Need to Spend Your Health Flexible Spending Account by the End of the Year? Make the Most of December!

Using Your Health FSA

If your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) plan year ends December 31, or if you’re just looking for some ways to use your account, here are some ideas.

  • Squeeze in any medical or dental appointments, if you can. Have you been putting off a physical? Is your child(ren) or spouse overdue for a checkup?  Schedule those annual exams and use your Health FSA to offset any out-of-pocket expenses you may incur.  December is a super busy month for many people and while you may not have enough time by year end to get an appointment, call your provider and see if there is any availability.

  • Ring in the New Year with a new pair of prescription shades. Do you need new glasses or prescription sunglasses?  Treat yourself to a new pair, and use your FSA too.  Other vision expenses, like exams, contact lens solution and more are also eligible for reimbursement under the FSA plan.

  • Shop online at FSA Store. Browse thousands of pre-approved discounted eligible expenses.  Get $10 off your first order, and experience other great savings too!  https://www.padmin.com/fsaextras/

  • Check to see if your employer offers the grace period or Health FSA rollover. Some employers adopt these provisions, which gives participants more time to exhaust their FSA balance.  A grace period is an extension of the 12 month plan year during which you can continue to use your prior year’s FSA.  The rollover feature, on the other hand, allows a dollar amount up to $500 of unused funds to roll over into the next plan year.  An employer can add the grace period for the Health FSA, or offer the Health FSA rollover, but not both. Check with your HR Department or Summary Plan Description (SPD) to see if your plan allows for either of these provisions.

 

Avoid Open Enrollment Scares this Halloween

OE Scares

Open Enrollment can be the stuff nightmares are made of, but it doesn’t have to be.  Prepare by staying up to date on your company’s benefit offerings and know the plans that are available to you as a healthcare consumer.  Take advantage of P&A’s free tools and learn how Flexible Spending Accounts can complement your other benefits and save you money throughout the year.

FSA Calculator

An interactive calculator that lets you determine the estimated savings you receive when you sign up for an FSA. Click here to access the calculator or when you log into your P&A My Benefits account.

Penny Panda Videos

Penny Panda, P&A’s spokesperson for everything FSA related, offers a series of short educational videos that guide you through what you need to know about the FSA plan, how to log into your account and more. View Penny Panda on our Tools & Resource page here.

FSA Store

Shop online for exclusive pre-approved eligible FSA expenses through our vendor partner FSA Store, which also offers an extensive eligible expense list of products and services. Plus, you also get $10 off your first order and free shipping on orders over $50.  Visit FSA Store here.

FSA Glossary

There’s an abundance of acronyms and industry specific terms when it comes to your healthcare benefits. Unsure of what a specific FSA term or definition means?  View P&A’s FSA Glossary page here.

Team of Customer Service & Benefit Professionals

P&A Group’s team of benefit professionals are ready to assist you with any questions you have about your P&A plans. You can choose how you want to communicate – call us, use the live online webchat feature or send us an e-mail inquiry through Contact Us.  Extended customer service hours are Monday – Friday, 8:30 am – 10:00 pm ET.

Phone:  (800) 688-2611 • Website:  www.padmin.com

P&A Group’s FSA Online Enrollment Offers Easy Convenience

FSA Online EnrollmentOpen Enrollment is often a hectic time for companies and their HR departments, so we’re all about making it easier in any way we can.  That’s why P&A offers online enrollment – at no additional cost – for your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) renewal.  This secure enrollment option is available for any size company that has more than 25 eligible participants.

What exactly does online enrollment entail?  It’s easy.  First, let your renewal rep know that you want to use the online enrollment platform.  Next, determine the window of dates you want online enrollment to be available to your employees.  Then, we’ll provide you with a file template asking for your employees’ main demographic info.  All that’s required of you is to complete the eligibility file and upload it securely to P&A’s employer portal, HR Connect.  P&A’s online enrollment team does the rest.  Pretty easy, right?

P&A’s online enrollment solution gives your employees more freedom when it comes to enrolling in their FSA plan – they can log in at any time and change their election amount during their open enrollment window.  It also gives employees the opportunity to make other changes to their accounts, like signing up for direct deposit and taking advantage of P&A’s text messaging features.  With the elimination of paper forms and multiple file formats, online enrollment makes it easy for your company to renew its FSA plan.

To get setup with online enrollment this Open Enrollment, contact your P&A representative or click here to submit an inquiry.

Online Enrollment Advantages

  • Provides employees an easy way to re-enroll in their FSA
  • Allows employees to make their own election changes during the Open Enrollment window
  • Reduces paperwork and time spent collecting enrollment forms and processing last minute changes
  • P&A provides a secure, password protected file in HR Connect with your company’s online enrollment results

 

P&A Group Honored with Fast Track Award Sponsored by Business First

Biz First Fast Track Award 2017

Joe Priselac (left) and Michael Rizzo (right) receive the 2017 Fast Track Award

Michael Rizzo, President of P&A Group and Joe Priselac, CEO, were awarded the 2017 Fast Track Award last week by Business First.  The Fast Track list ranks companies based on revenue growth over the last three years.  P&A Group celebrates 18% growth with this award!

“While P&A Group is no newbie to the employee benefits industry, we feel fortunate to continue growing organically and successfully in a competitive industry. P&A is successful because our employees are – they embody what is needed to achieve client and participant satisfaction through excellent customer service,” says Joe Priselac.

The award ceremony, held in downtown Buffalo’s Westin hotel, honored 54 companies small and large across the Western New York region.

Dependent Daycare FSAs Offer Substantial Savings on Summer Daycare Expenses

Dependent Daycare FSAs

With the first few weeks of summer already officially behind us, many families are settling into new routines, enjoying the perks of summer vacations carefully planned around work schedules and other commitments.

Luckily, there’s some financial relief available on childcare costs this summer through Dependent Daycare Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs).  This kind of pre-tax advantage gives you an average of 30% savings on eligible dependent daycare expenses.  If your child/dependent is under age 13, you can use this account to pay for summer day camps and nursery schools, among other qualifying expenses.

Participants in the Dependent Daycare FSA need to enroll in the account during their employer’s Open Enrollment period (check with your HR department to see when yours may be), unless they experience an event that allows them to enroll mid-plan year, like a change in work schedule or moving.

If you are enrolled in a Dependent Daycare FSA, make sure you use your account by the end of the plan year.  An IRS rule known as Use or Lose does not allow funds to rollover from year to year, so be diligent in spending all your funds.

For more information about the Dependent Daycare FSA, click here.

PCORI Filing Fee Due July 31

July 31. Calendar on white background.The next Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) filing deadline is July 31, 2017 for all Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs), Medical Expense Reimbursement Plans (MERPs) and self-funded medical plans with a plan year ending in 2016.  Click here to access the schedule of fees and read more information about this excise tax.
Created under the Affordable Care Act, part of PCORI’s funding is through temporary fees imposed on group health plans, HRAs and MERPs.
If you have any questions, please contact a P&A sales representative or your plan administrator, Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM ET at (800) 688-2611.

 

DOL Will Not Pursue Claims Against Fiduciaries During Phased Implementation Period Ending on January 1, 2018

An Update from Washington

On May 22, 2017 the DOL published Field Assistance Bulletin No. 2017-02 which announced a temporary enforcement policy related to the Department of Labor’s final rule defining who is a “fiduciary” under ERISA and the related prohibited transaction exemptions (PTEs).

The final rule, entitled “Definition of the Term ‘Fiduciary’; Conflict of Interest Rule — Retirement Investment Advice,” was published in the Federal Register on April 8, 2016, became effective on June 7, 2016, and had an original applicability date of April 10, 2017. The PTEs also had an original applicability date of April 10, 2017, with a phased implementation period ending on January 1, 2018, for the BIC Exemption and the Principal Transactions Exemption. The applicability date was previously delayed from April 10, 2017 until June 9, 2017.

The temporary enforcement policy states that during the phased implementation period ending on January 1, 2018, the Department will not pursue claims against fiduciaries who are working diligently and in good faith to comply with the fiduciary duty rule and exemptions, or treat those fiduciaries as being in violation of the fiduciary duty rule and exemptions.1


 1On March 28, 2017, the Treasury Department and the IRS issued IRS Announcement 2017-4 stating that the IRS will not apply § 4975 (which provides excise taxes relating to prohibited transactions) and related reporting obligations with respect to any transaction or agreement to which the Labor Department’s temporary enforcement policy described in FAB 2017-01, or other subsequent related enforcement guidance, would apply. The Treasury Department and the IRS have confirmed that, for purposes of applying IRS Announcement 2017-4, this FAB 2017-02 constitutes “other subsequent related enforcement guidance.”