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For Your BenefitLast year UT Knoxville Parking and Transit Services Assistant Director Wayne Shannon was skeptical about the university’s new flexible spending account (FSA) program but decided to give it a try.

The new plan—first introduced last fall—includes a debit card and online and mobile app features.

“I wasn’t sure if the extra steps associated would be worth the money saved,” Shannon said. “I have five immediate family members but have spent minimal time and effort in comparison to the savings and convenience.”

Enrolling in an FSA can be daunting because of the need to estimate how much money to allocate at the beginning of the year. The open enrollment period for all state insurance benefits—including the FSA—ends Friday, November 1.

All money in employee accounts must be used for eligible expenses within the calendar year or grace period, or it will be lost.

“After I started using the debit card and realized how easy the program is, I realized I didn’t estimate high enough,” said Denise Cox, director of Development and Alumni Affairs at the UT Space Institute.

In addition to eligible medical expenses, FSAs can be used on certain dependent care expenses, such as daycare.

To learn more about UT’s flexible spending program, visit the website or call the UT System Payroll Office at 865-974-5251.