Sunday, November 9, 2008
Long time listener, first time caller. I think that while "Jean" is
probably a wonderful person,and we all enjoy wearing denim to honor
her, perhaps we should celebrate other folks too. Maybe a "Bob's" day
perhaps? Just a thought.
Vlad the Inhaler
Dear "Bob" (aka Vlad the Inhaler),
Thanks for the clever comment. In the event you're the slight bit serious, pehaps we should publish again where the "Jeans" money goes...?
Thursday, September 25, 2008
A Yes. All employer contributions to an HSA that are excludable from income (pre-tax payroll deductions) are reported in box 12 of the W2.
Q If you return to the traditional plan after trying the new plan, will there be any
restrictions on coverage – such as for “pre-existing conditions”?
A. No, the individual will have no restrictions of this nature returning to the traditional PHP coverage.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
A1 Cut and paste this IRS address: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p502.pdf – and scroll down to page 5.
Q2 Can I use the HSA money for eligible medical expenses of my family members in addition to myself without the funds becoming taxable?
Q3 After I leave ACPL, can I use my HSA to pay for health insurance premiums?
A3 Yes, but only under limited circumstances. Only if you are collecting unemployment compensation or to pay for COBRA insurance continuation coverage. HSA money can also be used to pay for Medicare premiums, deductibles, copays, and coinsurance under any part of Medicare. However, contrary to what was stated in many employees meetings, you CANNOT use HSA money to pay for SUPPLEMENTARY Medicare insurance (also known as Medigap insurance). My apologies for this error.
Q4 If I have money in my HSA when I’m older than age 65, do I have to pay taxes on the money if I spend it on non-health care expenses?
A4 You’d still have to pay regular taxes on the money used for non-medical things, BUT, contrary to what was stated in some employee meetings, the 10% tax penalty does NOT apply once you turn age 65. Neither does the tax penalty apply if you become disabled (at any age). My apologies for this error.
Q5 Can I use my HSA funds to pay for eligible medical expenses of other family members – without making the funds taxable?
Q6 I heard there’s a good Q and A section for HSAs at the US Treasury’s website. Can you provide the address?
A6 Sure. Here it is: http://www.ustreas.gov/offices/public-affairs/hsa/faq_using.shtml#hsa13
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Q1 Will we be able to have direct deposit of our employee contribution to the HSA via payroll deduction?
Q2 Let me get this right, you’ve said we’ll probably have a nice convenient HSA debit card to just “swipe” at the doctor’s office to pay. But you’ve also suggested we should try to not pay when the doctor’s office asks for payment at the time of service. That we should wait and let PHP advise us of what we need to pay. Which is it?
A2 My apologies for not being clear on this point in some of the early meetings. When paying for something that is not a covered service (something that is not paid by the plan even after you’ve met the Out of Pocket Maximum), it is fine to just use the debit card – and save the receipts in case you ever have to prove you used your HSA on only health related expenses.
But if the payment is for something that PHP has negotiated a price discount for (virtually all physician office and hospital services, for example), we suggest asking the provider of the service if you can wait to pay until after the claim has been submitted by the provider to PHP – and PHP has processed the claim. PHP will inform both you and the provider how much you are to pay the provider (factoring in the negotiated discount as well as if you have reached the Out of Pocket maximum). Even if the provider insists upon you paying the bill at the time the service is provided, you should send a receipt to PHP so they can accurately keep track of how much you’re paying toward your Out of Pocket Maximum.
If you pay for a service that is a “covered” benefit but without a PHP discount, the record of the expense must still get to PHP by either the provider submitting, or you providing documentation to PHP so the records can be maintained.
I hope this is now more clear.
Q3 When will the HSA “work sheets” you described to help us analyze this be available?
A3 By September 30at the latest.
Q4 Would we receive both a PHP card and a HSA card?
Q5 Would we get a monthly statement from the bank? On-line?
A5 Yes. It also looks like you will be able to get a checkbook and debit card – or just one or the other if you prefer.
Q6 If we worked out a payment plan with a provider, could the monthly payment be automatically subtracted from my account – and placed in provider’s account?
A6 That would be up to the individual bank. But we know most banks already make regular withdrawals out of account holder’s checking accounts and electronically transfer the funds to the account of the company to which the account holder has directed the money to go to.
Q7 Would our HSA money be protected by FDIC?
A7 Yes. It is a bank account like any other bank checking or savings account. However, if you elect to invest your funds in things like mutual funds, FDIC does not insure that money.
Q8 Today’s presentation had estimates for IND and FAM. Can we have estimates for Employee plus Children and Employee plus Spouse?
A8 The next set of estimates distributed will include all four categories of coverage available to ACPL employees – and will be available in early October.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Monday, August 11, 2008
Q. Will PHP cover specialty drug (the really expensive ones) at 100% after you have met the $2500 deductible/out-of-pocket in the HDHP?
A. Yes. All medical expenses are covered at 100% after meeting the deductible/out-of-pocket. There are no co-pays from that point on. This has the potential of being a real savings for folks taking those unique meds.
HSA Meeting: Questions and Answers
Q. Does the Health Savings Account cover dental?
A. You may use the money that you have accumulated in your HSA towards unreimbursed dental expenses. You may also set up a separate Flex Spending Account (FSA) that is just for dental and vision. It is illegal to have both a FSA and HAS for medical.
Q. What minimum number of staff are required to keep the HSA running?
A. We have not established a minimum number of participants to continue to offer the HSA plan.
Q. What would happen if the employee who has the HSA were to die while they still had funds in the HSA account?
A. The money that was in the HSA account would be included in the employee’s estate.
Q. Would the employee using the HSA have to pay full price for prescriptions?
A. The employee would be advised to try to find generic brands of the current prescriptions that they have. Employees would be required to pay 100% of their prescriptions until the out-of-pocket maximum is met, but employees would be able to take advantage of the PHP discounts when purchasing their meds.
Q. Are the banks taking the money that you have in your HSA account and then making more money for you with it?
A. The employee’s money could be put into a mutual fund or some other interest gaining fund if the employee so desires. In this way, the money could potentially make more money through the interest or investment gain.
Q. If many employees go to the HSA plan, will the regular plan rates rise?
A. We don’t really know but it’s important to remember that our PHP premium is based partially on ACPL employees claim experience – but also the general community claim experience as well.
Q. Will PHP only pay for over the counter drugs in the HSA?
A. The employee pays for all the drugs until the out-of-pocket maximum is met.. From there on out, the drugs are paid for completely by PHP.
Q. Is the health savings account FDIC insured?
A. This is currently being researched. More later.
Q. What does PHP gain, what is their incentive?
A. PHP would not be doing this if they were expecting to lose money. They offer this as an alternative product to sell to the healthcare market in the hopes of attracting more customers. .
Q Will employees still be eligible for Wellness Credits?
A Yes. The fall health screenings are in the planning stages right now.
Q. What is Cobra?
A. COBRA is the federal law that guarantees employees the right to continue their benefits after they terminate a job. Under COBRA, employees pay the full cost of the premium (employee and library costs) plus a 2% administrative fee.
Q. How is the amount the employer contributes determined?
A. I think most employers try to set the amount at a level that will attract employees into the plan – but still allow for substantial overall health plan cost savings for the employer. So far we’ve been looking at it as how much would we need to pay through the monthly payment to have the new plan contain about the same total financial cost “exposure” for the employee as compared to the cost exposure contained in the traditional plan.. We don’t know if that will be our method in the end, but that’s how we’ve been looking at it so far.
Q. Will Allen County Public Library get rid of the traditional plan eventually?
A. As far as we can see into the future, we don’t expect to stop offering the traditional healthcare plan. We are planning to offer choices.
Q If we purchase meds out of network, do the $$ go toward my out-of-pocket maximum for IN network or for Out of network?
A. Meds purchased out-of-network are applied to the out-of-network deductible. However, PHP has told us that if you are traveling and go to a major chain pharmacy such as Walgreens or CVS, you will pay the co-pay the same as if you were at home.
Q Can you enroll in the new plan if you’re covered by your spouses insurance?
A. No. The HSA can only be used with a high deductible plan. The federal law set the HSA up with very strict rules about this.