June 27, 2013

Flexible Spending Accounts Undergo Changes

By Monica M. Walk

A NAME change and a revised healthcare debit card mark a new system for handling employee Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) in the Medical Care Assistance Plan (MCAP). The administrator name and system changes also apply to the Dependent Care Assistance Plan (DCAP); the debit card changes apply only to MCAP.

BEGINNING MONDAY, July 1, FSA accounts will be processed by WageWorks, which purchased the FSA account business from former plan administrator Fringe Benefit Management Company.  WageWorks technically has been the State’s FSA plan administrator since purchasing the business several years ago, but is now officially converting the State accounts to the WageWorks system.

CONVERSION TO the new system will include a two-week hold period for Fiscal Year 2013 claims being made by paper reimbursement request. Fiscal Year 2013 ends June 30.

“CMS ADVISED that either they or WageWorks would send a letter to all current FY2013 members in June letting them know about the hold period and transition,” said Carole Devaney, UPB benefits manager, University Payroll & Benefits Services.

WHILE THE current myFBMC and future WageWorks healthcare debit cards can be used by employees to pay for eligible healthcare expenses on-site at the time of appointments and purchases, claims being processed by paper will be subject to the holding period.

“FY 2013 paper claim forms will be subject to a two-week hold period from July 1 through July 15 during the transition to WageWorks,” said Katie Ross, director, Human Resources Administration, University Human Resources. “FY2013 debit card transactions during this hold period could be inadvertently reimbursed from FY2014 accounts and would require the employee’s action to request an adjustment to correct this with WageWorks. It is in employees’ best interest to submit paper claim forms for any FY 2013 reimbursements during the hold period.”

THE CURRENT myFBMC card will continue to work through June 30, 2013; however, employees electing to re-enroll for the new plan year will need to use the new WageWorks debit card beginning July 1.

THE FSA debit card system removes much previously required paperwork, although some transactions require documentation.

“IF YOU use the card at a healthcare provider or pharmacy for an amount that is not a known copayment, or the merchant does not have an Inventory Information Approval System (IIAS) in place, WageWorks will most likely require that you submit a receipt or explanation of benefits form,” Devaney said. “IIAS enables merchants to verify FSA-eligible purchases at the register, eliminating the need for members to submit receipts. WageWorks will notify members of any card transactions that require attention by email and when members log onto their system.”

THE STATE of Illinois Medical Care Assistance Plan allows employees to set aside up to $208.33/month ($277.77/month for University employees paid over nine months), tax free, for eligible medical care expenses. Money in this plan can be used to cover the cost of medical expenses that are not paid by health, dental or vision insurance, such as deductibles, co-payments, and eligible non-covered expenses. 

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