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FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

General

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We’re happy to help. Simply contact us at 800.300.1672 for assistance.

Log into your account by clicking the ‘Participants’ tab at the top of the page. Then select the type of account you want to access. Enter your username and password on the left side of the screen. Your balances are on the home page. If you have further questions, please contact us at 800.300.1672.

We’re happy to help. Simply contact us at 800.300.1672 for assistance.

Access your forms by visiting our Participant Forms page.

You can access information about eligible expenses on the Plan Information page, under Worksheets. Otherwise, you’ll find a more extensive list of eligible (and ineligible items) on the Expense List page.

Debit Card

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The debit card (called the Benny© Card) is a Visa card that has been preloaded with your Health Care, Dependent Care, Limited Purpose, Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) and/or HSA balances. You’ll experience the ease and convenience of not having to pay expenses out of pocket and seek reimbursement manually by submitting a claim form.

You present the card as your method of payment to your provider or retailer, and the cost of the product or service is deducted from the balance of your pre-tax account. (If asked whether to process your transaction as a debit or credit, respond “credit.”) Keep any itemized statements or Explanation of Benefits you receive in case you are asked to provide additional documentation.

You will automatically receive two debit cards at no cost. Both cards will have your name on them, as well as the name of your employer. If the second card is going to be used by another eligible tax dependent (e.g. spouse or dependent child), simply have the dependent sign the back of the second card. Each card user should sign the card with his or her own signature. Additional cards are available for a cost of $10 for two; the $10 will be deducted from the employee’s FSA, HRA or HSA account.

The first time you use the card and it is processed by the merchant, your card will activate automatically. Activating one card activates both cards at the same time.

Please call 121 Benefits Customer Service as soon as possible. Recent transactions can be reviewed to ensure that expenses charged to the account belong to the you and/or your eligible dependents, and the missing cards can be deactivated. Replacements for lost or stolen card(s) can be requested and issued at a cost of $10 for two cards; this charge will be deducted from your FSA, HRA or HSA account.

No. The card is good for three years from the date of issue. It can be used for subsequent plan year pre-tax accounts. If you are planning on signing up again for a Health Care FSA account, or will continue to have an HRA or HSA, retain your card for future usage since new cards are not issued each plan year and there is a $10 charge to receive replacement cards within the three-year timeframe.

It can be used for eligible expenses incurred at health care providers, including medical or dental offices, hospitals, medical laboratories and retail and stand-alone pharmacies. It should only be used for expenses that are eligible under IRS or plan guidelines.

There may be providers or retailers who do not accept Visa or the type of store is not authorized to do so. In this case, you must seek reimbursement for the expense through the manual claims process: by submitting a claim online via your personal account, by fax or mail, or by using the 121 Benefits mobile app.

You need to save your receipts or itemized documents for expenses that have been paid or reimbursed from your FSA, HRA or HSA. If you are audited by the IRS, you may need these documents. The IRS requires that all expenses are verified or substantiated and if not, additional documentation is required to not only make sure the expenses are eligible but that they were incurred in the proper plan year. If a receipt or documentation is needed you will receive notification. Also, these receipts will be needed to document your debit card charges. Note that you will not be required to provide documentation for Health Savings Account (HSA) transactions to 121 Benefits.

FSAs

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An FSA allows you to pay for your eligible medical, dental, vision, over-the-counter and/or dependent (day) care expenses with pre-tax dollars. The dollars you designate, which are withheld from your paycheck, are not subject to Social Security (FICA), federal or state income taxes.

Yes, the maximum you can elect for the Health Care Account is $2,550 per year (subject to annual cost of living adjustments. Note that both you and your spouse or dependent, regardless of whether they are employed at the same employer, may each elect $2,550 as this is a per employee, per employer limit. The maximum you can elect for the Dependent Care Account is $5,000 per family per year. If you enroll in a Dependent Care Account, you cannot claim the child care credit on your tax return for the expenses reimbursed from your FSA. Check with your tax advisor to see what would work best for you.

Generally, no. However, if your employer permits changes due to eligible status changes (or cost or coverage changes for the Dependent Care Account), then you will be allowed to change your election. Common status changes include the birth of a child, change in marital status, loss of a dependent or loss of spouse’s employment. If an eligible status change does occur, you must notify your Human Resources Department, typically within 30 days. All changes are made on a prospective basis.

You need to re-enroll each year in the Health Care and/or Dependent Care accounts. Medical and dependent care expenditures vary from year to year, and this gives you the flexibility to change your election. Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) roll from year to year, but your employer may require you to indicate your desire to continue participating each year.

Any money you do not claim for dependent care expenses will be forfeited. Some Health FSAs allow for up to a $500 carryover balance into the new plan year. Review your plan information or consult with your human resources representative for more information.

HSAs

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An HSA allows individuals to pay for current qualified medical expenses, or save towards future medical expenses on a tax-free basis. In order to open an HSA, you must first be enrolled in a qualified High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) and not also be enrolled in another low- or no-deductible health plan (including a Health Care FSA at your or your spouse’s employer).

As the account holder of your HSA, it is your responsibility to keep track of your contributions and distributions. You can view your account online at 121benefits.com to track your transaction history, check current balances or request a distribution in the form of a check made payable to you or a provider. Alternatively, you may request a distribution directly into your bank account. Keep your receipts for any funds used to pay for qualified medical expenses in case you are ever audited by the IRS or if you want to request a distribution at a future date.

In order to open and contribute to an HSA, an individual must be enrolled in an HSA-qualified High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP). They cannot be enrolled in Medicare or Medicaid or another low- or no-deductible health plan, cannot be eligible to be claimed as a dependent on another persona’s tax return and must be over 18 years of age. If an individual meets these guidelines, they, their employer and/or any third party are able to make contributions into their HSA up to the IRS allowable limits for the year.

The maximum annual contribution limits are determined by the IRS each year and include both employer and employee contributions. For 2016, the maximum annual contribution limit that an individual, with single coverage, can make to an HSA is $3,350. In the case of an individual, with family coverage, the maximum annual contribution is $6,750. The minimum deductibles for 2016 are $1,300 for single coverage and $2,600 for family coverage.

For 2017, the maximum annual contribution limit that an individual with single coverage can make to an HSA is $3,400. In the case of an individual with family coverage, the maximum annual contribution remains at $6,750. The minimum deductibles for 2017 remain at $1,300 for single coverage and $2,600 for family coverage.

Note that the contribution is not limited to the annual deductible under the High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP). The IRS allows for an additional contribution for those who turn 55 before the end of the tax year. The additional contribution amount is $1,000. If you had HDHP coverage for the full year, you can make the full catch-up contribution regardless of when your 55th birthday falls during the year.

No, you may contribute any amount you wish and as frequently as you wish. The most common way of making a contribution is through a pre-tax payroll deduction. However, you can also make ‘ad hoc’ contributions online in your personal account—but note that these contributions will be made on an after-tax basis. Your contributions will remain in your HSA from year to year until you use them. You do not have to make withdrawals (i.e. request distributions) each year. Annual contributions can be made to your HSA up to April 15th of the following year.

HRAs

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An HRA is an employer-funded, tax-exempt spending account that is used to reimburse employees for qualified medical expenses. The HRA belongs to and is controlled by the employer. Typically, the employer provides a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) and creates an HRA for the employee to help pay for eligible out-of-pocket medical expenses. Some employers offer an HRA alongside a low- or no-deductible plan as well. Employees can either use their debit card or submit a reimbursement claim. The HRA funds are then used to reimburse the employee, but only up to a set limit for qualified expenses.

An HRA is entirely employer funded, whereas an FSA is funded by the employer or the employee through a salary reduction or other contribution. The other difference is that funds left in an FSA at the end of the plan year may be forfeited (unless the health FSA allows the $500 to carry forward), whereas funds left in an HRA at the end of the year are typically carried over to the next year.

Yes, requests for reimbursement under an HRA must be substantiated with third-party documentation (itemized statements or Explanation of Benefits) of the allowable expense.

With an HRA, if the plan allows, unused funds may be carried over from year to year.

No, an HRA account is set up and can only be funded by your employer.

Transportation Plans

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Transportation Plans allow an employee to set aside payroll deductions, taken on a tax-free basis in two separate accounts, to pay for qualified parking and/or transit pass and vanpool expenses.

The monthly maximum tax-free limits for transportation expenses are set at $255 for a Parking Expense Account and $255 for a Transit Pass/Vanpool Account for 2016. Please check with your employer or your specific plan documents as the limits could be different for your specific plan.

No, only qualified expenses for your workplace Parking or Transit Pass/Vanpool expenses are eligible.

No, this account can only be used to pay for your own qualified transportation expenses.

Vanpools are defined by the IRS as any highway vehicle that has seating for at least six adults, excluding the driver. At least 80% of the vehicle mileage is expected to transport employees to and from work, and at least half of the vehicle is occupied for such purpose.

COBRA/Continuation & Retiree Billing

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COBRA requires employers with more than 20 employees to extend temporary group health care coverage (including medical, dental, vision, medical flexible spending account, etc.) to employees and their families if they lose health benefits based on certain qualifying events. These events may include voluntary or involuntary job loss, reduction in work hours worked, death, divorce and other life events. COBRA is time-sensitive with many set deadlines for notification, election and extension.

Retiree Billing includes the administrative process of maintaining health care coverage for retirees who are continuing certain retiree benefits through their former employer.