Great-West Healthcare will be introducing a grace period feature for employers that use Great-West to run their flexible spending account plans.[@@]

Federal regulators recently gave FSA sponsors permission to provide up to 2 months and 15 days of relief from the usual FSA “use it or lose it” rules.

For employers with FSA years ending Dec. 31, the grace period can extend to March 15.

Sponsors of calendar-year FSA plans can add grace periods up until Dec. 31, according to Great-West, Greenwood Village, Colo., a unit of Power Corporation of Canada, Montreal.

Employers also can extend the “run-out period,” which is the period during which employees can submit qualified expenses for reimbursement. The standard run-out period has been 90 days. Now employers can offer 120-day run-out periods, according to Great-West.