COVID-19 Benefits Administration Announcements

A ‘significant change in cost or coverage’ is considered a qualifying event for dependent care FSAs. This means participants can stop or reduce their contributions to a Dependent Care FSA if their expenses go down, and they can also increase if expenses go up, provided the change direction matches.

OTC expenses have required a prescription to be eligible under FSAs, HSAs and HRAs since 2011 per the Patient Protection and Affordable Care.  The CARES Act passed last week in response to the COVID-19 crisis permanently removed this requirement, so prescriptions are no longer required.  It also expanded the definition of eligible expenses to include menstrual care products.

The following IRS Code Sections were amended to REMOVE the requirement for a prescription for over the counter expenses to be considered eligible medicines or drugs.  They were each also amended to ADD menstrual care products as eligible medical expenses.

HSAs:  Section 223(d)(2)

Archer MSAs: Section 220(d)(2)(A)

FSAs and HRAs: Section 106(f)

Click Here For More Information

The Department of Labor (Employee Benefits Security Administration – EBSA) and the Department of the Treasury (Internal Revenue Service) have jointly issued a final ruling scheduled to be published on 5/4/2020 on the extension of certain timeframes for group health plans, disability and other welfare plans, pension plans, and participants and beneficiaries of these plans during the COVID-19 National Emergency.

This final ruling establishes an “Outbreak Period” retroactive to the Declaration of a National Emergency on March 1, 2020 until 60 days after the National Emergency is over.  Deadlines are suspended during the “Outbreak Period”, and the applicable timelines will resume after this period is over.

Learn More

The Internal Revenue Service has issued two new notices in response to COVID-19 which allow cafeteria plans to permit prospective midyear election changes, to allow extended periods for using remaining FSA funds and increasing future carryover amounts.
 
IRS Notice 2020-29 allows for temporary changes to cafeteria plans during 2020 to allow employees to make mid-year changes to their health and dependent care FSAs and employer sponsored health coverage for any reason. For FSA plans with grace periods or plan years ending in 2020, it also allows unused funds to be used for reimbursement on expenses incurred through 12/31/2020.
 
IRS Notice 2020-33 increases the amount of funds that can be carried over in health FSAs for plans starting in 2020 for an ongoing basis.
 
These election change and claim provisions are at the employer’s discretion and the notices give employers broad control on the extent to which they will permit such changes, so long as they are non-discriminatory. Plan amendments will be required and employers who adopt changes will need to consider how and when to amend their plan documents and disclosure materials in light of ongoing changes.

Learn More

On March 13, 2020 President Trump declared the coronavirus a national disaster under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act. In addition to delaying the tax filing deadline to July 15, 2020, this declaration also activated Section 139 that now allows employers to issue qualified disaster relief payments to their employees.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION

The IRS has confirmed that 2019 HSA Contributions may be accepted up to the new filing deadline of July 15, 2020. The delay was granted in Q&A guidance issued as a follow up to IRS Notice 2020-18. This change will allow the system to accept HSA contributions for 2019 up until the new filing date of July 15th, 2020.

 The CARES Act passed last week in response to the COVID-19 crisis permanently removed this requirement, so prescriptions are no longer required.  It also expanded the definition of eligible expenses to include menstrual care products.

FSAstore.com is working to update their inventory to bring you the biggest possible selection of OTC medicines and feminine care products to enhance our existing store of more than 4,000 FSA-eligible products.

Amazon Health Shopper  

Health Shopper gives consumers the ability to search for a wide array of FSA/HSA eligible items.  It allows consumers to shop for those FSA/HSA eligible items they need as well as learn about and discover products they may not know were eligible or existed.  Health Shopper accomplishes this by delivering a custom curated product list, with seasonal recommendations, topical content and superior search functionality.  All the while allowing the consumer to purchase via a familiar, comfortable and second to none e-commerce experience through Amazon.

HSA Advance 

Real funds in real time.
As the name implies, HSA Advance provides you with access to your HSA funds the first day of your plan year, so you can cover
health expenses immediately. 

With HSA Advance, if you have medical expenses that are greater than the balance of your personal HSA Account, you can tap into your HSA Advance fund to help cover the cost, automatically.

Commuter Benefits plans are monthly benefits that allow participants to start and stop as needed.

There are 2 types of Commuter Benefit Accounts:

1. Qualified Parking
2. Qualified Transportation

A Qualified Parking account allows the employee only, not their family members or dependents, to put aside tax-free dollars each month to pay for eligible parking expenses.

A Qualified Transportation account allows the employee only to put aside tax-free dollars each month to pay for eligible mass transit expenses.

The changes requiring HDHPs to cover COVID-19 testing/treatment AND telehealth prior to the plan deductible do not make the plans HSA ineligible – account holders are still eligible to contribute to their HSAs.

The changes requiring HDHPs to cover COVID-19 testing/treatment AND telehealth prior to the plan deductible do not make the plans HSA ineligible – account holders are still eligible to contribute to their HSAs.

A ‘significant change in cost or coverage’ is considered a qualifying event for dependent care FSAs. This means participants can stop or reduce their contributions to a Dependent Care FSA if their expenses go down, and they can also increase if expenses go up, provided the change direction matches.

OTC expenses have required a prescription to be eligible under FSAs, HSAs and HRAs since 2011 per the Patient Protection and Affordable Care.  The CARES Act passed last week in response to the COVID-19 crisis permanently removed this requirement, so prescriptions are no longer required.  It also expanded the definition of eligible expenses to include menstrual care products.

The following IRS Code Sections were amended to REMOVE the requirement for a prescription for over the counter expenses to be considered eligible medicines or drugs.  They were each also amended to ADD menstrual care products as eligible medical expenses.

HSAs:  Section 223(d)(2)

Archer MSAs: Section 220(d)(2)(A)

FSAs and HRAs: Section 106(f)

Click Here For More Information

The Department of Labor (Employee Benefits Security Administration – EBSA) and the Department of the Treasury (Internal Revenue Service) have jointly issued a final ruling scheduled to be published on 5/4/2020 on the extension of certain timeframes for group health plans, disability and other welfare plans, pension plans, and participants and beneficiaries of these plans during the COVID-19 National Emergency.

This final ruling establishes an “Outbreak Period” retroactive to the Declaration of a National Emergency on March 1, 2020 until 60 days after the National Emergency is over.  Deadlines are suspended during the “Outbreak Period”, and the applicable timelines will resume after this period is over.

Learn More

The Internal Revenue Service has issued two new notices in response to COVID-19 which allow cafeteria plans to permit prospective midyear election changes, to allow extended periods for using remaining FSA funds and increasing future carryover amounts.
 
IRS Notice 2020-29 allows for temporary changes to cafeteria plans during 2020 to allow employees to make mid-year changes to their health and dependent care FSAs and employer sponsored health coverage for any reason. For FSA plans with grace periods or plan years ending in 2020, it also allows unused funds to be used for reimbursement on expenses incurred through 12/31/2020.
 
IRS Notice 2020-33 increases the amount of funds that can be carried over in health FSAs for plans starting in 2020 for an ongoing basis.
 
These election change and claim provisions are at the employer’s discretion and the notices give employers broad control on the extent to which they will permit such changes, so long as they are non-discriminatory. Plan amendments will be required and employers who adopt changes will need to consider how and when to amend their plan documents and disclosure materials in light of ongoing changes.

Learn More

On March 13, 2020 President Trump declared the coronavirus a national disaster under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act. In addition to delaying the tax filing deadline to July 15, 2020, this declaration also activated Section 139 that now allows employers to issue qualified disaster relief payments to their employees.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION

The IRS has confirmed that 2019 HSA Contributions may be accepted up to the new filing deadline of July 15, 2020. The delay was granted in Q&A guidance issued as a follow up to IRS Notice 2020-18. This change will allow the system to accept HSA contributions for 2019 up until the new filing date of July 15th, 2020.

The changes requiring HDHPs to cover COVID-19 testing/treatment AND telehealth prior to the plan deductible do not make the plans HSA ineligible – account holders are still eligible to contribute to their HSAs.

Care Benefit Accounts  New relief products and services have been born out of the impact of COVID-19. 

  •  
  • Work From Home (WFH) Benefit Account  Many employees are now being forced to work from home. Employers can use a WFH Benefit Account to control what types of purchases are approved for reimbursement (internet, phone, workstation, etc.).
  • Emergency Fund Account  Employers can fund a card for participants to use for necessities. The card can be setup to work for specific merchants.

The Department of Labor (Employee Benefits Security Administration – EBSA) and the Department of the Treasury (Internal Revenue Service) have jointly issued a final ruling scheduled to be published on 5/4/2020 on the extension of certain timeframes for group health plans, disability and other welfare plans, pension plans, and participants and beneficiaries of these plans during the COVID-19 National Emergency.

This final ruling establishes an “Outbreak Period” retroactive to the Declaration of a National Emergency on March 1, 2020 until 60 days after the National Emergency is over.  Deadlines are suspended during the “Outbreak Period”, and the applicable timelines will resume after this period is over.

Learn More

The Internal Revenue Service has issued two new notices in response to COVID-19 which allow cafeteria plans to permit prospective midyear election changes, to allow extended periods for using remaining FSA funds and increasing future carryover amounts.
 
IRS Notice 2020-29 allows for temporary changes to cafeteria plans during 2020 to allow employees to make mid-year changes to their health and dependent care FSAs and employer sponsored health coverage for any reason. For FSA plans with grace periods or plan years ending in 2020, it also allows unused funds to be used for reimbursement on expenses incurred through 12/31/2020.
 
IRS Notice 2020-33 increases the amount of funds that can be carried over in health FSAs for plans starting in 2020 for an ongoing basis.
 
These election change and claim provisions are at the employer’s discretion and the notices give employers broad control on the extent to which they will permit such changes, so long as they are non-discriminatory. Plan amendments will be required and employers who adopt changes will need to consider how and when to amend their plan documents and disclosure materials in light of ongoing changes.

Learn More

On March 13, 2020 President Trump declared the coronavirus a national disaster under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act. In addition to delaying the tax filing deadline to July 15, 2020, this declaration also activated Section 139 that now allows employers to issue qualified disaster relief payments to their employees.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION

The IRS has confirmed that 2019 HSA Contributions may be accepted up to the new filing deadline of July 15, 2020. The delay was granted in Q&A guidance issued as a follow up to IRS Notice 2020-18. This change will allow the system to accept HSA contributions for 2019 up until the new filing date of July 15th, 2020.

The changes requiring HDHPs to cover COVID-19 testing/treatment AND telehealth prior to the plan deductible do not make the plans HSA ineligible – account holders are still eligible to contribute to their HSAs.

Care Benefit Accounts  New relief products and services have been born out of the impact of COVID-19. 

  •  
  • Work From Home (WFH) Benefit Account  Many employees are now being forced to work from home. Employers can use a WFH Benefit Account to control what types of purchases are approved for reimbursement (internet, phone, workstation, etc.).

 

  • Emergency Fund Account  Employers can fund a card for participants to use for necessities. The card can be setup to work for specific merchants.

Employers are looking at many possible impacts to employees and benefits. Regarding FSA participation and COBRA offers, the important question to consider is the impact on the employee’s eligibility under each plan. It’s important to consult your ERISA counsel and benefit brokers regarding any ERISA benefits and health plan eligibility questions.

OTC expenses have required a prescription to be eligible under FSAs, HSAs and HRAs since 2011 per the Patient Protection and Affordable Care.  The CARES Act passed last week in response to the COVID-19 crisis permanently removed this requirement, so prescriptions are no longer required.  It also expanded the definition of eligible expenses to include menstrual care products.

The following IRS Code Sections were amended to REMOVE the requirement for a prescription for over the counter expenses to be considered eligible medicines or drugs.  They were each also amended to ADD menstrual care products as eligible medical expenses.

HSAs:  Section 223(d)(2)

Archer MSAs: Section 220(d)(2)(A)

FSAs and HRAs: Section 106(f)

Click Here For More Information

 The CARES Act passed last week in response to the COVID-19 crisis permanently removed this requirement, so prescriptions are no longer required.  It also expanded the definition of eligible expenses to include menstrual care products.

FSAstore.com is working to update their inventory to bring you the biggest possible selection of OTC medicines and feminine care products to enhance our existing store of more than 4,000 FSA-eligible products.

Amazon Health Shopper  

Health Shopper gives consumers the ability to search for a wide array of FSA/HSA eligible items.  It allows consumers to shop for those FSA/HSA eligible items they need as well as learn about and discover products they may not know were eligible or existed.  Health Shopper accomplishes this by delivering a custom curated product list, with seasonal recommendations, topical content and superior search functionality.  All the while allowing the consumer to purchase via a familiar, comfortable and second to none e-commerce experience through Amazon.

HSA Advance 

Real funds in real time.
As the name implies, HSA Advance provides you with access to your HSA funds the first day of your plan year, so you can cover
health expenses immediately. 

With HSA Advance, if you have medical expenses that are greater than the balance of your personal HSA Account, you can tap into your HSA Advance fund to help cover the cost, automatically.

Commuter Benefits plans are monthly benefits that allow participants to start and stop as needed.

There are 2 types of Commuter Benefit Accounts:

1. Qualified Parking
2. Qualified Transportation

A Qualified Parking account allows the employee only, not their family members or dependents, to put aside tax-free dollars each month to pay for eligible parking expenses.

A Qualified Transportation account allows the employee only to put aside tax-free dollars each month to pay for eligible mass transit expenses.

Helpful Links

24HourFlex & COVID-19 Preparedness

We will continue operations as usual.

Our Account Specialists are on standby and ready to assist you with claims, direct deposit, and any other question you may have,

Monday through Friday,
7AM to 6PM MT.

Employees can only use company-provided computers to access our network and then only after satisfying our dual-authentication security protocols.

We have extremely robust data encryption and all data resides securely on our Azure virtual file servers.

After 18 months of preparation, RPS and 24HourFlex transitioned in 2017 to a fully-remote environment and we have operated this way for three years.

While we maintain a Colorado office, headquartered in Littleton, we now have employees in over a dozen states.

The Internal Revenue Service has issued two new notices in response to COVID-19 which allow cafeteria plans to permit prospective midyear election changes, to allow extended periods for using remaining FSA funds and increasing future carryover amounts.