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Northwest Missouri State University

Missouri State Employees' Cafeteria Plan

By electing to direct a portion of your salary through the Cafeteria Plan, you essentially bank your money in a TAX-FREE account. The Money is used to pay for expenses that would otherwise be paid out of your take-home pay.


You must be an employee of Northwest Missouri State University.

Coverage Dates

January 1 - December 31

Plan Administrator

P.O. Box 858
Columbia, MO 65205-0858

Phone: (800) 659-3035
Toll-Free Fax: 1-866-381-9682


1) Qualified Payroll-Deducted Insurance Premiums

Qualified insurance premiums include the state-sponsored health, dental and vision insurance premiums that are payroll-deducted form your paycheck. No other insurance premiums qualify for pre-tax payroll deduction from your payroll check.

Please note that you must keep the same insurance coverage for the entire year, unless you have a change in status event. You will receive exactly the same insurance benefits, but the cafeteria plan puts the extra tax savings in your pocket each month. Participating in this category of the cafeteria plan can net you 25% savings on the dollar amount or each payroll deduction. Since you will not pay income tax on your insurance premiums, you take home pay will actually increase due to the tax savings that participation in the cafeteria plan allows. Note that you are NOT buying anything extra, you are NOT changing any of the insurance coverage you signed up for, and there is NO additional paperwork on your part to realize the savings.

2) Health Care FSA

The Health Care FSA allows participants to set aside pre-tax dollars to pay for expenses such as co-pays, co-insurance, deductible, most prescriptions, over-the-counter medications (as long as they are treating a medical condition) and many other expenses.

Only the portion of the expenses you owe after insurance payments can be claimed. Qualifying expenses are those expenses that are incurred by you, your spouse, or your eligible dependents during the calendar year for medical year excluding all insurance premiums and long term care expenses.

Qualifying medical expenses include amounts incurred for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, and for treatment affecting any part or function of the body. However, expenses qualify for the Health Care FSA based on when incurred, not when paid.

Maximum Election under the Health Care FSA may include up to $2,500 worth of qualifying expenses each year - but not more than your earned income.

3) Dependent Care FSA

The Dependent Care Spending Account allows individuals to set aside pre-tax dollars to pay for out-of-pocket child care expenses for children under the age of 13. Additionally, if you have an older dependent that lives with you at least 8 hours each day and requires assistance with day-to-day living, you can claim these expenses through your dependent care spending account.

Please not that you cannot claim your dependent's medical expenses through your dependent care FSA. You can claim these expenses through your health care FSA.

This category is an alternative to taking a "Tax Credit" allowed with your tax filing each year. You may receive a tax break on your expenses, but you must choose whether to use the "Tax Credit" or the "FSA." The IRS will not allow you to receive two tax breaks on the same expenses.

Child Care Credit

The Dependent Care FSA is an alternative to taking a Tax Credit on your tax return. You may claim a tax credit equal to your dependent care expenses (up to $6,000 per year for two or more dependents or $3,000 per year for one dependent) multiplied by a percentage. The percentage decreases from a high of 35% to a low of 20% as your household adjusted gross income increases.

The Dependent Care FSA is limited to $5,000 per year (for you and your spouse together), $2,500 if married filing separately, for any number of dependents. You will experience "tax savings" throughout the year with every paycheck you receive. If you are subject to the 15% federal tax rate you will save approximately 25% of expenses through the Dependent Care FSA. If you pay a higher federal rate, you will receive an even higher tax break through the Dependent Care FSA.

Please contact your tax advisor if you have questions about which is best for you. You must choose whether to use the Tax Credit or the Dependent Care FSA.

Maximum Election under the Dependent Care FSA lets you and your spouse together include up to $5,000 per year or the lesser of your or your spouse's earned income for the calendar year.