Contribute More – IRS Raises Healthcare FSA and Transit/Parking Reimbursement Limits

December 03, 2018

The IRS recently announced new contribution limits for the Healthcare Flexible Spending Account (FSA) and Transit/Parking Reimbursement Program (T/PRP).

Benefits Open Enrollment may be over, but Columbia University faculty and staff can take advantage of the higher limits for 2019. To change your 2019 contribution amounts or to start contributing, log in to CUBES by December 10, 2018. You will be asked to enter your UNI and password, then confirm your access using multi-factor authentication (DUO).

Healthcare FSA

Beginning January 1, 2019, the annual maximum contribution for a Healthcare FSA will increase from $2,650 to $2,700. You can elect between $120 and $2,700 to cover out-of-pocket eligible healthcare expenses for yourself, your spouse and your children, even if you waive coverage for yourself or your family under Columbia University benefits plans.

To change your 2019 contribution amount or to start contributing, log in to CUBES and click on “2019 Healthcare FSA Maximum Change” by December 10, 2018.  

What You Need to Know

If you enrolled in the Healthcare FSA during Open Enrollment and planned to contribute $2,650 in 2019, the University will automatically increase your contribution to $2,700 (the new IRS maximum contribution limit).

  • If you would like to contribute $2,700 – No action is needed.
  • If you do not want to contribute $2,700 – You must opt out by logging in to CUBES and changing your contribution amount.
About the Healthcare FSA

The Healthcare FSA allows you to contribute pre-tax money to reimburse yourself for eligible healthcare expenses, including medical, prescription drug or dental copays and deductibles, as well as vision or hearing services. For a list of eligible expenses, visit or IRS Publication 502.

Learn more about the Healthcare FSA.

Transit/Parking Reimbursement Program (T/PRP)

Beginning January 1, 2019, the annual monthly maximum contribution for the T/PRP will increase from $260 to $265 for both the Transit and Parking accounts.

To change your monthly contribution amount or to start contributing, log in to CUBES before noon on December 20, 2018. Click “Update Your 2019 Transit/Parking Elections.”

What You Need to Know

You must make changes to your T/PRP before noon on December 20, 2018, for the change to be effective January 2019.

If you make changes after noon on December 20, 2018, you will still be able to elect the maximum. However, your new election will not be effective until February 2019, or later. You may change your T/PRP election at any time through CUBES.

About the T/PRP

The T/PRP is a convenient way use pre-tax dollars to pay for commuting expenses on any public transit commuter system or parking, if you drive to work or to a location where you board mass transit for work. You may participate in either the Transit or Parking Reimbursement Program—or both.

Learn more about the T/PRP.


If you have any questions, please contact the Columbia Benefits Service Center at 212-851-7000 or email