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Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP)
The DCAP allows you to set aside pretax money from your paycheck to help pay for qualifying child care or elder care expenses. The Health Care Authority contracts with Navia Benefit Solutions to process claims, and provide customer service for Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB) members who work at state agencies, higher-education institutions, and community and technical colleges.
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We know 2020 probably didn’t go as you planned. That’s why we’re offering you extra flexibility with your 2020 and 2021 DCAP funds. Learn more about these opportunities.
The Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP) is only offered to PEBB benefits-eligible employees who work at state agencies, higher-education institutions and community and technical colleges.
Child and elder care can be one of the largest expenses for a family. The DCAP allows you to set aside money from your paycheck on a pretax basis to help pay for qualifying child care or elder care expenses while you (and your spouse or state-registered domestic partner) attend school full-time, work, or look for work.
A qualifying dependent must be:
- Age 12 or younger and live with you. (However, as a COVID-19 relief measure, employees can spend 2020 funds on children when they turn age 14. Learn more about this change.)
- Age 13 or older, physically or mentally incapable of self-care, and regularly spend at least eight hours each day in your household.
You can enroll in a DCAP account:
- No later than 31 days after the date you become eligible for PEBB benefits.
- During the PEBB Program’s annual open enrollment.
- No later than 60 days after you or an eligible family member has a qualifying event that creates a special open enrollment.
During open enrollment, enroll online by visiting Navia Benefits Solutions website. (University of Washington and Washington State University employees must enroll through Workday.) You must enroll in the DCAP for each plan year you want to participate. Your enrollment does not automatically continue year to year. If you want to enroll, make sure to choose this benefit again during the PEBB Program's annual open enrollment.
Estimate your expenses for the plan year and enroll in the DCAP for that amount. The money deducted from your pay is divided evenly by the number of paychecks you will receive in the plan year.
For 2021, the IRS has announced a new, temporary DCAP annual maximum of $10,500 for a single person or married couple filing jointly (or $5,250 for married couples filing separately). If you are currently enrolled in DCAP, you can take advantage of this change in June or September (or when you have a special open enrollment). If you are a newly eligible employee, you can elect up to this maximum when you enroll. Learn more about this opportunity.
For all other years, DCAP contributions are limited to:
- $5,000 annually for a single person or married couple filing a joint income tax return.
- $2,500 annually for each married participant who files a separate income tax return.
The total amount of your contribution cannot be more than either your earned income or your spouse's earned income, whichever is less. Earned income means wages, salaries, tips, and other employee compensation plus net earnings from self-employment.
For more help, use the Navia Benefit Solutions Tax Savings Calculator.
- Online: Navia Benefit Solutions
- Mobile App: download for iPhone or Android
- Fax: 425-451-7002 or toll free 866-535-9227
- Mail: Navia Benefit Solutions, PO Box 53250, Bellevue, WA 98015-3250
- Email: email@example.com
You can begin submitting reimbursement claims for eligible expenses on or after the first day of your plan year, January 1. You can only be reimbursed up to the dollar amount you have in your DCAP account at the time you request reimbursement. You may submit claims for services as often as you like, but not until after the services have been provided.
Note: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, you can incur expenses and submit claims against 2020 DCAP funds through December 31, 2021 — giving you an extra 12 months to spend your funds. Learn more about this extension.
For all other plan years, DCAP expenses must be incurred by December 31 each year. You must submit all claims for reimbursement to Navia Benefit Solutions no later than March 31 of the following year. After that date, your account will be closed and any balance remaining will be forfeited to the Health Care Authority. Once the money is forfeited, you will not be able to claim it. This is called the "use-it or lose-it" rule.
If you terminate employment and have unspent DCAP funds, you may continue to submit claims for eligible expenses as long as the expenses allow you to attend school full-time, look for work, or work full-time. Claims may be submitted up to your account balance and must be submitted to Navia Benefit Solutions by March 31 of the following plan year. You cannot incur expenses after December 31 of the plan year. There are no continuation coverage rights for the DCAP.
For more information on when coverage ends, see the DCAP Enrollment Guide at on Navia's website. You can also contact Navia Benefit Solutions at 1-800-669-3539 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.