Partner FAQ

You (and your employees) have questions. We have answers.

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA)

Most plans have a 90-day run-out period, however this can vary by employer group. Please refer to your plan documents or contact BHS to confirm your run-out period.

Most employers allow terminated employees to submit claims 90-days after their termination date or 90-days after the end of month after their termination date. This can vary by employer. Please refer to your plan documents or contact BHS to confirm your termination runout period.

Involvement in a regular health FSA or HRA makes an individual ineligible to participate in a health savings account (HSA); however, a limited health FSA or limited HRA does not violate any eligibility requirements for an HSA.

Not typically. While there are "loop-holes" in the regulations that, if followed, would allow an employer to use the final paycheck rule (FPR), we recommend against it for the following reasons:

  • Terminating employees with both under- and over-spent accounts would have to guarantee their annual elections with their final paycheck.
  • The Uniform Coverage Rule under IRC § 1.125 would be violated in that the liability to the employer pursuant to the Risk-Shifting Rules (IRC § 1.125) would be eliminated.
  • Employees would be denied the voluntary enrollment for continuing coverage under COBRA.
  • Qualified beneficiaries would be denied their right to COBRA notices and benefits.
  • Employers may be indirectly vulnerable to civil lawsuits under Oregon labor laws.

The member ID number is mailed to each participant after they are enrolled in the plan at the beginning of each plan year. They can also obtain their ID number by logging into their participant portal account or contacting Customer Service.

This can vary by Employer. Refer to your plan documents or contact BHS for further guidance.

Typically, carryover funds roll from year to year as long as the employee maintains employment or until the funds are exhausted. Employers do have the ability to limit carryover to only employees who make an election.

Participants contribute to the plan throughout the plan year, but have access to the entire election as of the first day of the plan year due to the uniform coverage rule. This means participants will have access to amounts they have not yet contributed through payroll deductions. The amounts that are paid but have not been contributed are considered at-risk amounts; BenefitHelp Solutions pays these amounts on the plan administrator’s (usually the employer’s) behalf.

To offset the risk assumed by the plan administrator in providing these benefits, the plan is permitted to retain any contributions that were not utilized in the plan year. These unused amounts are called participant forfeitures and can be used to pay costs associated with administrator of the plan.

Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA)

Examples of allowable expenses may include: Alternative treatment (chiropractic, naturopathic), Lasik eye surgery, fertility drugs, hearing aids and batteries, weight loss program to treat obesity, and other benefits.

COBRA

COBRA Continuation services include:

  • Initial notification letters
  • Qualifying event notices
  • Premium collection and disbursement
  • Plan enrollment reports
  • Notice to Members of their rights and responsibilities
  • Eligibility management and account history
  • Carrier reports and payments
  • Membership activity reports
  • Financial reports

The Initial Notification Letter is a letter of notification to newly hired employees and their covered dependents explaining their COBRA rights.

The Employee Benefits Institute of America (EBIA) highly recommends that the initial notice or SPD be sent to the employees' home immediately upon hire. BenefitHelp Solutions sends notices to employees and covered spouses with proof of mailing from the US Postal Service. This ensures proper documentation that the notice has been delivered to the employee and dependents, in case of an audit by the IRS.

A qualifying event letter notifies employees that their active coverage has been terminated due to a qualifying event and explains to them how they can continue their benefits and the cost of these benefits.

Currently employers notify BenefitHelp Solutions of a qualifying event by mail, e-mail, fax or electronic file.

COBRA rates vary depending on the number of continuants and services required. Request a quote online or contact our Sales Team by email or phone: 503-412-4210 (or toll-free) 888-387-5440.

BenefitHelp Solutions scans all documents into an imaging system, which can be accessed at any time. This ensures that documents are secured from being lost or damaged.

Additionally, BenefitHelp Solutions receives proof of mailing from the US Postal Service for both the initial notification and qualifying event letters. This proof of mailing is scanned into the former employee's file.

BenefitHelp Solutions has a knowledgeable staff dedicated to COBRA administration. We ensure good customer service by:

  • Providing quick and courteous telephone service
  • Prompt billing of Members, and payments to carriers
  • Alerting employers of potential COBRA violations

BenefitHelp Solutions has a trained staff dedicated to COBRA administration. Our staff attend on-going Employee Benefits Institute of America (EBIA) training sessions in order to stay up-to-date with Federal COBRA regulations. The consultants at EBIA are also available on a retainer basis for consultation on issues as needed.

BenefitHelp Solutions also has access to the services of Ater Wynne, LLP, our corporate consulting attorneys.

The employer must notify BenefitHelp Solutions within 30 days of the qualifying event, but it is recommended to do so as soon as possible.

No, you are only required to offer continuation of the same coverage that was in effect at the time of termination. If active employees are allowed to select dental only, the COBRA qualified beneficiary must be given the same right.

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