Each year during open enrollment you sign up for health benefits. A Flexible Spending Account (FSA) could be included in the employee benefit package if your company offers the plan.
Sometimes your employer handles the administration of FSA benefits, but often a Third Party Administrator is asked to step in. A Third Party Administrator (TPA) is an independent organization that handles employee benefits administration. Third party administrators are typically hired to handle benefit processing as this can be complex and time consuming for employers. They're essentially outsourced mediators (between employees and employer) in charge of claims processing, benefit enrollment, and benefit management on behalf of your employer.
FSA administration deals with protected health information, which is safeguarded in compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). TPAs must comply with these HIPAA safeguards and stay updated on important health regulations that could affect these benefit plans.
Who is my TPA?
A Third Party Administrator (TPA) is the "go-to source" for everything related to your Flexible Spending Account. TPAs can also be referred to as FSA administrators, benefits administrators, or FSA providers.
Your TPA has access to your FSA account including your FSA balance, plan information and guidelines, and plan deadlines. Your TPA can also answer questions about FSA eligible products or FSA eligible services which qualify for your individual plan. Your TPA is also responsible for claims reimbursement.
How do I contact my TPA?
You should reach out to your Human Resources department if you're unsure who your TPA is. If you have an FSA debit card, you can contact your TPA by checking if there is a toll-free number listed on the back of the card.