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FSAFEDS Communication Library Printer Friendly

The FSAFEDS Communication Library is an archive of past Spotlights on Eligible Expenses, program messages that includes email blasts sent to participants, as well as past What's New postings.

Past Spotlights on Eligible Expenses
Email Blasts to Participants
Past What's New Postings

Past Spotlights on Eligible Expenses
June 2009

Ohhhh My Back!

Are you experiencing back pain? Relief is available! Expenses for chiropractic care are eligible for reimbursement from your Health Care FSA.

To see other expenses that are eligible for reimbursement from FSAFEDS, please visit the Eligible Expenses Juke Box.


May 2009

Need Braces?

Not a problem! Orthodontia expenses for you or your dependent(s) are eligible for reimbursement from your Health Care FSA.

To see other expenses that are eligible for reimbursement from FSAFEDS, please visit the Eligible Expenses Juke Box.


April 2009

Do You Use a Service or Companion Animal?

Expenses to train and procure a service or companion animal, such as a guide dog, are eligible for reimbursement from your Health Care FSA. The service or companion animal must be specially trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability and be used by you, your spouse or eligible dependents. Expenses such as food, medications, vet visits, and dental care products needed for the care or maintenance of service or companion animals are also eligible expenses.

Expenses for pets are not eligible.

To see other expenses that are eligible for reimbursement from FSAFEDS, please visit the Eligible Expenses Juke Box.


March 2009

Are You Ready For Sneeze Season?

Products that are used to treat or relieve severe allergy symtoms are potentially eligible for reimbursement from your Health Care Flexible Spending Account with a Letter of Medical Necessity from your physician. Some examples include: HEPA filters for furnaces and vacuum cleaners, electro-static air purifiers, and special bedding barriers that provide protection against allergens to alleviate an allergic condition.

A Letter of Medical Necessity must be signed by your health care practitioner, state your medical diagnosis, the name of the product that will treat the diagnosis, and specify the length of time the item is required.

To see other expenses that are eligible for reimbursement from FSAFEDS, please visit the Eligible Expenses Juke Box.


February 2009

Are You Tired of the Falling Flakes?

Medicated shampoos, such as Nizoral, Denorex, and DHS Tar Shampoo, are potentially eligible for reimbursement from your Health Care Flexible Spending Account with a Letter of Medical Necessity from your physician. The Letter of Medical Necessity must be signed by your health care practitioner, state your medical diagnosis, the name of the medicated shampoo that will treat the diagnosis and specify the length of time the medicated shampoo is required.

To see other expenses that are eligible for reimbursement from FSAFEDS, please visit the Eligible Expenses Juke Box.


August 2008

Can You See Clearly Now?

Expenses paid for laser eye surgery, such as Lasik, or other procedures to correct vision problems are eligibile for reimbursement from your Health Care FSA, as long as they are not reimbursed by FEHB or FEDVIP coverage, or any other insurance.

To see other expenses that are eligible for reimbursement from FSAFEDS, please visit the Eligible Expenses Juke Box.


July 2008

Did You Have a Co-pay at Your Last Office Visit?

Co-payments and/or co-insurance are eligible for reimbursement from your Health Care FSA, as long as they are not reimbursed by FEHB or FEDVIP coverage, or any other insurance.

To see other expenses that are eligible for reimbursement from FSAFEDS, please visit the Eligible Expenses Juke Box.


June 2008

Do You Require Care for an Elderly Dependent?

Expenses for the care of elderly individuals and/or for any individual not capable of self-care are eligible for reimbursement from your Dependent Care FSA, provided the person(s) can be claimed as dependent(s) on your Federal tax return.

As with any expenses under a DCFSA, elder care expenses are only eligible if they enable you or your spouse to work, look for work (income must be earned during the year), or attend school full-time.

To see other expenses that are eligible for reimbursement from FSAFEDS, please visit the Eligible Expenses Juke Box.


May 2008

That Lip Balm in Your Pocket Just Might Be Eligible

Medicated lip products, including lip balms and ointments, that are used to treat extremely cracked, chapped lips or cold sores are eligible for reimbursement from your Health Care FSA. The products that are eligible typically have the word "medicated" in the brand name, such as Blistex Medicated Lip Ointment.

To see other expenses that are eligible for reimbursement from FSAFEDS, please visit the Eligible Expenses Juke Box.


April 2008

Are Your Hands Really Clean?

Hand sanitizing products, such as gels, foams and hand wipes, are eligible for reimbursement from your Health Care FSA. Some examples include, Purell Instant Hand Sanitizer or an equivalent store brand. The purpose of these products is to remove germs and bacteria from the skin. Soaps and lotions that contain antibacterial ingredients are not eligible.

To see other expenses that are eligible for reimbursement from FSAFEDS, please visit the Eligible Expenses Juke Box.


March 2008

Are You Ready for Allergy Season?

Over-the-counter (OTC) allergy medicines that are used to prevent and relieve allergy symptoms are eligible for reimbursement from your Health Care FSA without a Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN) from your health care provider.

To see other expenses that are eligible for reimbursement from FSAFEDS, please visit the Eligible Expenses Juke Box.


February 2008

Getting Back into the Swing?

Physical therapy prescribed to treat a specific medical condition due to illness or injury is eligible for reimbursement from your Health Care FSA.

To see other expenses that are eligible for reimbursement from FSAFEDS, please visit the Eligible Expenses Juke Box.


January 2008

Are You Ready for Flu Season?

Immunizations that are given to prevent illness, such as flu shots, are eligible for reimbursement from your Health Care FSA without a Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN) from your health care provider.

To see other expenses that are eligible for reimbursement from FSAFEDS, please visit the Eligible Expenses Juke Box.


Email Blasts to Participants
July 2010

The new healthcare reform legislation produces important changes to your Health Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA).

Eligible Over-the-Counter Medicines and Drugs Will Require a Prescription to be Reimbursed – Effective January 1, 2011

Beginning January 1, 2011, currently eligible over-the-counter (OTC) products that are medicines or drugs (e.g., acne treatments, allergy and cold medicines, antacids, etc.) will not be eligible for reimbursement from your Health Care FSA – unless - you have a prescription for that item written by your physician. The only exception is insulin – you will not need a prescription from January 1, 2011 forward. Other currently eligible OTC items that are not medicines or drugs, such as bandages and nasal strips, will not require a prescription.

Here are a few Q&As:

  1. How will 2010 Grace Period incurred (January 1, 2011 through March 15, 2011) OTC expenses be handled?

    It won’t matter that you are using your 2010 funds - any eligible OTC medicine or drug purchased from January 1, 2011 forward will not be reimbursed unless you can provide us with a prescription written by your physician.

  2. Will I be required to submit additional documentation with my claim form?

    Yes. If you currently use a portion of your FSA funds for eligible OTC that are medicines or drugs, you will need to provide us with valid prescriptions for those items on January 1, 2011 and beyond.

  3. I’m not sure how much I will need to elect for the 2011 Benefit Period. What should I do?

    During the Federal Benefits Open Season for the upcoming 2011 Benefit Period, you should carefully estimate the amount you elect to contribute to your Health Care FSA. Once Open Season is over, you cannot change your annual election amount unless you experience a Qualifying Life Event (QLE).

  4. How will the January 1 effective date impact my OTC spending?

    The below chart provides a summary with examples.

  5.  

     

    Date of OTC Expense

    Reimbursement Eligibility

    Example

    On or before 12/31/2010

    Eligible OTC expenses for medicines and drugs do not require a prescription.

     

     

     

     

    Sally buys a one-month supply of Claritin on 12/21/2010.

     

    Her expense will be reimbursed as long as she submits her claim on or before April 30, 2011.

    On or after 01/01/2011

    OTC expenses for medicines and drugs CANNOT be reimbursed unless they are accompanied by a prescription (except for insulin).

     

    It does not matter if you are using your 2010 or 2011 Health Care account – OTC incurred expenses for medicines and drugs will not be reimbursed without a prescription.

     

     

    Sally buys Claritin on 01/03/2011 but does not have a prescription for it. She will not be reimbursed for this expense.

     

    Sally buys Claritin on 01/03/2011 and has a prescription for it.  FSAFEDS will reimburse the expense.

    If you have questions, call us toll-free, at 1-877-FSAFEDS (372-3337), TTY: 1-800-952-0450, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time, or via email at FSAFEDS@shps.com.



July 2010

It’s here! The “My Claims” section of My Account Summary has a brand new look and improved functionality.

Now it’s even easier to manage your account online. Your “My Claims” section now includes:

  • Even more user-friendly appearance and easy navigation
  • Claim status alerts and notifications with important information about your account
  • Detailed, easy-to-understand information about every claim and every reimbursement
  • Improved ability to search for all current and past claims, reimbursements and allotments
  • Download your search results into a Microsoft Excel compatible file

For additional information, please visit the “My Claims” User Guide to walk you through all of the new features and functionality that is now available. Visit www.FSAFEDS.com today to see these exciting changes!

We hope you agree that these enhancements will make it easier to manage your account and we look forward to continuing to serve you.



June 2010

Coming this July! FSAFEDS is excited to announce the upcoming implementation of new web enhancements for “My Claims” when you visit My Account Summary!

Managing your account online will be even easier. The new and improved “My Claims” section will feature:

  • Even more user-friendly appearance and easy navigation
  • Claim status alerts and notifications with important information about your account
  • Detailed, easy-to-understand information about every claim and every reimbursement
  • Improved ability to search for all current and past claims, reimbursements and allotments
  • Download your search results into a Microsoft Excel compatible file

Keep your eyes open! We'll send a formal announcement when the new features are launched! You may also check for updates at www.FSAFEDS.com



January 2010

WELCOME TO FSAFEDS!

We are very pleased that you decided to participate in FSAFEDS and look forward to serving you throughout the 2010 Benefit Period. A special “Welcome Back” to those of you who were also with us last year!

Below is a quick list of important information and dates that you should be aware of. Please visit www.FSAFEDS.com at any time to learn more about FSAFEDS.

1. Customer Service:

Email: FSAFEDS@shps.com

Toll-free: 1-877-FSAFEDS (372-3337), TTY: 1-800-952-0450 - FSAFEDS Benefits Counselors are available Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m., Eastern Time.

2. Claim Forms:

The Health Care and Dependent Care Claim Forms are available at www.FSAFEDS.com under Forms in the Quick Links or under Claim Forms on the home page. Please take a moment to read over our Clean Claim Quick Reference Guide on how to submit a "clean" claim.

3. Time to Incur Claims:

You have from January 1, 2010 through March 15, 2011 (the 2010 Benefit Period) to incur eligible expenses toward your 2010 Dependent Care FSA and/or Health Care FSA account.

4. Claims Deadline:

You must submit claims for eligible expenses incurred during the 2010 Benefit Period on or before April 30, 2011.

5. Important Changes Effective 1/1/10 Regarding Claims Processing:

  • Change to Standard Mileage Rate

    The IRS changed the allowable standard mileage rate when using a car or motorcycle to obtain medical care. If you submit a claim for travel to and/or from health care providers, hospitals, pharmacies and other places that you receive eligible medical care during the 2010 calendar year, you will be reimbursed 16.5 cents per mile.

  • New Claims Processing Platform (SAMS) Offers New Enhancements

    SAMS is our new claims processing system which offers lots of wonderful enhancements, including:

    • Redesigned and enhanced "My Claims" functionality - real-time updates, drop-down menu functionality for claim details, search and calendar functions and MUCH MORE!
    • Fully automated grace period processing for manual and paperless claims - SAMS does it all for you!
    • Improved Reimbursement Statements - streamlined information
    • Updated Account Statements - easier to read
    • NEW Shared Account Processing for married FSAFEDS participants who both have paperless reimbursement
    • Spouse processing that includes FEDVIP carriers

6. My Account Summary (MAS):

Your MAS provides information on your claims activity, account balance(s), and it is where you can update any changes in your bank account information (for Electronic Funds Transfer), email address or home address. Plus - you will find copies of any program-wide email blasts that we might send during the Benefit Period under the Message Center. You can access MAS by clicking here.

We hope the FSAFEDS Program is beneficial to you and your family and that you SAVE MONEY. Remember to visit www.FSAFEDS.com to check the status of your account or to find answers to questions regarding the program. If you are unable to find an answer, give us a call or email us at FSAFEDS@shps.com. We're here to help make your FSAFEDS experience a pleasant one!

Welcome Aboard!



January 2009

Welcome to FSAFEDS!

We are very pleased that you decided to participate in FSAFEDS and look forward to serving you throughout the 2009 Benefit Period. A special Welcome Back to those of you who were also with us last year!

Below is a quick list of important information and dates that you should be aware of. Please visit www.fsafeds.com at any time to learn more about FSAFEDS.

1. Custom Service:
Email: FSAFEDS@shps.com
Toll-free: 1-877-FSAFEDS (372-3337), TTY: 1-800-952-0450

FSAFEDS Benefits Counselors are available Monday through Friday, 9:00 am until 9:00 pm, Eastern Time.

2. Claim Form:
The claim form is available at www.fsafeds.com under Quick Links on the home page. Please take a moment to read over our Quick Reference Guide (https://www.fsafeds.com/forms/cleanclaimqrg.pdf) on how to submit a "clean" claim.

3. Time to Incur Claims:
You have from January 1, 2009 through March 15, 2010 (the 2009 Benefit Period) to incur eligible expenses toward your 2009 health and/or dependent care account.

4. Claims Deadline:
You must submit claims for eligible expenses incurred during the 2009 Benefit Period on or before April 30, 2010.

5. My Account Summary (MAS):
You can access MAS at https://www.fsafeds.com/fsafeds/login/participantlogin.asp

My Account Summary provides information on claims that have been proceeded. You can check on the status of your claims, update your bank account information (for electronic funds transfer), email address or home address, or email FSAFEDS with any questions you may have.

5. Paperless Reimbursement Program (PR):
You can read information on PR at https://www.fsafeds.com/forms/paperlessreimb.pdf

If you are participating in the Paperless Reimbursement (PR) program for 2009, there are a few things to keep in mind.

- Do NOT submit a manual claim for medical services that will be processed through PR. Doing so will result in a denial of the paper claim and increase administrative expenses for the program.

- If you did not enroll in PR during Open Season, you may enroll any time by logging in to My Account Summary (https://www.fsafeds.com/fsafeds/login/participantlogin.asp), if your FEHB plan participates. Please note that not all FEHB plans participate in PR. To find out if your plan participates visit www.fsafeds.com/forms/paperlessreimb.pdf

We hope you find the FSAFEDS Program to be beneficial to you and your family. Remember to visit www.FSAFEDS.com to check the status of your account or to find answers to questions regarding the program. If you are unable to find an answer, give us a call or email us. We're here to help make your FSAFEDS experience a pleasant one!

Welcome Aboard!

FSAFEDS



January 2008

Welcome to FSAFEDS!

We are very pleased that you decided to participate in FSAFEDS and look forward to serving you throughout the 2008 Benefit Period. A special Welcome Back to those of you who were also with us last year!

Below is a quick list of important information and dates that you should be aware of. Please visit www.fsafeds.com at any time to learn more about FSAFEDS.

1. Custom Service:
Email: FSAFEDS@shps.com
Toll-free: 1-877-FSAFEDS (372-3337), TTY: 1-800-952-0450

FSAFEDS Benefits Counselors are available Monday through Friday, 9:00 am until 9:00 pm, Eastern Time.

2. Claim Form:
The claim form is available at www.fsafeds.com under Quick Links on the home page or at https://www.fsafeds.com/forms/opmclmform.pdf. Please take a moment to read over our Quick Reference Guide (https://www.fsafeds.com/forms/cleanclaimqrg.pdf) on how to submit a "clean" claim.

3. Time to Incur Claims:
You have from January 1, 2008 through March 15, 2009 (the 2008 Benefit Period) to incur eligible expenses toward your 2008 health and/or dependent care account.

4. Claims Deadline:
You must submit claims for eligible expenses incurred during the 2008 Benefit Period on or before April 30, 2009.

5. My Account Summary (MAS):
You can access MAS at https://www.fsafeds.com/fsafeds/login/participantlogin.asp

My Account Summary provides information on claims that have been proceeded. You can check on the status of your claims, update your bank account information (for electronic funds transfer), email address or home address, or email FSAFEDS with any questions you may have.

5. Paperless Reimbursement Program (PR):
You can read information on PR at https://www.fsafeds.com/forms/paperlessreimb.pdf

If you are participating in the Paperless Reimbursement (PR) program for 2008, there are a few things to keep in mind.

- Do NOT submit a manual claim for medical services that will be processed through PR. Doing so will result in a denial of the paper claim and increase administrative expenses for the program.

- If you did not enroll in PR during Open Season, you may enroll any time by logging in to My Account Summary (https://www.fsafeds.com/fsafeds/login/participantlogin.asp), if your FEHB plan participates. Please note that not all FEHB plans participate in PR. To find out if your plan participates visit www.fsafeds.com/forms/paperlessreimb.pdf

We hope you find the FSAFEDS Program to be beneficial to you and your family. Remember to visit www.FSAFEDS.com to check the status of your account or to find answers to questions regarding the program. If you are unable to find an answer, give us a call or email us. We're here to help make your FSAFEDS experience a pleasant one!

Welcome Aboard!

FSAFEDS



January 2007

Welcome to FSAFEDS!

We are so excited that you decided to participate in FSAFEDS and look forward to serving you throughout the 2007 Benefit Period. A special Welcome Back to those of you who were also with us last year!

Below is a quick list of important information and dates that you should be aware of. Please visit www.fsafeds.com at any time to learn more about FSAFEDS.

1. Custom Service:
Toll-free: 1-877-FSAFEDS (372-3337), TTY: 1-800-952-0450
Email: FSAFEDS@shps.com

FSAFEDS Benefits Counselors are available Monday through Friday, 9:00 am until 9:00 pm, Eastern Time.

2. Claim Submission:
The newly updated claim form is available at www.fsafeds.com under Quick Links on the home page or you can click on this link (https://www.fsafeds.com/forms/opmclmform.pdf) for a direct connection. Please take a moment to read over our Quick Reference Guide (https://www.fsafeds.com/forms/cleanclaimqrg.pdf) on how to submit a "clean" claim. Please note that you must use this new version of the claim form. If you've saved a claim form from last year, please be sure to switch to the new form.

3. Benefit Period:
You have from January 1, 2007 through March 15, 2008 to incur eligible expenses toward your 2007 health and/or dependent care account.

4. My Account Summary (https://www.fsafeds.com/fsafeds/login/participantlogin.asp)
My Account Summary provides up-to-date claims status information at your fingertips! It's available 24/7 whenever it's convenient for you. You can check on the status of your claims, update your EFT, email or address information, or email FSAFEDS with any questions you may have.

5. Paperless Reimbursement Program (https://www.fsafeds.com/forms/paperlessreimb.pdf)
If you are participating in the Paperless Reimbursement (PR) program for 2007, there are a few things to keep in mind.

- Do NOT submit a manual claim for medical services that will be processed through PR. Doing so will result in a denial of the paper claim.

- If you did not enroll in PR during Open Season, you may enroll any time by logging in to My Account Summary (https://www.fsafeds.com/fsafeds/login/participantlogin.asp). Please note that not all FEHB plans participate in PR.

We hope you find the FSAFEDS Program to be beneficial to you and your family. Remember to visit www.FSAFEDS.com to check the status of your account or to find answers to questions regarding the program. If you are unable to find an answer, give us a call or email us. We're here to help make your FSAFEDS experience a pleasant one!

Welcome Aboard!



January 2007

FEDVIP Double Reimbursement



December 2006

New Identifier for FSAFEDS Reimbursement

Dear FSAFEDS Participant,

Currently, when you receive a reimbursement from FSAFEDS via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), it is identified as "SHPS FSA PMT" on your banking statement. Within the next two weeks, this will be changed to read "SPENDING ACCT REIMB". While this change is minimal and will have no affect on your account or reimbursements, we wanted to notify you of the change so you were aware of the change and that it is, in fact, your FSAFEDS reimbursement.



July 2005

FSAFEDS Announces Enhancements to Program

Dear FSAFEDS Participant:

FSAFEDS is pleased to announce several enhancements that promise to benefit all participants - - that means you!

1) Grace period implemented for incurring eligible expenses!
You now have until March 15 of the following year to incur eligible expenses for the current Benefit Period. While this does not eliminate the use-it-or-lose-it rule completely, you now have a great advantage to avoid forfeiting unused funds.

If you have a balance remaining in your Health and/or Dependent Care FSA account as of December 31, you can use those funds for eligible expenses incurred from January 1 through March 15 of the following year. This is effective immediately, so for the 2005 Benefit Period, you have until March 15, 2006 to incur eligible expenses. And, if your 2005 balance is not sufficient to reimburse you in full for expenses incurred through March 15, 2006, the unpaid balance will be paid out of your 2006 account if you re-enrolled during Open Season. If you do not re-enroll, you cannot be reimbursed in full for those expenses.

2) Deadline extended for submitting eligible expenses to FSAFEDS!

The deadline for submitting claims for eligible expenses has been pushed back to accommodate the grace period change. You now have until May 31 following the end of the Benefit Period to submit claims for eligible expenses you incurred through March 15.

3) Health Care FSA maximum increased for 2006!
The Health Care FSA maximum contribution for 2006 will be $5,000 - - that's a $1,000 increase in the pre-tax amount. This change is effective for the 2006 Benefit Period and does not apply to your current 2005 account. Remember, to take advantage of this new maximum, you must re-enroll for the 2006 Benefit Period.

The Health Care FSA maximum contribution for 2006 will be $5,000 - - that's a $1,000 increase in the pre-tax amount. This change is effective for the 2006 Benefit Period and does not apply to your current 2005 account. Remember, to take advantage of this new maximum, you must re-enroll for the 2006 Benefit Period.

You are receiving this update because you are a current FSAFEDS participant. Be sure to spread the word to your colleagues about the exciting changes occurring at FSAFEDS so they can enroll for the 2006 Benefit Period this fall and take advantage of the new benefits!

And, remember you must re-enroll each year to continue participating in FSAFEDS. Don't miss out!



June 2005

We Are Pleased to Announce the Implementation of a New Claims Imaging System!

Dear FSAFEDS Participant:

We are pleased to announce the implementation of a new claims imaging system! Your incoming claims are routed from the fax directly to our imaging system for processing and payment. Our new system also processes other documentation such as Qualifying Life Events and EFT enrollment forms, etc. The new system promises improved service delivery, offers claim receipt confirmations for all claims, including those from participants who use an Alternate ID, and much more!

But, as you've probably experienced with other new things, it sometimes takes awhile to work out the kinks. This brand new system we're so excited about did experience a short-lived problem already. We may have lost some faxes during the period of June 6 to June 10.

Did you receive an email from us confirming our receipt of claims that you faxed during that period? If yes, nothing more is required. If no, has your claim(s) been paid yet? If it has, nothing more is required. If you don't receive an email confirmation by end of day Wednesday, please fax your claim(s) to us again at 1-866-643-2245 (toll-free). We apologize for this glitch and the frustration that it may have caused.

Our toll-free fax number, 1-866-643-2245 has not changed. However, our direct dial fax number for overseas participants and those unable to use a toll-free number has changed to 1-502-267-2233.

Please note - our mailing address for claims and other correspondence has changed, effective immediately. Our new address is:

FSAFEDS Program
PO Box 36880
Louisville, KY 40233

We are confident that as we move forward, our new imaging system will improve claims processing and increase your satisfaction.



FSAFEDS What's New Postings

December 2010

FSAFEDS Announces New Mileage Rate for 2011!

The IRS changed the allowable standard mileage rate when using a car or motorcycle to obtain medical care. Effective January 1, 2011, if you submit a claim for travel to and/or from health care providers, hospitals, pharmacies and other places that you receive eligible medical care during the 2011 calendar year, you will be reimbursed 19 cents per mile.

If you submit claims prior to the April 30, 2011 deadline for travel to and/or from health care providers for eligible medical care received during the 2010 calendar year, you will be reimbursed at the 2010 rate (16.5 cents per mile).


July 2010

Health Care Flexible Spending Accounts (HCFSA and LEX HCFSA) Will Change as a Result of the Healthcare Reform Legislation

Beginning January 1, 2011, currently eligible over-the-counter (OTC) products that are medicines or drugs (e.g., acne treatments, allergy and cold medicines, antacids, etc.) will not be eligible for reimbursement from your Health Care FSA – unless, you have a prescription for that item written by your physician.

The only exception is insulin – which will not require a prescription from January 1, 2011 forward. Other currently eligible OTC items that are not medicines or drugs, such as bandages and nasal strips, will not require a prescription.

Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts (DCFSA) are not impacted by the Healthcare Reform Legislation.


March 2010

YOU SPOKE - FSAFEDS Listened! New Reimbursement Statements Are Here!

The reimbursement statements now display more detailed information about your claims - including dates of service, type of service, denial messages and payment summary.

Don’t worry! Your personal health information (PHI) is still protected with the new format.

We hope you agree that these changes will help you manage your FSA account(s) more effectively!


January 2010

YOU SPOKE - FSAFEDS Listened! New Reimbursement Statements Coming Soon!

We received a lot of feedback on the new reimbursement statements.....and we agree!

Coming soon – an updated reimbursement statement that will include more detailed information about your claims.

As always, we appreciate your comments and the opportunity to improve the FSAFEDS program.


January 2010

REMINDER: New Claims Processing System Eliminates Need for Plan Year Selection on the Claim Form

You no longer have to select a plan year on your claim form – SAMS figures it out for you in a fully automated process! You simply submit your manual claims and SAMS does the rest!

For example, let’s say you were enrolled for the 2009 Benefit Period and you re-enrolled for the 2010 Benefit Period.

  • As of January 2010, you have a $50 remaining balance in your prior year’s account (2009 Benefit Period
  • You submit an eligible 2010 grace period claim for $50 before the claims deadline date of April 30, 2010.
  • SAMS will review your accounts and reimburse you from your 2009 Benefit Period account, thus depleting your balance. No money lost!

Now, let’s take it a step further.

  • After submitting the $50 grace period claim mentioned above that depleted your 2009 account, you find a receipt for an eligible $30 claim that you incurred in 2009.
  • You submit that claim before the April 30, 2010 deadline.
  • SAMS recognizes it's an eligible 2009 claim and your 2009 account was depleted with a grace period claim. Your accounts will be adjusted accordingly to allow that "new" claim to be paid from 2009. SAMS will apply a $30 credit to your 2009 account and debit your 2010 account the same amount, allowing the 2009 date of service claim to be applied towards your 2009 account.

Remember, the grace period allows you to apply current year expenses incurred from January 1 through March 15 towards your prior year account only. It does not mean you can have prior year expenses paid from the current year.

If you have additional questions concerning the grace period process, please visit the FSAFEDS Grace Period section of the Summary of Benefits with Frequently Asked Questions.

AND, those of you with paperless reimbursement - you are now treated the same way! SAMS will apply the same grace period logic to your claims, so you will benefit from the same improvements.


January 2010

FSAFEDS - Tips on Submitting Claims for Reimbursement

Here are a few tips on how to submit a claim to ensure a prompt reimbursement.

HCFSA and LEX HCFSA Accounts: You must file a claim form with FSAFEDS to be reimbursed for an eligible expense. The Health Care Claim Form is available on the FSAFEDS web site at www.FSAFEDS.com. Please note the handy calculator we have added for your convenience to use when totaling your expenses.

With your completed claim form, you must submit either one or both of the two items below to document your claim:

  • Explanation of Benefits Statement (EOB) – This is the statement that you typically receive each time that you, or a health care provider, submit a claim for payment to your health, dental, or vision care plan. The EOB shows the expenses paid by the plan and the amount you must pay. You must include the EOB for expenses that are partially covered by the health care plan.
  • Acceptable Evidence – For expenses not covered by your insurance or for expenses that you elect to submit directly to your insurance plan, you must sign the claim form verifying that the expense is not covered and/or has not been reimbursed by FEHB, FEDVIP or any other insurance. Claims will not be processed without acceptable evidence of your expenses. A cancelled check alone is not acceptable evidence. Acceptable evidence includes detailed receipt(s), that contain the following information:
    • Type of service or name of product purchased
    • Date expense was incurred
    • Your name or your dependent’s name for whom the service/product was provided, except for over-the-counter medications
    • Person or organization providing the service/product
    • Amount of the eligible expense

DCFSA Accounts: You must file a claim form with FSAFEDS to be reimbursed for an eligible expense. The Dependent Care Claim Form is available on the FSAFEDS web site at www.FSAFEDS.com. With your completed claim form, you must include supporting documentation for your dependent care expenses with your claim. You must either have the provider sign the Affidavit on Section(s) 2 and/or 5 of the claim form or attach a copy of your bill or signed receipt. The bill or signed receipt must include the date(s) of service. If your provider is tax exempt, enter all 9s for the Provider’s Tax ID.

If you have any questions, please contact us at FSAFEDS@shps.com or toll-free at 1-877-FSAFEDS (372-3337), TTY: 1-800-952-0450, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m., Eastern Time.


January 2010

FSAFEDS Announces New Mileage Rate for 2010!

The IRS changed the allowable standard mileage rate when using a car or motorcycle to obtain medical care. Effective January 1, 2010, if you submit a claim for travel to and/or from health care providers, hospitals, pharmacies and other places that you receive eligible medical care during the 2010 calendar year, you will be reimbursed 16.5 cents per mile.

You will need to round your amount to the nearest value. For instance, for a 7 mile trip at 16.5 cents per mile, the amount will calculate to $1.155. Using standard rounding logic, this would be reimbursed at $1.16. If the amount was $1.554, it would be $1.55.

If you submit claims prior to the April 30, 2010 deadline for travel to and/or from health care providers for eligible medical care received during the 2009 calendar year, you will be reimbursed at the 2009 rate (24 cents per mile).


December 2009

FSAFEDS Updates Participant Communications with SAMS

The new SAMS platform not only improves claims processing but also participant communications. SAMS will provide a more user-friendly format, enhanced personal health information (PHI) protection and, last but definitely not least, improved “My Claims” (a section of your online “My Account Summary”) functionality!

Reimbursement Statements

With the enhanced “My Claims” functionality, it will be easier to follow the lifecycle of your claim online. As a result, we improved the readability of your Reimbursement Statements by streamlining the amount of information included so that only the account, amount of the claim and whether it was approved or denied is reflected. This change also further protects your PHI by limiting the amount of information included.

Account Statements

We’ve updated the layout of the statement to provide a cleaner format with additional capacity to include special messaging. FSAFEDS will continue to send account statements three times a year – January and March (only to those with remaining balances) for the prior year, and October for the current year.

My Claims

The new “My Claims” section of “My Account Summary” is one of the most exciting changes you will see as a result of our transition to SAMS! “My Claims” will continue to be accessed through your “My Account Summary” but the entire section has been redesigned and we’ve added functionality to make it even more useful. We are confident you will be very happy with all the changes – it will make managing your account a breeze!

Here are just a few highlights of the changes you will see in your “My Claims” area:

  • Real-time updates on your claims – you will see exactly where your claims are in the cycle!
  • Easier-to-read layout with updated formatting
  • Easy to follow drop-down functionality enabling you to filter down to the details of each claim
  • Search functionality that allows you to filter by claim type, claim status, and more!
  • Calendar function that enables you to view your account status for prior years, not just one year prior – this information can help you in planning your next election!
  • Copies of your account statements for reference
  • Convenient document downloads of the most common forms

There you go – aren’t those great enhancements? This wraps up our string of communications on the exciting changes coming to FSAFEDS on December 21, 2009. We hope you are as excited about the changes as we are! We’ll send out a reminder or two before the transition to ensure you remember all of the changes before you see them.

Once Open Season ends, we’ll start the countdown to using SAMS - - what a way to end the year!


December 2009

Paperless Reimbursement is Even Better with SAMS!

The new Spending Account Management System (SAMS) provides a few extras just for our paperless reimbursement participants!

We already told you that grace period claims processing will be changing for the better. Now we want to tell you about two more enhancements just for our paperless reimbursement participants!

Spouse Processing and the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP)

Currently, spouse processing allows the FSAFEDS participant who is not the FEHB enrollee to take advantage of paperless reimbursement. The FSAFEDS participant simply enters the FEHB enrollee’s information during enrollment which allows FSAFEDS to coordinate obtaining claims through the FEHB carrier for automated processing. Effective with the 2010 Open Season, we will offer this same option for those covered under their spouse’s FEDVIP plan. One more reason to sign up for paperless!!

NEW! Shared Account Spouse Processing

Some of our married FSAFEDS participants have requested a special option and now it will be available with SAMS – we are talking about shared account spouse processing!

Currently, once the FEHB/FEDVIP enrollee’s FSAFEDS account is exhausted, the spouse must submit claims manually. No more! Paperless reimbursement participants, who are not the FEHB/FEDVIP enrollee, will now have the option to allow their spouse’s claims to “roll over” to their account once their spouse’s account is exhausted. How convenient is that - - an end-to-end paperless reimbursement solution!


December 2009

FSAFEDS Announces New Claims Processing System - SAMS

FSAFEDS is excited to announce the upcoming implementation of our new claims processing platform - Spending Account Management System (SAMS). This new, robust system will enable FSAFEDS to not only continue providing with you with the first-class service you are accustomed to, but also provide a few new bells and whistles!

We'll be sharing more information in the coming weeks, so keep your eyes open for those special notices! You may also check for updates at www.FSAFEDS.com.


November 2009

FSAFEDS Is Pleased to Announce a New Calculator Feature on the Claim Forms!

We made completing your claim form even more convenient – we embedded a calculator feature in the form! As you type an expense in each line, the sum of your expense(s) from page 2, or page 2 and 3, will automatically tally in the “Total Requested” box located on page 2.

You can view the new forms by clicking on the below links or go to www.FSAFEDS.com and click on “Claim Forms”.


August 2009

FSAFEDS Announces Change in Eligibility of Orthopedic Shoe Expenses

Orthopedic shoes, sometimes referred to as Orthotic shoes, will now require a Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN) to be considered for reimbursement under the FSAFEDS program. Orthopedic shoes are those that require a custom-fitting. Mass-produced shoes (like cross-trainers) are not eligible. In addition, only the cost difference between the custom-made shoe and a regular comparable shoe is reimbursable. Please note, that submitting a LMN does not guarantee the expense will be approved. Orthotic inserts remain eligible and do not require a LMN.


January 2009

FSAFEDS Announces Medicated Shampoo Is a Potentially Eligible Expense

Effective immediately, medicated shampoos (such as Nizoral, Denorex, and DHS Tar Shampoo) are potentially eligible for reimbursement from your Health Care Flexible Spending Account (HCFSA) with a Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN) from your physician. The LMN must be signed by your health care practitioner, state your medical diagnosis, the name of the medicated shampoo that will treat the medical diagnosis, and specify the length of time the medicated shampoo is required.

Medicated shampoo is now listed on the Eligible Expenses Juke Box.


January 2009

FSAFEDS Adopts Section 114 of the HEART Act - a Benefit for Qualified Reservists

The HEART Act (Public Law No. 110-245) contains tax benefits and incentives for individuals in military service. Section 114 of the HEART Act allows qualified reservists to receive a taxable distribution of their unused Health Care Flexible Spending Account (HCFSA) - also known as qualified reservist distribution (QRD). FSAFEDS adopted Section 114 of the HEART Act, effective January 1, 2009.

Please refer to the QRD section of the Frequently Asked Questions for additional information.


December 2008

FSAFEDS Announces Changes to Gym Membership Reimbursements

We will process gym membership claims differently beginning January 1, 2009. As you may know, gym memberships may be eligible expenses if prescribed by a physician and substantiated by his/her statement that treatment is necessary to alleviate a medical condition.

As a result of a recent clarification provided by the IRS, we must change how we currently process gym membership fees to remain compliant. IRS regulations stipulate that we cannot reimburse participants for services to be provided in the future, even if the provider requires payment in advance for the entire period.

What does this mean for you?

This means that FSAFEDS cannot reimburse you for gym membership fees in full even if you paid for an entire period upfront. If you submit a Letter of Medical Necessity for a gym membership and it is approved, you will need to submit your expenses AFTER the dates of service have passed. If you submit a claim that includes dates of service that have not yet occurred, we will pro-rate your claim. The portion that includes dates that have passed will be paid and the remaining portion will be denied. You would have to re-submit the denied portion(s) after those dates of service.


For example: If you submit a claim on February 1 for $500 to pay for membership from January 1 to May 31, we will pay $100 (January's service has taken place already) and deny $400 (February, March, April and May have not yet occurred).


How should I submit my gym membership claims if I pay for the full amount upfront?

For a gym membership to even be considered for reimbursement, you must first have an approved Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN) on file for a medical condition that requires exercise at a gym. If the LMN is approved, you have two options for submitting these types of claims. Please note that the IRS regulations stipulate that we cannot reimburse expenses that will be incurred in the future, even if the provider requires payment in advance for the entire period. This includes expenses such as gym memberships:


Here are your options:

  1. Submit expenses for a full month after that month has ended. Let's say you are billed monthly for gym membership, and paid for January 1 - January 31. On February 1, you would submit a claim form for January only, and include the receipt for January's membership that details the dates of service, provider name and cost.
  2. Submit the expense for a specific time period. Let's say you were asked to pay a fee upfront for a specified time period. For instance, in April you were asked to pay a $270 fee to cover gym membership for April through December. On May 1, you could submit a claim for $270 but we would pay a pro-rated amount of $30 ($270 divided by 9 months). On June 1, you could submit another claim and we would pay another $30. You could submit a claim each month thereafter with the appropriate documentation until you were reimbursed for the entire expense.

In summary, beginning January 1, 2009, if you have an approved Letter of Medical Necessity for a gym membership, you will only be reimbursed for eligible expenses AFTER the dates of service have passed. If a claim is submitted that includes future dates of service, the portion of the claim for dates of service that have not yet occurred will be denied.

We appreciate your understanding and cooperation as we implement IRS requirements. If you have any questions, please contact us at FSAFEDS@shps.com or toll-free at 1-877-FSAFEDS (372-3337), TTY: 1-800-952-0450, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m., Eastern Time.


December 2008

FSAFEDS Announces New Mileage Rate for 2009!

The IRS changed the allowable standard mileage rate when using a car or motorcycle to obtain medical care. Effective January 1, 2009, if you submit a claim for travel to and/or from health care providers, hospitals, pharmacies and other places that you receive eligible medical care during the 2009 calendar year, you will be reimbursed 24 cents per mile.

If you submit claims during the grace period (January 1 to March 15, 2008) for travel to and/or from health care providers for eligible medical care received during 2008, you will be reimbursed at the 2008 rates. Please note, there were two rates during 2008.

  • For January 1 through June 30, 2008, the standard mileage rate was 19 cents per mile.
  • For July 1 through December 31, 2008, the standard mileage rate was increased to 27 cents per mile.

November 2008

FSAFEDS Announces Upcoming Changes Regarding Dependent Care Reimbursements

Dependent care claims will be processed differently beginning January 1, 2009.

As you know, IRS regulations stipulate that we cannot reimburse participants for care to be provided in the future, even if the provider requires payment in advance for the entire period. Currently, we deny claims with future dates of service and reprocess them once you contact us after the dates of service have passed to advise that the service was rendered.

We cannot continue to process claims this way. The IRS has clarified that any type of "self-certification", including a participant verifying service has been rendered, is not an eligible form of substantiation for FSA claims.

What does this mean for you?

This means that FSAFEDS can no longer accept your confirmation that the services were rendered. You will need to submit your expenses only after the dates of service have passed. If you submit them before the dates of service have passed, we will deny your claim and you will need to resubmit.

How should I submit my claims to avoid a denial?

You have a couple of options to consider:

  1. Submit expenses for the full month after the month has ended. Let's say you incurred eligible day care expenses for January 1 - January 31. On February 1, you would submit your eligible expenses with the provider's signature on the claim form, or include receipts that include the dates of service, provider name and cost.
  2. Submit the expenses weekly. Let's again say you will incur eligible day care expenses for January 1 - January 31. On Monday, January 8, you would submit your previous week's expenses (January 1 to January 5) with the provider's signature or documentation as outlined above. You would continue to do this each week or on a schedule which works best for you.

You may want to consider having your day care (or elder care) provider sign the affidavit where indicated on the FSAFEDS claim form each time you submit a claim form. Then you do not have to submit receipts with your claim form. This simple step can save you valuable time.

In summary, beginning January 1, 2009, you must submit eligible DCFSA expenses only AFTER the dates of service have passed.

We appreciate your understanding and cooperation. If you have any questions, please contact us at FSAFEDS@shps.com or toll-free at 1-877-FSAFEDS (372-3337), TTY: 1-800-952-0450, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m., Eastern Time.


October 2008

We Are Pleased To Announce The New FSAFEDS Message Center!

The Message Center contains important information which may relate to the program at large and/or specifically to your account. The messages will include:

  • Copies of previously sent emails with important information, such as newly eligible expenses, new enhancements to improve the Program, etc.
  • Copies of your account statements, which provide important balance and claims deadline information
  • Announcements about changes in IRS regulations that determine how your benefits are administered

Access is simple! Just visit www.FSAFEDS.com and log in to "My Account Summary." Then, select "Message Center" from the left-hand menu. The messages will be maintained for 18 months so you'll have any pertinent information regarding your account for the full Benefit Period.

We hope you enjoy this new feature.

October 2008

Attention Benefits Officers! FSAFEDS Open Season Materials Now Available!

The Federal Benefits Open Season for the 2009 Benefit Period runs from Monday, November 10th to Monday, December 8th.

FSAFEDS Open Season materials are now available!

You may download PDF versions under FSAFEDS Material Requests. All items will print one-sided on 8-1/2 x 11 paper. The materials include:

  • Program Overview Brochure
  • Open Season Inserts (handouts or stuffers in pay statements)
  • Open Season Poster
  • New Hire Flyer (2009)

A PowerPoint presentation providing an overview of the FSAFEDS Program and benefits will also be available soon, so be sure to check back later! Remember, you can order hard-copy materials designed for the Federal Benefits Open Season to help promote the FSAFEDS program within your agency. Those items include:

  • Program overview brochures which describe FSAFEDS and include details on eligible expenses (minimum order of 100 brochures)
  • Promotional posters, 10x13 (The minimum order is 5 sets, for 15 total posters)
  • Program overview videos in VHS or DVD closed-captioned formats.

All materials are free of charge to you!!

Please send your request for materials to FSAFEDS-HR@shps.com and be sure to include how many you need, the mailing address(s) where they should be shipped, and a name, phone number and email address of a point of contact. Receipt of your order will be confirmed via email.


September 2008

FSAFEDS Suspends Paperless Reimbursement with Mail Handlers

Mail Handlers Benefit Plan (MHBP) is implementing a new claims processing system for medical and prescription drug claims that was not designed to be compatible with the FSAFEDS Paperless Reimbursement (PR) Program.

What does this mean for MHBP paperless reimbursement participants?
This means that FSAFEDS will not be able to automatically process your MHBP claims. You will need to manually submit your claims to FSAFEDS for reimbursement.

PLEASE NOTE: the timing for your medical and prescription claims is different --

  • Medical services processed for you by MHBP from August 31, 2008 forward will NOT be sent to FSAFEDS for processing.
  • Prescription drug services that will be processed for you by MHBP starting September 14, 2008 forward will NOT be sent to FSAFEDS.

How do I manually submit claims to FSAFEDS?
You must fill out a health care claim form and send it to FSAFEDS along with a copy of your Explanation of Benefits from MHBP. We will process and reimburse your claim in 5 - 7 business days from the time we receive it, as long as it contains the information necessary to process.

Where do I obtain a claim form? Simply click on Health Care Claim Form to open the form and then follow the instructions.

Will MHBP participate in Paperless Reimbursement at some later time? Yes. We are already working with MHBP and hope to make the PR Program available to you in January 2009, if not sooner. Be sure to elect paperless reimbursement with MHBP during Open Season when you re-enroll in FSAFEDS for the 2009 Benefit Period.


June 2008

IRS Announces Increased Mileage Rate for 2008!

Beginning July 1, 2008, reimbursement for mileage expenses incurred as a result of medical care will reimbursed at $0.27 per mile. Eligible mileage incurred prior to July 1, 2008 will be reimbursed at $0.19 per mile.


June 2008

FSAFEDS is pleased to announce the implementation of two new claim forms!

Why the change? The new forms - one for health care claims and a separate one for dependent care claims - will help us to process your claims more efficiently.

You can view the new forms by clicking on the below links. You can also access the new claim forms by going to www.FSAFEDS.com and clicking on "Claim Forms".

Health Care Claim Form

Dependent Care Claim Form

You can begin using the new claim forms today. We'll continue to accept your claims submitted on the "old" claim form through Sunday August 17, 2008. If you have a saved version of the "old" claim form - don't forget to replace it with the new forms.

YOU MUST SUBMIT YOUR CLAIMS USING THE NEW FORMS ON MONDAY AUGUST 18, 2008. CLAIMS SUBMITTED ON THE "OLD" FORM FROM MONDAY AUGUST 18, 2008 FORWARD WILL NOT BE PROCESSED.

If you have questions, please contact an FSAFEDS Benefits Counselor at 1-877-FSAFEDS (372-3337), TTY: 1-800-952-0450, 9:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m., Eastern Time, or via email at FSAFEDS@shps.com.

Thank you for helping us to make FSAFEDS the best it can be!


March 2008

FSAFEDS Announces Hand Sanitizer and Medicated Lip Products Are Now Eligible!

Effective Immediately - Hand Sanitizer and Medicated Lip Products are eligible for reimbursement!

You may be surprised to know that hand sanitizer products, such as Purell, are now eligible for reimbursement from your Health Care Flexible Spending Account (HCFSA). Medicated Lip Products, such as Blistex Medicated Lip Ointment, are also now eligible for reimbursement.

Please take a moment to look at the OTC Quick Reference Guide for a list of other brands.

Remember, you need to submit a detailed receipt (showing the product name). If your receipt does not show the product name, you must also include a copy of the product label or container cover.


December 2007

FSAFEDS Announces New Mileage Rate for 2008!

The IRS changed the allowable standard mileage rate when using a car or motorcycle to obtain medical care. Effective January 1, 2008, if you submit a claim for travel to and/or from health care providers, hospitals, pharmacies and other places that you receive eligible medical care during the 2008 calendar year, you will be reimbursed 19 cents per mile. Please note this is a decrease from the 20 cents per mile rate for 2007.

If you submit claims during the grace period (January 1 to March 15, 2008) for travel to and/or from health care providers for eligible medical care received during 2007, you will be reimbursed at the 2007 rate. And for travel in 2008, reimbursement will be at the 2008 rate.

For more information on transportation expenses, refer to "Transportation" on the Eligible Expenses Juke Box.

Remember to consider your mileage expenses when deciding your 2008 election!


November 2007

FSAFEDS Expands Eligibility of Acne Treatment Products!

Great News - Effective Immediately!

Do you have acne? Do any of your children? Your spouse? You'll be happy to know that over-the-counter (OTC) acne treatment products, such as the Proactiv Solution 3-Step System and Murad Acne Complex Kit are now eligible for reimbursement from your Health Care Flexible Spending Account (HCFSA) without a letter of medical necessity from your physician.

Please take a moment to look at the OTC Quick Reference Guide for a comprehensive list of other eligible acne treatment products.

Keep in mind that you need to submit a detailed receipt (showing the product name) when filing your claim for reimbursement. Submit a copy of the product label or container cover with your claim if your receipt does not list the product name.


August 2007

IMPORTANT SECURITY ENHANCEMENT: Your Social Security Number Can No Longer Be Used As Your UserID.

We have updated our systems to incorporate a higher level of security to help us better safeguard your personal information. Effective August 16, 2007, FSAFEDS participants may no longer use their Social Security Number as their UserID or to access their account.

Many participants already use an alternate UserID. We notified current participants who were impacted by this change via email or hard copy letter if you did not have an email on file. Please call us if you still have a UserID that consists of your Social Security Number and we will help you change it.

We have added a "I Can't Remember My UserID" link to the My Account Summary login page to help you determine your UserID if you have forgotten it.

Your current password is not impacted by this security update. Please note that you may be required to change your password if it is over 90 days old.


January 2007

IMPORTANT INFORMATION for FSAFEDS participants enrolled in FEDVIP

If you are an FSAFEDS participant who has coverage under the new Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP) you need to read one of the following messages to learn about changes in the processing of your eligible dental and/or vision claims. Please click on the link that applies to you:


December 2006

New Identifier for FSAFEDS Reimbursements on Your Bank Statement

Currently, when you receive a reimbursement from FSAFEDS via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), it is identified as "SHPS FSA PMT" on your banking statement. Within the next two weeks, this will be changed to read "SPENDING ACCT REIMB". The identifier description is the only change being made - this change will not impact your account or you reimbursement. So don't forget, when you see "SPENDING ACCT REIMB" that's your FSAFEDS reimbursement.


December 2006

The Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006

On December 20, 2006, President Bush signed the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006. The Act allows additional opportunities for employees interested in a high deductible health plan (HDHP) with a Health Savings Account (HSA). Please visit http://www.opm.gov/hsa/2006TaxReliefAct.asp for more information related to high deductible health plans and HSA's.

The new act allows Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program enrollees who are already enrolled (or will enroll) in a HDHP for 2007 and are eligible for an HSA to make the following FSAFEDS changes:

  • FEHB Program enrollees who are enrolled in a 2006 Health Care FSA (HCFSA) and choose HDHP coverage for 2007 may make a one-time balance transfer from their Health Care FSA to their HSA. This can be done to use up remaining 2006 HCFSA funds, (including funds that would otherwise be available during the 2-1/2 month grace period for the 2006 Benefit Period - January 1, 2007 through March 15, 2007), which would otherwise make an individual ineligible for HSA coverage. The maximum amount that can be transferred is the balance in your HCFSA on September 21, 2006 or the date of transfer, whichever amount is less.

    In order to transfer your HCFSA funds to your HSA, you will need to know the name of the financial institution that holds your HSA and the routing and account numbers for the financial institution. If you don't have that information, contact your FEHB HDHP to obtain it. Once you have that information you can call an FSAFEDS Benefits Counselor to initiate the transfer. There may be a small transfer fee; if so, the Benefits Counselor will let you know.

    In addition, individuals impacted by the new tax relief have the option of doing ONE of the following:

  • You may cancel your 2007 general purpose HCFSA election for purposes of enrolling in a HDHP with an HSA.

    OR

  • You may convert your 2007 general purpose HCFSA to a Limited Expense HCFSA (LEX HCFSA, limited to dental and vision expenses only) and also, if you wish, change your annual election amount.

    OR

  • If you are not a current participant in FSAFEDS and you enroll in a HDHP with an HSA, you may now enroll in a LEX HCFSA.

DECEMBER 31, 2006
IS A VERY IMPORTANT DEADLINE - IF YOU ARE GOING TO MAKE ONE OF THE ABOVE CHANGES YOU MUST NOTIFY US OF YOUR SELECTED CHANGE BY DECEMBER 31,2006.

Here's how you let us know about the change you wish to make. Click on https://www.fsafeds.com/forms/BelatedEnrollment.pdf and fill out the form. Make sure to state under the "other" checkbox one of the following:

  • "Cancel my 2007 Health Care FSA election" or
  • "Change my 2007 general purpose Health Care FSA election to a Limited Expense Health Care FSA" (You can change your current election amount if you want to) or
  • "Enroll me in a Limited Expense Health Care FSA for 2007".

Be sure to sign and fax the Belated Enrollment Form to FSAFEDS NO LATER THAN December 31, 2006. You must submit your enrollment change using the Belated Enrollment Form. We cannot take your enrollment change over the phone.

Please visit http://www.opm.gov/hsa/2006TaxReliefAct.asp for additional information on the new tax relief law and how it relates to HDHPs. If you have questions about the above FSAFEDS options or want to make an account balance transfer, please call an FSAFEDS Benefits Counselor toll free at 1-877-FSAFEDS (372-3337), (TYY: 1-800-952-0450), Monday through Friday, 9:00 A.M. to 9:00 P.M., Eastern Time.


December 2006

Association Benefit Plan Expands Offerings to Additional Agencies

This year, all members of the Intelligence Community are eligible to enroll in the Association Benefit Plan for 2007.

If you intend to enroll in this FEHB plan for 2007 and would like to enroll in FSAFEDS, please call an FSAFEDS Benefits Counselor at 1-877-FSAFEDS (372-3337), (TYY: 1-800-952-0450), Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m., Eastern Time.

For more information on Association Benefit Plan, visit the plan brochure at www.opm.gov.


November 2006

FSAFEDS Announces Mileage Rate Increase for 2007!

FSAFEDS is pleased to announce that the IRS has implemented an increase in the standard mileage rate when using a car or motorcycle to obtain medical care. Effective January 1, 2007, you will be able to claim 20 cents per mile for travel to and from eligible health care providers for medical care received during the 2007 calendar year. For more information on transportation expenses, refer to "Transportation" on the Eligible Expenses Juke Box.

The notification comes just in time for the 2007 FSAFEDS Open Season! Be sure to consider your mileage expenses when deciding your 2007 election!


June 2006

FSAFEDS Important Reminder: Final Grace Period Reconciliation

FSAFEDS will conduct the final grace period reconciliation (true-up) for the 2005 Benefit Period on July 14, 2006. This final reconciliation will automatically occur for all participants with a remaining balance for the 2005 Benefit Period after May 31.

What does this mean for you? It means nothing if you used up your 2005 balance by December 31, 2005. But if you still had money in your 2005 account going into 2006, it is important. It means that all eligible expenses you incurred during the grace period (January 1 through March 15, 2006) will be applied toward your 2005 account up to the available balance. This means your 2005 balance will decrease by the amount of your grace period claims and your 2006 account will be credited that same amount.

For more information about the Grace Period, please visit the Summary of Benefits with Frequently Asked Questions and select the 2 1/2 Month Grace Period section. You can also access your account information at any time at My Account Summary.


June 2006

The FSAFEDS Debit Card Pilot FAQs

For more information regarding FSAFEDS Debit Card program, please refer to the Debit Card Pilot Frequently Asked Questions.


May 2006

FSAFEDS Announces a Debit Card Pilot Program!

FSAFEDS is pleased to announce the launch of a pilot program for Debit Cards to be used with health care accounts. This means pilot participants can make eligible health care purchases without using cash! The Debit Card will draw from a participant's FSAFEDS health care account to cover purchases.

Participation in the pilot is limited to FSAFEDS participants enrolled in the Government Employees Hospital Association Plan (GEHA) and runs from mid-June thru December 2006. Eligible participants will receive notification by mail.

The pilot will help FSAFEDS determine if we will offer a debit card option to all FSAFEDS participants for the 2007 Benefit Period. We will rely on participant feedback and other evaluation criteria when making a decision about 2007.

FSAFEDS is very excited about this Debit Card pilot - we hope you are too!


March 2006

The New BENEFEDS Portal Processes Payroll Deduction Functions for FSAFEDS

The BENEFEDS Portal is the new administrative system authorized by the Office of Personnel Management to handle payroll deduction functions for FSAFEDS. The BENEFEDS Portal (also called the "Voluntary Benefits Portal") works directly with SHPS, the third party administrator for FSAFEDS, and Federal agencies to process the payroll deduction of your FSAFEDS allotments. Please be assured that emails you send to FSAFEDS@BENEFEDS.com are sent securely and the information received is used solely to establish your FSAFEDS account.


February 2006

FSAFEDS Important Reminder: Use It or Lose It!

Dear FSAFEDS Participant:

You are receiving this e-mail because as of February 10, 2006, you have a balance remaining in your 2005 health care and/or dependent care flexible spending account.

You have until March 15, 2006 to incur eligible expenses towards your 2005 account balance. That extra time to use your 2005 funds (January 1 - March 15) is called the grace period. Please note that 2006 funds cannot be used to pay for expenses incurred during the 2005 calendar year.

You can access your account information at any time by visiting www.FSAFEDS.com (https://www.fsafeds.com/fsafeds/index.asp) and logging in to My Account Summary.

***Remember - you only need to INCUR eligible expenses by March 15 to avoid forfeiting your 2005 funds. You still have until May 31, 2006 to SUBMIT your claims for 2005 expenses.

If you have questions or have any difficulties accessing your information online, contact us via email at FSAFEDS@shps.com or call an FSAFEDS Benefits Counselor at 1-877-FSAFEDS (372-3337), (TTY: 1-800-952-0450), Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m., Eastern Time.


January 2006

Welcome to FSAFEDS!

We look forward to serving you throughout the 2006 Benefit Period.

Below is a quick list of important information and dates that you should know. Please feel free to visit www.FSAFEDS.com at any time for additional information.

  1. Customer Service Contacts:
    Toll-free: 1-877-FSAFEDS (372-3337), TTY: 1-800-952-0450
    Email: FSAFEDS@shps.com

    FSAFEDS Benefits Counselors are available Monday through Friday, 9:00 A.M. until 9:00 P.M., Eastern Time.

  2. The 2006 Benefit Period:
    You have from January 1, 2006 through March 15, 2007 to incur eligible expenses towards your health care and/or dependent care flexible spending account
  3. Claim Submission Information:
    Claim Form: Available at www.FSAFEDS.com located at the top of the page on the bottom of the flag banner
    Toll-free Fax: 1-866-643-2245
    Outside U.S. Fax: 1-502-267-2233
    Standard Mail: FSAFEDS Program, PO Box 36880, Louisville, KY 40233
    Overnight Mail: FSAFEDS Program, c/o SHPS, 11405 Bluegrass Pkwy, Louisville, KY 40299
  4. Eligible Expenses:
    Take a moment to peruse the Eligible Expense Juke Box by clicking on https://www.fsafeds.com/fsafeds/eligibleexpenses.asp. You can quickly determine if a particular expense is eligible for reimbursement.
  5. Deadline for Filing Claims:
    You must submit your claims no later than May 31, 2007.
  6. My Account Summary:(https://www.fsafeds.com/fsafeds/login/participantlogin.asp)
    My Account Summary allows you to check your claims, update your EFT, etc., 24/7 - - whenever it's convenient for you.

We're here to help make your FSAFEDS experience a pleasant one!


Welcome Aboard!

FSAFEDS


December 2005

FSAFEDS Introduces a New Option for 2006: Limited Expense Health Care Flexible Spending Account

Enrollees with a High Deductible Health Plan with a Health Savings Account have the option of selecting a Limited Expense Health Care Flexible Savings Account (LEX HCFSA) for the 2006 Benefit Period. To learn more, refer to the LEX HCFSA


September 2005

FSAFEDS Announces Mileage Rate Increase

The reimbursable mileage rate that you can claim for obtaining health care has increased from $0.15 to $0.22 per mile. The new $0.22 rate is in effect from September through December 2005. Click here to learn more about using this benefit.

An IRS press release cites the recent gas price increases as the reason for this rate change. Normally the mileage rates are set in the fall for the following calendar year. The IRS also indicates that because gas prices may decline in the coming months, decisions regarding maintaining the new mileage rates for 2006 will not be decided until closer to January. Please remember that the new rates are only for September through December of this year.

Mileage has decreased to $.18 per mile as of 1/1/06.

For a copy of the press release, go to: www.irs.ustreas.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=147423,00.html.


September 2005

Impacted by Katrina or Rita? Need Help With Your FSAFEDS Account?

Our hearts go out to all affected by Hurricane Katrina and Rita. If you are an FSAFEDS enrollee or family member who is experiencing a hardship involving your FSAFEDS account, please call us toll-free at 1-877-372-3337, TTY: 1-800-952-0450 so we can work with you.


September 2005

FSAFEDS Announces Au Pair Placement Fees Are Now Eligible!

The up-front fee you may pay in order to obtain dependent care is an eligible expense under your dependent care FSA. However, the fee can only be reimbursed proportionately over the duration of the agreement to employ the dependent care provider, such as an au pair. The weekly stipend, as well as other work-related expenses, may also qualify as an expense for the care of a qualifying individual, depending on your tax situation. For more information, refer to the DCFSA in the Summary of Benefits with Frequently Asked Questions.


November 2004

New FEHB Plans Join Paperless Reimbursement Program

Beginning January 1, 2005, FSAFEDS will begin accepting claims via Paperless Reimbursement from the following FEHB Plans:

  • Humana
  • National Association of Letter Carriers Benefit Plan
  • Preferred Care
  • Special Agents Mutual Benefit Association

For more information see the Paperless Reimbursement Overview QRG.




November 2004

FSAFEDS Introduces Online Payroll Schedules

Simply select your payroll provider from the FSAFEDS Allotment Schedule list to view your allotment schedule. This tool will help you identify the date on which we must receive your change in order for it to be processed on a specific pay period. While this tool will be helpful in determining when a specific allotment will occur, its purpose is not to determine the effective date of a new election amount, i.e. a Qualifying Life Event. Refer to the Qualifying Life Events QRG to learn more.




September 2004

OPM Announces New Health Benefits Option

In 2005, there will be a significant new choice in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program - High Deductible Health Plans (HDHPs) that incorporate Health Savings Accounts (HSAs).  HSAs are similar to Health Care Flexible Spending Accounts (HCFSA) in that they are funded with pre-tax dollars that can be used for the same type of health care expenses. They are different from HCFSAs in that savings can accumulate from year-to-year without limit - there is no forfeiture rule.  HSAs are available to employees who elect a HDHP that has an annual deductible of at least $1,050 for self, or $2,100 for family coverage, during Open Season.  One of the most important things to keep in mind is that you cannot have an HSA and a Health Care FSA (HCFSA) at the same time. However, if you are otherwise eligible, you can still have a Dependent Care FSA (DCFSA) even if you have an HSA.

NOTE: FSAFEDS is not involved in the HDHP offering, so if you have questions regarding HDHPs and/or HSAs visit http://www.opm.gov/hsa




July 2004

FSAFEDS Launches Juke Box Detailing Eligible and Ineligible HCFSA Expenses

Now there's a single-source available that details the eligible and ineligible HCFSA expenses available under FSAFEDS - - and it's available at your fingertips!  Visit our FSAFEDS Juke Box today - - you may just find a new expense you can claim!




July 2004

Updated Frequently Asked Questions

Our new and improved Summary of Benefits with Frequently Asked Questions will answer many of the questions you have regarding the FSAFEDS program. Topics range from the Open Season and Enrollment to more complex issues, such as a Qualifying Life Event. Visit our Summary of Benefits with Frequently Asked Questions today and starting learning how you can save!




July 2004

FSAFEDS Now Supports Netscape Version 6.1 and Higher

Only Netscape browser versions 6.1 and higher meet accessibility requirements.

Attention Netscape Users! The FSAFEDS web site now supports Netscape browser versions 6.1, or higher due to accessibility requirements. If you are using an older version, we recommend upgrading to one that is compatible with the system requirements. A free browser upgrade can be downloaded at www.netscape.com. Internet Explorer users will not be not affected.




July 2004

M.D. IPA Now Offering Paperless Reimbursement

M.D. IPA Enrollees can now select paperless reimbursement.

FSAFEDS is pleased to announce that M.D. IPA is now participating in the Paperless Reimbursement program.  If you are an M.D. IPA participant, simply log in to My Account Summary and select the Paperless Reimbursement option on the left side of your screen.




May 2004

Legislative Update on FSA Rollovers

House Passes Rollover Legislation, But Senate Must Approve Before Bill Becomes Law

The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed legislation (H.R. 4279) that would allow up to $500 of unused funds to carry forward either:

  • In a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) from one Benefit Period to the next, or
  • Be contributed to a Health Savings Account (HSA).

However, the Senate must still pass this legislation and the President must sign the bill before it becomes law. Therefore, until this legislation is acted upon by the Senate, FSA carryovers are still not permitted and all unused funds in any Benefit Period will still be forfeited.

Although it is widely believed that by easing the "use-it-or-lose-it" rule and allowing a carryover provision, more employees will participate in these tax-advantaged programs and become more prudent users of health care services, there is no indication when, or if, the Senate will act upon this legislation.



January 2004

Paperless Reimbursement Program Updates

FSAFEDS has partnered with a number of FEHB plans to implement Paperless Reimbursement. This new program eliminates the need for manually submitting your Explanation of Benefit statements to FSAFEDS. Instead, once your FEHB plan processes your medical, dental, and/or prescription claims, they will submit your out-of-pocket expense(s) electronically to FSAFEDS for Paperless Reimbursement for your Health Care Flexible Spending Account (HCFSA). Not only are you saving money with your HCFSA, you are saving valuable time as well! Please click here for updated Frequently Asked Questions. You may also view the Paperless Reimbursement Quick Reference Guide for additional program information.



September 2003

FSAFEDS Publishes OTC Medicine Reference Guide

The recent IRS ruling allowed for reimbursement of certain over-the-counter (OTC) medicines and products from your Health Care Flexible Spending Account (HCFSA). FSAFEDS has issued guidelines for participants when filing their claims for eligible OTC products in the form of a Quick Reference Guide. The guide lists the type or class of products that fall into the eligible, dual purpose, and excluded categories, as well as listing examples for each category. This document should provide FSAFEDS HCFSA participants a thorough overview of eligible and ineligible OTC expenses, as well as how to file reimbursement claims for these items. You can access the FSAFEDS OTC Quick Reference Guide by clicking on the link above or entering the Literature area of the web site. Scroll down to view additional information on the OTC ruling, including the press release announcing that OPM will cover OTC medicines under the Health Care Flexible Spending Account and the effective date for OTC coverage, January 1, 2004.



FSAFEDS Will Cover Over-the-Counter Medicines

Non-prescription antacids, allergy medicines, pain relievers, and cold medicines purchased to alleviate or treat employees and their dependents personal injuries or sickness are eligible for reimbursement through your HCFSA, effective at the beginning of the new Benefit Period on January 1, 2004. Vitamins and other dietary supplements that are merely beneficial to general health remain ineligible for reimbursement. The IRS ruling does not affect existing HCFSA rules, meaning your eligible expenses must still be incurred during your period of coverage and must not be reimbursable through another plan. Click on the IRS Ruling to read a detailed account or view the OPM Press Release for more information.


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