March FSA Mailbag: Your top Learning Center questions answered!

Accounts

Each month, we receive hundreds of great questions from our customers about everything relating to FSAs in our FSA Learning Center. This past month, we received a number of fantastic questions relating to product eligibility and spending deadlines, which may be helpful to other FSA users as well.

Here are our favorite Learning Center questions that could help you see your consumer-directed healthcare account in a new way.

  1. Do I need to submit a detailed receipt to my FSA provider when I purchase from the FSAstore.com?

If FSA users make purchases at FSAstore.com with their FSA cards, these expenses are almost always automatically substantiated and deducted from the user's account and no further claims are necessary. If you do not have an FSA debit card, you can print out a receipt and submit to your FSA administrator to get reimbursed as you would normally with all of your FSA purchases. However, FSA users should always save receipts for all FSA plan year transactions if further claims substantiation is necessary in the future.

  1. What happens to FSA funds if I am fired from a job?

In the event that a worker leaves his/her job, FSA enrollment will typically terminate as of the date your employment terminates. Eligible medical services provided prior to your date of termination will still be eligible for reimbursement, but services provided after the date of termination will not be eligible unless the worker is eligible for and elects to continue coverage under COBRA.

  1. Can I use my FSA card for my husband's expenses even if we are not on the same health insurance plan? We are both covered by our employer's health insurance.

Regardless of health plan enrollment, FSAs are designed to cover the eligible medical expenses of the account holder, his/her spouse and qualified dependents. As of 2017, the pre-tax FSA contribution limit is $2,600, which can be spent on products/services for anyone listed on the account holder's FSA plan.

  1. Can I use FSA funds to pay for spouse's insurance premium if he is not covered by an employer plan?

FSA funds cannot be used to pay for health insurance premiums, whether they are for the account holder, spouse or his/her dependents. As regulation IRS '213(d) states regarding the FSA account spending: "medical care includes amounts paid for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment or prevention of disease, or for the purpose of affecting any structure or function of the body." Health insurance premiums fall outside of this definition and pay for coverage, not direct care.

  1. Is a fee for medical advocacy services FSA eligible?

Medical advocacy services charge a set fee to provide a number of services. Some but not all of these services may be FSA eligible. Services that assist an individual to obtain medical care, or to obtain appropriate medical care, qualify for FSA reimbursement. The following list contains examples of services that do not relate to obtaining medical care and therefore do not qualify:

(1) Analyze medical bills to see if there are ways to reduce the individual's financial obligation.

(2) Negotiate costs with medical providers.

(3) Mediate family conflicts involving healthcare decisions.

(4) Deal with insurance companies or Medicare about coverage issues.

(5) Submit claims.

Because medical advocacy companies charge fees that cover services that are medical and services that are not medical, you are not eligible for FSA reimbursement for the entire fee. You also are not eligible to be reimbursed when you pay the fee if the company hasn't yet provided you with any services. You may be able to get some reimbursement from your FSA after the medical advocacy company has provided medical services to you if you can show the value of those services, for example how much you would have to pay for those services alone. Because of these difficulties, your plan administrator may not be willing to reimburse any part of the fee for a medical advocacy service.

  1. Do you ship to Hawaii?

Yes! FSAstore.com ships to the 48 contiguous U.S. states, as well as Alaska and Hawaii!

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