Moved to A New Blog

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Thanks for stopping by our old FSAstore.com blog. We’ve moved!

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Spotlight on 24HourFlex

24HourFlexOur second partner spotlight focuses on 24HourFlex. 24HourFlex and its parent company, RPS Plan Administrators, have been providing employee benefit solutions for more than 25 years. They specialize in employee benefit administration including Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRAs), Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), Parking and Transportation Plans, Retiree Billing and COBRA administration.

24HourFlex has partnered with FSAstore.com for more than two years. Customer service is at the very core of its operations.

“We’re smaller [than some of the FSA providers], so we have an ability to be agile and create more customized solutions for customers. We really take care of our customers, whether on the phone or over email, and that’s what customers really like about us,” explained Jim Hayes, operations manager at 24HourFlex.

Not only does 24HourFlex provide thorough customer service, but it also prepares participants for health care reform through newsletters and email updates. “We work directly with brokers and employers on how changes impact their business,” added Hayes.

Thinking ahead about health reform, Hayes noted, “FSA and HSA participation will increase as individuals gain more awareness around health insurance and seek ways to reduce the cost they have to pay.”

Hayes further said that FSAstore.com offers an easy-to-navigate platform for 24HourFlex participants. “Participants can easily find and browse items, and the site makes it very clear what is eligible with a prescription or without. We have participants in remote areas [blue collar factory workers] who don’t have pharmacies within reach where they can purchase items,” Hayes said. “For them, it’s easy to use their 24HourFlex card, shop at FSAstore.com, and have their items shipped.”

He added, “People don’t want to shop in-person, they want to shop online. FSAstore.com handles things in a customer friendly way that matches our philosophy of customer service as well.” 

Most important to 24HourFlex participants are the products available through FSAstore.com and the customer service provided, according to Hayes. Participants directly approach 24HourFlex with any educational questions about their FSAs including FSA eligibility, the inner workings of an FSA, what happens to unused funds, and election changes.

When it comes to simplifying product eligibility, Hayes noted his support of SIGIS adoption as a way to unify transaction processing across the industry. Stores implementing IIAS systems would benefit TPAs “as more customers would be able to use their cards instead of submitting manual claims,” he added.

An industry-wide educational component to eliminate confusion about FSAs and HSAs would help participants as well.

“Education around benefits is difficult as employees have busy lives and are overwhelmed with information. Education can be improved by working with Human Resource and Benefit teams to provide clear communication around these types of plans to employees,” Hayes said.

Many thanks to 24HourFlex for sharing their partnership experience with us! Check out 24HourFlex on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Visit http://www.24hourflex.com

Do you want to be featured in a spotlight? Let us know!

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The Affordable Care Act & My FSA (Timeline through 2013)

October 1 is an important day for health reform: it’s the beginning of open enrollment for the Health Insurance Marketplace. The Health Insurance Marketplace promises to offer easier and more affordable insurance options for Americans. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, it will allow consumers to shop for insurance by comparing health plans that fit their needs. On HealthCare.gov you’ll be able to search for insurance options – whether personalized coverage (for you or your family) or small business coverage

What about my Flexible Spending Account (FSA)?

If you have an FSA, you might be concerned about how health care reform could affect your plan. Below is a small timeline of coverage changes that have occured so far to keep you in the loop.

Health Reform & FSA Timeline

2011:

Since January 1, 2011, over-the-counter medications have required a prescription to be eligible for reimbursement under a Flexible Spending Account, Health Savings Account or Health Reimbursement Account. Insulin is an exception to this prescription rule.

January 1, 2013:

  • FSA contributions are limited to $2,500 per plan year. However, if you and your spouse have an FSA that means you could potentially contribute up to $5,000 per household! The contribution limit will be adjusted for inflation starting in 2014.
  • According to a Mercer National Survey of Employer-Sponsored Health Plans, the average employee contribution to an FSA was $1,424 in 2009 – which shows that the contribution cap should not affect many participants. It’s still advisable to budget your FSA throughout the year and use an FSA towards eligible services and products as necessary (eligibility of products and services is outlined in your individual plan document).

Important to Know

  • If your FSA plan has a grace period, any unused funds remaining for the grace period do not count towards the $2,500 limit for the new plan year.
  • The $2,500 contribution cap is only applicable to the Health Care FSA. Dependent Care FSAs, Health Savings Accounts and Health Reimbursement Accounts are not affected (although most have their own applicable limits). 

Additional information

Employers can find details about compliance with the new limit via IRS Bulletin 2012-40.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services shows how health reform affects your state (in terms of insurance options) here.

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Medical Services (Typically) Not Covered by an FSA

medicalservicesnoFSA

While many medical services are FSA eligible, not everything is covered by a Flexible Spending Account. IRS publication 502 outlines exactly which services are FSA eligible.

If you have any doubts about FSA coverage for products or services, contact your FSA administrator about the details of your FSA plan, or check the Summary Plan Description for information.

Medical Necessity 

Services must always be medically necessary to qualify for FSA reimbursement. For instance, services provided by a dentist are FSA eligible as long as they include routine exams, fillings, and other medical procedures.

Questions often come up about specific medical expenses. Check out the examples below to get an idea of popularly asked about services.

Not eligible

Teeth whitening. Since it’s a cosmetic procedure, you would not be able to use your FSA to cover costs.

Funeral costs. You would not be able to pay for funeral costs with your FSA.

Maternity clothes. While baby care items such as breast pumps, overnight underpants, and baby thermometers are FSA eligible, maternity clothes are not covered by an FSA.

Possibly covered (depending on medical need)

Fees paid to a gym. Gym membership for recreational purposes is not covered by an FSA. Gyms can be considered FSA eligible if particular exercise is recommended by a doctor and prescribed through a Letter of Medical Necessity.

Cosmetic surgery. Since cosmetic surgery is intended to improve someone’s appearance without treating a disease or being medically necessary, it does not qualify for FSA reimbursement. However, cosmetic surgery would be allowed if it is medically necessary resulting from a personal injury or related to a disfiguring disease or congenital abnormality.

Search for nearby FSA Eligible Services at FSAstore.com!

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