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periodically for updates. You can view past What's New postings at our
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.
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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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:
- 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.
- 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 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.
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.
Attention Benefits Officers! FSAFEDS Open Season Materials Now
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, 10?x13? (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.
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.