regulations do not allow increases, decreases, or cancellations of contributions during a plan year unless you have a qualifying life event such as marriage, divorce, birth, death, etc. Any FSA contribution changes you make must be consistent with the type of life event. Proof of the life event (qualifying event) is required and must be submitted within 31 days of the effective date of the change.

Qualified health and dependent care expenses incurred from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 of the enrolled year will be eligible for reimbursement from your FSA accounts. However, you can still use any remaining funds from your health care and/or dependent care funds to pay for qualified expenses until March 15 of the following year. This means you will have until March 15, 2024, to spend your 2023 FSA funds and until March 15, 2025, to spend your 2024 funds before they are FORFEITED.

Claims for 2023 funds must be made by June 29, 2024.


What is the difference between the Health Care FSA and the Dependent Care FSA?

The Health Care FSA provides you the opportunity to have funds deducted from your pay on a pre-tax basis for health care expenses for yourself AND your dependents. These funds can be used for expenses that are not covered by your medical, dental, or vision plans such as copays, coinsurances, etc. Eligible health care expenses examples are:

  • Medical, dental, and vision deductibles, co-insurance, and office visits
  • Prescriptions
  • Eligible over-the-counter drug expenses

The Dependent Care FSA provides you the opportunity to have funds deducted from your pay on a pre-tax basis for dependent care ("daycare") expenses for your eligible dependents.  Eligible expenses examples include:

  • A child under age 13 and who is claimed as a dependent on your taxes.
  • A child 13 and older who: 1)  depends on you for at least half of their support; 2) regularly spends at least eight hours a day in your household; and 3) is physically or mentally unable to care for him/herself.
  • Summer day camps
  • Before and after school care
  • Extended day programs
  • Elderly daycare

Learn even more about FSAs with PNC Bank's Flexible Spending Account Educational Library (pdf).


Can I enroll in both the Health Care and Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts?

If you are enrolled in the 85/60 PPO plan, you can contribute to both healthcare and dependent care FSAs. 


How can I access my contributions to the Health Savings Account and/or the Flexible Spending Accounts?

Once enrolled in either the HSA or FSA, PNC Bank, which administers both the HSA and the FSAs for Kent State University, will send you a debit/credit card to access your accounts. If you lose your card or have questions about your PNC account, you can contact PNC through their website PNC BenefitPlus or call their customer service at 844-356-9993.