As we work our way through the COVID-19 situation, plan members have asked MedBen if they can make a midyear change to their dependent care assistance plan (DCAP) elections. With schools closed, a parent may need to increase their DCAP contribution for additional child care – or conversely, a parent now working from home with no need for child care may wish to reduce their DCAP election.
U.S. Code §125 allows plan members to make midyear changes to their DCAP only in specific cases, such as a change in status, a change in cost and coverage, or a Family and Medical and Leave Act (FMLA) event. In our present climate, these events may pertain to the member’s situation:
- In the event a plan member or member’s spouse changes work schedules (including to or from part-time status), the member may increase, decrease or cancel their election, (§1.125-4(c)(3)(ii); §1.125-4(f)(6), Example 6)
- In the event of a change in child care because someone has agreed to watch the child for free – in this instance, a parent working from home – the plan member may decrease or cancel their election. (§1.125-4(f)(6), Example 5)
Of course, a person’s specific circumstances may not fall neatly into one of these standard events. If you have a question regarding a plan member’s current situation, please contact your Account Management team. Plan members with DCAP questions are welcome to call MedBen Customer Service at 800-297-1829.