GOT QUESTIONS?

You’ve come to the right place. We’ve compiled a list of some of the most frequently asked questions we receive about employee benefits. Not sure what to spend your FSA dollars on? Curious how to order an extra debit card for your HSA? Want to verify your monthly commuter benefits limit? We have answers to all those questions and more.

Don't see the answer you're looking for? No problem. Start a chat with our dedicated team of participant services specialists. 

COBRA

  • Am I able to participate in open enrollment while on COBRA?

    Yes, COBRA participants are allowed to make changes during an open enrollment period just like other actively covered individuals. Information will be sent to notify you during open enrollment periods for your group's plan. Depending on the changes made to your plan, you may have the option to change carriers and/or update coverage levels (e.g., from single to family coverage). If you would like to make changes during an open enrollment period, you will need to complete and return the paperwork as instructed.

    Rate changes often coincide with open enrollment periods, regardless of whether or not you make any changes to your plans. If your rates are changing, Discovery Benefits will notify you of the change(s) as well as issue new payment coupons and adjust your automatic ACH withdrawal amount, if applicable.

  • Can I add dependents to my coverage while I'm on COBRA?

    According to COBRA regulations, active COBRA participants must be given the same rights available to similarly situated active employees with respect to adding new family members as a result of birth, adoption, or marriage. Please refer to your health plan guide for information on who qualifies as an eligible dependent and details on adding COBRA for dependents and the COBRA election period.

    A child born to or placed for adoption with a covered individual during the COBRA coverage period will have the same rights as other qualified beneficiaries when added to coverage within 30 days of the birth or adoption.

    In order to add a dependent to your COBRA insurance coverage, complete and submit an Addition of a Dependent Form.

  • How can I make a payment?

    There are a few different ways you can make COBRA payments:

    • ACH: ACH may be set up by submitting an Automatic Payment (ACH) Request Form or entering bank account information online through the member portal. There is no additional fee assessed for recurring monthly ACH payment processing.
    • Check or Money Order: Check or money order payments may be mailed to:
      Discovery Benefits
      PO Box 2079
      Omaha, NE 68103-2079
    • Online: Payments may be submitted online by logging into the member portal. Online payments can be made using a credit or debit card or by entering a bank routing and account numbers. There is a fee associated with online payments.
       

    Note: When submitting a COBRA payment, a premium payment coupon should be included with the payment whenever possible. The member ID should also be included on the memo line of the payment, especially if using online bill pay through a bank.

  • How do I authorize my spouse and/or another individual to obtain information about my account?

    Due to HIPAA regulations, Discovery Benefits cannot disclose your personal health information (PHI) to any unauthorized representatives.

    To authorize an individual or entity to discuss your account detail, complete the Authorized Representative Form. Once authorized via the form, any authorized representatives can discuss account details until their authorization is removed. Authorization can be removed by completing another Authorized Representative Form and checking the Remove Authorization box. Please note, this process is retroactive for all authorizations already on file. If you already have an Authorized Representative Form on file, the authorized representative would be authorized until their authorization is removed. 

    If you have any questions, please contact Participant Services at 866-451-3399 or send us a message.

  • How do I elect COBRA coverage?

    Once you have received your Specific Rights (Qualifying Event) Notice in the mail, you should read through the information carefully. Then complete and submit the election form for COBRA coverage to Discovery Benefits no later than the last day of the COBRA election period, which is listed on the election form. According to COBRA regulations, you have 60 days from the date the Specific Rights Notice was sent or 60 days from your last date of coverage as an active employee, whichever is later, to elect COBRA coverage.

    You are allowed to change your mind during the initial COBRA election period. For example, if you waive your right to COBRA coverage and then decide to choose coverage while still in the COBRA election period, coverage will be granted as long as you send the final election notification to Discovery Benefits within the 60-day period.

  • How long may I and/or my dependents continue coverage under COBRA?

    Depending on the circumstances, you and/or your dependents may be eligible to continue COBRA coverage for 18, 29, or 36 months.

    18 months - If you are an employee that has lost coverage due to reduction in hours or termination of employment, you and any covered dependents may be eligible to continue COBRA coverage for up to 18 months.

    The 18-month continuation period may be extended to a maximum of 36 months for covered dependents if a second qualifying event occurs during the 18-month continuation period. Second qualifying events may include death of the former employee, divorce or legal separation, and loss of dependent status under the plan. It is your responsibility to notify Discovery Benefits if you experience one of these events while on COBRA. Notification must be made within 60 days of the second qualifying event.  Submit a completed Second Qualifying Event Form along with a copy of the death certificate or the divorce decree, if applicable. 

    29 months - If you or one of your covered dependents is determined by the Social Security Administration to have been disabled prior to or within the first 60 days of COBRA coverage, you and any covered dependents may be eligible for the disability extension. The extension may be granted provided a determination letter issued by the Social Security Administration is sent to Discovery Benefits within 60 days of the issue date of the determination letter as well as within the original 18 months of COBRA coverage. To be eligible for the 11-month extension, affected individuals must comply with the notice requirements in a timely manner. Premiums during the additional 11 months of coverage may be at a substantially higher rate.

    In order to apply for the disability extension, submit a completed Social Security Disability Extension (SSDE) Form along with a copy of the determination letter.

    36 months - When covered dependents lose coverage due to death of the employee, divorce or legal separation, loss of dependent status under the plan, or the employee becoming covered by Medicare, they may be eligible to continue COBRA coverage for up to 36 months.

  • What are qualifying events?

    There are six events that, if they result in a loss of coverage, can be qualifying events:
    1) Reduction in hours of the covered employee's employment;
    2) Voluntary or involuntary termination of the covered employee's employment other than for reason of gross misconduct (note that a retirement is considered a termination of employment);
    3) Death of the covered employee;
    4) Divorce or legal separation of the covered employee from the employee's spouse;
    5) Dependent child ceasing to be a dependent child under the generally applicable requirements of the plan; and
    6) An employer's bankruptcy, but only with respect to health coverage for retirees and their families.

  • What is COBRA?

    On April 7, 1986, The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA) was enacted (also known as Public Law 99-22, Title X) requiring employers with 20 or more employees to offer certain employees and their families the opportunity to elect a temporary extension of health coverage at group rates where coverage under the plan would otherwise end.

    Qualified employees are entitled to continuation of benefits without evidence of good health. This coverage must provide continuous coverage identical to other similarly covered individuals who have not lost coverage. If a plan has dental, vision or other health benefits, these benefits are subject to continuation coverage. Continuation coverage does not include short-term or long-term disability and life insurance benefits. If the individual does not elect COBRA continuation, coverage will end.

    For more information about COBRA, click on one of the following links:


  • What is the COBRA General Rights (Initial) Notice?

    The COBRA General Rights Notice informs the plan participants (the covered employee and covered spouse, if applicable) of their rights and responsibilities under COBRA.

    The COBRA General Rights Notice must be mailed by the employer (or third-party administrator) to the covered employee and/or covered spouse within 90 days of the date the individual first became covered by a group health plan.

  • When are my COBRA premium payments due?

    Your initial premium payment must be postmarked within 45 days from the date you sent your election paperwork to Discovery Benefits. The initial premium typically includes all payments due between your first day of COBRA and the current month. For example, if your first day of COBRA is in July and you are making your initial premium payment in August, the first payment should include the premiums due for both July and August.

    Once Discovery Benefits processes your initial premium payment, your coverage will be reinstated retroactively back to your first day of COBRA. Your right to continue coverage under the plan will end if payment is not made within the required time.

    Subsequent monthly premium payments are due in full on the first day of each month. However, in accordance with COBRA regulations, you have a 30-day grace period each month in which to make your payment. In order to be considered timely, payments must be postmarked (not necessarily received) within the 30-day grace period. Again, your coverage under the plan will end if payment is not made within the required time.

  • When does my COBRA coverage terminate?

    You may voluntarily request to terminate your COBRA continuation coverage at any time.

    Other reasons for Early Termination of COBRA Coverage:

    (1) The required premium payment is not paid when due.

    (2) After the date of your COBRA election, you and your spouse or dependent child(ren), if any, become covered under another group health plan that does not contain any exclusion or limitation for any of your pre-existing conditions.

    (3) After the date of your COBRA election, you, your spouse or dependent child(ren), if any, become entitled to Medicare benefits.

    (4) Your former employer ceases to provide any group health plan coverage to any employee.

    (5) If coverage is extended an additional 11 months due to disability, a determination that the individual is no longer disabled.

    (6) COBRA coverage may also be terminated for any reason the plan would terminate coverage of a participant or beneficiary not receiving COBRA coverage (such as fraud).


    To terminate your COBRA continuation coverage voluntarily, complete and submit a Benefits Termination Form.


    If you have any questions regarding the termination effective date, please contact Participant Services at 866-451-3399 or via email at cobraadmin@discoverybenefits.com.

  • Where can an employer find information regarding how to claim COBRA medical coverage credit on payroll tax forms?

    For information regarding the COBRA medical coverage credit, visit the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website.

  • Which employers must comply with COBRA?

    An employer must comply with COBRA if it offers health benefits to its employees and there are 20 or more employees on at least 50 percent of the "typical business days" during the preceding calendar year. Employers who are a controlled group of corporations are aggregated and treated as a single employer when making this determination.

  • Who is eligible for continuation of coverage?

    A qualified beneficiary is an individual who is eligible for COBRA continuation coverage if he or she is covered under an employer-sponsored group health plan at least one day prior to the qualifying event. A qualified beneficiary can be either a covered employee, the spouse of a covered employee, or a dependent child of the covered employee.

    Employee - A covered employee is a qualified beneficiary if the individual is covered under a group health plan provided through employment with the employer at the time of a qualifying event.

    Spouse - A covered spouse is a qualified beneficiary if he or she is married to a covered employee at the time of the employee's reduction in hours or termination or becomes divorced or legally separated from a covered employee.

    Dependent - A covered dependent is a qualified beneficiary if he or she is a covered dependent of a covered employee at the time of a qualifying event or if the covered dependent loses his or her dependent child status. A qualified beneficiary also includes a child born to or placed for adoption with the covered employee within 30 days of birth or adoption during the period of COBRA coverage.

Commuter Benefits

  • Are cash reimbursements allowed for a transit voucher or pass?

    Cash reimbursement for a transit pass is not allowed when the transit pass (often referred to as a voucher) is "readily available" to an employee for purchase. For additional information, refer to IRS Revenue Ruling 2014-32.

    If the following conditions are met, cash reimbursement for a transit voucher or pass is not allowed:

    1. A voucher provider, which includes a mass transit authority, does not impose significant administrative costs.
    Significant administrative cost is defined as an external cost imposed by the voucher provider (above and beyond the value of the voucher) the employer expects to incur when purchasing the vouchers. In general, a significant cost is defined as exceeding 1% of the average annual value of the vouchers, excluding a reasonable and customary delivery charge of $15 or less.
    2. The voucher provider does not impose other, non-financial restrictions that effectively prevent the vouchers from being readily available.

    Assuming the voucher provider does not impose significant administrative costs, a voucher is readily available provided that the voucher provider does not impose one of the following non-financial restrictions.

    * Unreasonable Advance Purchase Requirements: Advance purchase requirements imposed by the voucher provider will be unreasonable and cause a voucher to not be readily available if: (i) the voucher cannot be purchased at "regular intervals" (e.g. monthly intervals); or (ii) the voucher provider fails to provide the vouchers within a reasonable period of time after receiving payment for the voucher.

    * Unreasonable quantity requirements: A voucher provider imposes unreasonable purchase quantity requirements if the voucher provider does not offer quantities of vouchers that are reasonably appropriate to the number of the employer's employees who use mass transit systems.

    * Inappropriate limitations on voucher denominations that are available for purchase.

  • Can I order more debit cards?

    Please see our Guide to Ordering Additional Debit Cards for information on ordering an additional Discovery Benefits debit card.

  • How do I file a parking claim online?

    This can be done through the consumer portal. A Guide to Filing claims is available on the employee portal.

  • How do I purchase my specific mass transit or parking pass?

    Participants can use their Benefits debit card as the form of payment at the transit or parking authority. They can also use the balance on their Benefits debit card to fund commuter cards. Cards will decline at non-transit authorities (Examples: Walgreens, Albertsons, Safeway etc. due to merchant category transactions IDs of drugstore or pharmacy).

  • How do participants enroll in the mass transit and/or parking benefit?

    Enrollment information for commuter benefits is collected by your employer.  

  • How do participants use the Benefits Debit Card?

    These re-loadable cards are available for both mass transit and parking, adds great flexibility to commuting needs, and is ideal in markets where voucher acceptance is limited. Participants can add funds to their account through deduction, as well as view their balance and transaction history. This product can be used to buy passes for public transportation and parking just like cash.  

    The Benefits Debit Card works just as a normal debit/credit card would at terminals that accept this form of payment.

  • What are my reimbursement options?

    Transit products are purchased with the Benefits debit card. Vanpooling and parking services can be purchased by using the Benefits debit card or filing a claim for out-of-pocket expenses. Bicycle claims (if applicable) are reimbursable online only.

  • What if the employer chooses to contribute to the benefit?

    The employer will provide the designated amount or percentage to be contributed via file to Discovery Benefits. The provided amount will be available each month for the participants to use towards the purchase of a parking (non cash reimbursement) or transit order. The employer contribution amount resets each month, unused amounts will rollover from month to month. 

  • What if the employer provides Discovery Benefits with pre-tax dollars remaining from their prior Commuter Benefits administrator?

    If the employer provides Discovery with roll over balances, we will apply those funds to the participant's commuter benefits account.

  • What is a Bicycle Commuting Reimbursement Benefit?

    For plan years effective 1/1/2009 and later, employers may reimburse employees up to $20 a month to ride their bicycle to work through a bicycle commuter benefit.

    Unlike the transit and parking account options, the bicycle commuter benefit option is 100% employer funded. No employee salary reductions are allowed.

    Employer reimbursement may be made for expenses incurred by the employee for the purchase of a bicycle and bicycle improvements, repair, and storage, if the bicycle is regularly used for travel between the employee's residence and place of employment.

    The maximum monthly reimbursement for this type of commuter benefit is $20 per month. The maximum annual reimbursement is $20 multiplied by the number of qualified bicycle commuter months during the calendar year.

    A qualified bicycle commuer month is any month that the employee:

    (a) regularly uses the bicycle for a substantial portion of the travel between the employee's residence and place of employment, and

    (b) does not receive reimbursement from their transit or parking accounts for a transit pass, transportation in a commuter highway vehicle or parking expense.

  • What is the maximum amount employees can have deducted pre-tax to put toward their mass transit and parking costs?

    2016 Commuter Benefits IRS maximums are as follows:

    Transit: $255/month
    Parking: $255/month

  • Why should I participate in a Commuter Benefits spending account?

    By participating in a Commuter Benefits account, you save money on commuting costs by having funds deducted from your paycheck pretax.

Flexible Spending Account (FSA)

  • Can an individual participate in both an HSA and an FSA or HRA?

    If the flexible spending account (FSA) or health reimbursement arrangement (HRA) is unlimited, through your employer or your spouse's employer, you are not eligible for an health savings account (HSA).

    If you have a Limited FSA or the HRA is limited to dental, vision and/or preventive care expenses, you can have it with the HSA.

    Ultimately, it is the participant's responsibility to maintain IRS compliance within their employee benefit plan.

  • Can I change my Flexible Spending Account (FSA) election after the plan year starts?

    Certain qualifying events allow an employee to either increase/decrease their flexible spending account (FSA) election or begin/cease participation in a plan. Common qualifying events include marriage, divorce, birth, death, or a change in the cost of dependent care. The adjustment to the flexible spending account benefits election must be consistent with the event.

    Please refer to your employer's Plan Document for further guidance on qualifying status change events applicable to your flexible spending account and plan.

    If you have any questions about your FSA, please contact Participant Services at 866-451-3399 or send us a message.

  • Can I order more debit cards?

    Please see our Guide to Ordering Additional Debit Cards for information on ordering an additional Discovery Benefits debit card.

  • How can I be reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses?

    If you do not use your Flexible Spending Account Benefits Debit Card, you may file claims for FSA reimbursement in one of three ways:

    1)File your claim online.

         View the Guide to Filing Claims on your consumer portal for instructions.

    2) File your claim using the FSA Reimbursement Request Form.

    3) File your claim via our Mobile App.

         Click here for more information on our mobile app.

  • How do I authorize my spouse and/or another individual to obtain information about my account?

    Due to HIPAA regulations, Discovery Benefits cannot disclose your personal health information (PHI) to any unauthorized representatives.

    To authorize an individual or entity to discuss your account detail, complete the Authorized Representative Form. Once authorized via the form, any authorized representatives can discuss account details until their authorization is removed. Authorization can be removed by completing another Authorized Representative Form and checking the Remove Authorization box. Please note, this process is retroactive for all authorizations already on file. If you already have an Authorized Representative Form on file, the authorized representative would be authorized until their authorization is removed. 

    If you have any questions, please contact Participant Services at 866-451-3399 or send us a message.

  • How do I claim travel expenses for medical visits (mileage, parking, toll fees, etc)?

    To claim travel expenses for medical visits, submit a claim online or via the Reimbursement Request Form.

    Mileage
    Indicate the total mileage (roundtrip) and include a copy of an itemized receipt or bill is required to substantiate the mileage was incurred for an eligible medical expense.

    Mileage rates:
    Mileage from 1/1/2016 - 12/31/2016: $0.19/mile

    Parking
    Include the parking receipt and a copy of an itemized receipt or bill as proof of eligible services.

    Toll Fees
    Include the toll receipt as well as a copy of an itemized receipt or bill as proof of eligible services.

    If you have any questions about your FSA or claiming expenses, please contact Participant Services at 866-451-3399 or send us a message.

  • IRS Over-the-Counter Reimbursement FAQs

    The following FAQs were released by the IRS Labor Day weekend and accessed September 7, 2010 and available at the IRS web site.  

    Affordable Care Act: Questions and Answers on Over-the-Counter Medicines and Drugs

  • Is my health information protected by federal law?

    Yes.  Most of us believe that our medical and other health information is private and should be protected, and we want to know who has this information. The Privacy Rule, a Federal law, gives you rights over your health information and sets rules and limits on who can look at and receive your health information. The Privacy Rule applies to all forms of individuals' protected health information, whether electronic, written, or oral. The Security Rule, a Federal law that protects health information in electronic form, requires entities covered by HIPAA to ensure that electronic protected health information is secure.

    What information is protected?
    - Your reimbursement account information, including information about claims submitted for reimbursement.
    - Your COBRA coverage and premium payment information.
    - Information your doctors, nurses, and other health care providers put in your medical record.
    - Conversations your doctor has about your care or treatment with nurses and others.
    - Information about you in your health insurer's and Discovery Benefits' computer systems.
    - Billing information about you.
    - Most other health information about you held by those who must follow these laws.

    How is this information protected?
    Covered entities (hospitals, doctors, clinics, health plans) and business associates (Discovery Benefits) must put in place safeguards to protect your health information.

    Covered entities and business associates must reasonably limit uses and disclosures to the minimum necessary to accomplish their intended purpose.

    Covered entities and business associates must have contracts in place with their contractors and others ensuring that they use and disclose your health information properly and safeguard it appropriately.

    Covered entities and business associates must have procedures in place to limit who can view and access your health information as well as implement training programs for employees about how to protect your health information.

    Who can look at and receive your health information?
    Your health information cannot be used or shared without your written permission unless the law allows it. Health care providers must have your authorization to disclose your health information to Discovery Benefits, unless other laws require them to disclose it. It is your responsibility to provide the necessary substantiation and documentation to Discovery Benefits when additional documentation is required for reimbursement from your account. Information will only be shared by Discovery Benefits with you or your authorized representative (annual written authorization is required).

  • May I use the Medical FSA to reimburse my spouse’s deductible and/or co-payment expenses, even if he/she is enrolled in a different health plan?

    Yes. All eligible out-of-pocket medical expenses incurred by you and your qualified dependents can be reimbursed by your Medical/Limited flexible spending account, even if such dependents are not enrolled in your employer’s health insurance plan.

  • What happens if I don't cash my reimbursement check within 90 days?

    If your check is over 90 days old, your bank reserves the right to not honor it. However, if your bank will process the check after 90 days, Discovery Benefits will honor it for up to 180 days from the date it was issued.

  • What is a Flexible Spending Account (FSA)?

    A flexible spending account (FSA) is a benefit offered by your employer and an opportunity to save money on expenses that typically occur throughout the year.

    A flexible spending account works like a personal expense account. You set aside a portion of your salary before taxes, and you decide how much you want to contribute toward flexible spending, up to the maximum set by your employer or the IRS. You can use money from your FSA for certain dependent care and medical expenses.

    The most common types of FSAs include:

    • Dependent Care Account (DCA): A dependent care flexible spending account allows reimbursement of dependent care expenses incurred by eligible dependents. To qualify for a dependent care flexible spending account, you and your spouse (if applicable) must be employed full time, or your spouse must be a full-time student.
    • Medical Spending Account (MSA): A medical flexible spending account allows reimbursement of qualifying out-of-pocket medical expenses. For a list of eligible MSA expenses, please consult our Medical FSA and HSA Eligibility List.
    • Limited Medical Spending Account (LMSA): A limited medical flexible spending account coordinates with a qualified high deductible health plan (HDHP) and Health Savings Account (HSA). There are guidelines for how you can use a limited flexible spending account; a Limited FSA only allows reimbursement for preventative care, vision and dental expenses. 

    Please check with your employer to see what FSA plans are offered.

    If you have any questions about your FSA, please contact Participant Services at 866-451-3399 or send us a message.

  • What is the difference between the Dependent Care Account (DCA) and the Dependent Care Tax Credit?

    When considering funding a Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (DCA), you need to weigh your potential savings from the spending account versus your savings through the dependent care tax credit. The money reimbursed through a Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account will reduce the amount of eligible expenses you can use for the tax credit on a dollar-for-dollar basis.

    Tax savings with a Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account become more valuable as your income increases. Generally, if your family's adjusted gross income is less than $39,000 a year, it's best for you to take the tax credit rather than participating in the DCA.

    Some additional points to consider:

    • You will save federal, state, Social Security and Medicare taxes when you participate in a Dependent Care Spending Account
    • To the extent you reduce your Social Security tax, you may also reduce your Social Security benefits
    • Participating in a Dependent Care Spending Account will not affect your eligibility for the Earned Income Credit (EIC), as it is not included in the definition of Earned Income for the EIC


    When will I receive a greater tax benefit using the Dependent Care Spending Account instead of the tax credit?

     

    It depends on your family income and dependent care expenses.

    If you have one dependent, and spend more than the $3,000 tax credit limit, you're better off with the Dependent Care Spending Account since the limit per family is $5,000.

    If you have two dependents and spend more than the $6,000 tax credit limit, you're better off putting $5,000 into the Dependent Care Spending Account and applying the remaining $1,000 in eligible expenses to the tax credit limit. Amounts reimbursed through the Dependent Care Spending Account will reduce the amount eligible for the tax credit dollar for dollar.

    If you have little or no taxable income, you're better off in the Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account since it allows you to still save on FICA taxes.

     


     

    Can I use both the tax credit and the Dependent Care Spending Account?

    Maybe. If you have two or more qualified dependents and pay more than $5,000 a calendar year in daycare expenses, you can take the remaining amount and apply it toward the tax credit maximum. Based on your family's income level, you'll receive a credit for a percentage of that amount. For example, if your family's income is $33,000 a year, you have two dependents and you spent $7,000 in childcare expenses, you would be eligible to take an additional tax credit of $250 ($1,000 x 25% tax credit percentage based on income level).

  • What type of documentation is required to substantiate a claim?

    Documentation for eligible expenses, required by the IRS, includes a receipt containing the following information:

    • Date service was received or purchase made
    • Description of service or item purchased
    • Dollar amount (after insurance, if applicable)

     

    Unacceptable forms of documentation include the following:

    • Provider statements that only indicate the amount paid, balance forward or previous balance
    • Credit card receipts that only reflect a payment
    • Bills for prepaid eligible expenses where services have not yet occurred
  • When and why do I need to substantiate Benefits Debit Card transactions?

    Due to IRS regulations, certain Benefits Debit Card transactions need to be substantiated. Substantiating means validating the transaction to ensure the card was used for IRS approved items/services within the allowed time frame. 

    Substantiation is generally not needed when the transaction is one of the following:

    • A co-payment tied to your health plan.
    • Made at a merchant that utilizes the Inventory Information Approval System (IIAS). A list of IIAS merchants can be found here
    • A recurring expense that matches the provider and dollar amount for a previously substantiated claim.
  • Where can I find out what is a reimbursable expense?

    You can find our most up to date eligibility lists here.

    Note: some over-the-counter products require a doctor's prescription.

    Due to frequent updates to the regulations governing FSA and HSA guidelines, this list doesn't guarantee reimbursement but instead is to be used as a guide.

  • Where can I use my benefits debit card?

    Discovery Benefits debit cards can be used for FSA expenses at health care related merchants such as hospitals and vision, dental, and doctor's offices. In addition to these locations, the FSA debit card can be used at drugstores, pharmacies, and grocery stores that have implemented the IIAS (Inventory Information Approval System) or certified 90% of their gross sales are FSA eligible. You can find a list of these businesses here

    As always, save itemized receipts, bills, or statements any time the debit card is used.

    The debit card may also be used at day care providers that accept credit cards and have a valid merchant category code signifying they are a day care provider. The debit card may not be used if you pre-pay day care expenses since the IRS requires the expense must be incurred before reimbursement can be made from your dependent care spending account.

  • Where do I send my substantiation or claim?

    To ensure efficient processing, include the proper form or letter as well as your claim number along with your documentation.

    Claims can be submitted using your online account, through the free Discovery Benefits mobile application or via fax or mail.

    Mobile App or Online Account

    Fax number: 866-451-3245

    Mail:
    Discovery Benefits
    PO Box 2926
    Fargo, ND 58108-2926

    If you have any questions, please contact Participant Services at 866-451-3399 or send us a message.

  • Whose expenses can I claim under my reimbursement account?

    You can use your FSA to pay for eligible expenses incurred by any of the following individuals:

    • Yourself
    • Spouse
    • Qualifying child
    • Qualifying relative

    Special rules allow a dependent to be eligible for the FSA plan even when that dependent does not qualify to be claimed as your tax dependent on your tax return. Discovery Benefits recommends that you check with your tax advisor before you make your FSA election for the plan year.

Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA)

  • Can an individual participate in both an HSA and an FSA or HRA?

    If the flexible spending account (FSA) or health reimbursement arrangement (HRA) is unlimited, through your employer or your spouse's employer, you are not eligible for an health savings account (HSA).

    If you have a Limited FSA or the HRA is limited to dental, vision and/or preventive care expenses, you can have it with the HSA.

    Ultimately, it is the participant's responsibility to maintain IRS compliance within their employee benefit plan.

  • Can I order more debit cards?

    Please see our Guide to Ordering Additional Debit Cards for information on ordering an additional Discovery Benefits debit card.

  • How do I authorize my spouse and/or another individual to obtain information about my account?

    Due to HIPAA regulations, Discovery Benefits cannot disclose your personal health information (PHI) to any unauthorized representatives.

    To authorize an individual or entity to discuss your account detail, complete the Authorized Representative Form. Once authorized via the form, any authorized representatives can discuss account details until their authorization is removed. Authorization can be removed by completing another Authorized Representative Form and checking the Remove Authorization box. Please note, this process is retroactive for all authorizations already on file. If you already have an Authorized Representative Form on file, the authorized representative would be authorized until their authorization is removed. 

    If you have any questions, please contact Participant Services at 866-451-3399 or send us a message.

  • Is my health information protected by federal law?

    Yes.  Most of us believe that our medical and other health information is private and should be protected, and we want to know who has this information. The Privacy Rule, a Federal law, gives you rights over your health information and sets rules and limits on who can look at and receive your health information. The Privacy Rule applies to all forms of individuals' protected health information, whether electronic, written, or oral. The Security Rule, a Federal law that protects health information in electronic form, requires entities covered by HIPAA to ensure that electronic protected health information is secure.

    What information is protected?
    - Your reimbursement account information, including information about claims submitted for reimbursement.
    - Your COBRA coverage and premium payment information.
    - Information your doctors, nurses, and other health care providers put in your medical record.
    - Conversations your doctor has about your care or treatment with nurses and others.
    - Information about you in your health insurer's and Discovery Benefits' computer systems.
    - Billing information about you.
    - Most other health information about you held by those who must follow these laws.

    How is this information protected?
    Covered entities (hospitals, doctors, clinics, health plans) and business associates (Discovery Benefits) must put in place safeguards to protect your health information.

    Covered entities and business associates must reasonably limit uses and disclosures to the minimum necessary to accomplish their intended purpose.

    Covered entities and business associates must have contracts in place with their contractors and others ensuring that they use and disclose your health information properly and safeguard it appropriately.

    Covered entities and business associates must have procedures in place to limit who can view and access your health information as well as implement training programs for employees about how to protect your health information.

    Who can look at and receive your health information?
    Your health information cannot be used or shared without your written permission unless the law allows it. Health care providers must have your authorization to disclose your health information to Discovery Benefits, unless other laws require them to disclose it. It is your responsibility to provide the necessary substantiation and documentation to Discovery Benefits when additional documentation is required for reimbursement from your account. Information will only be shared by Discovery Benefits with you or your authorized representative (annual written authorization is required).

  • What happens if I don't cash my reimbursement check within 90 days?

    If your check is over 90 days old, your bank reserves the right to not honor it. However, if your bank will process the check after 90 days, Discovery Benefits will honor it for up to 180 days from the date it was issued.

  • Where do I send my substantiation or claim?

    To ensure efficient processing, include the proper form or letter as well as your claim number along with your documentation.

    Claims can be submitted using your online account, through the free Discovery Benefits mobile application or via fax or mail.

    Mobile App or Online Account

    Fax number: 866-451-3245

    Mail:
    Discovery Benefits
    PO Box 2926
    Fargo, ND 58108-2926

    If you have any questions, please contact Participant Services at 866-451-3399 or send us a message.

Health Savings Account (HSA)

  • Are there any fees associated with my HSA account?

    Maintenance
    Typically, employers will cover fees that are associated with your health savings account (HSA) while you're an active employee.

    If you leave your current employer, but keep your HSA open with Discovery Benefits, there may be maintenance fees assessed to your account.

    If you have any questions about your HSA, please contact Participant Services at 866-451-3399 or send us a message

  • Can a Health Savings Account be owned by a Living Trust?

    No, a health savings account can't be owned by a Living Trust. 

  • Can a Living Trust be the beneficiary of a Health Savings Account?

    Yes. The same rules that apply to individual retirement accounts would be applicable for a health savings account (HSA).

  • Can an individual have more than one HSA?

    An individual may contribute to more than one HSA for themselves; however, the total contribution of all HSA contributions may not exceed the annual limit.

    You and your spouse may both have an HSA if you both have high deductible health insurance coverage.

  • Can an individual participate in both an HSA and an FSA or HRA?

    If the flexible spending account (FSA) or health reimbursement arrangement (HRA) is unlimited, through your employer or your spouse's employer, you are not eligible for an health savings account (HSA).

    If you have a Limited FSA or the HRA is limited to dental, vision and/or preventive care expenses, you can have it with the HSA.

    Ultimately, it is the participant's responsibility to maintain IRS compliance within their employee benefit plan.

  • Can I order more debit cards?

    Please see our Guide to Ordering Additional Debit Cards for information on ordering an additional Discovery Benefits debit card.

  • Can I roll over funds from another account?

    Rollover contributions to an HSA are permitted as long as the source of the rollover funds is another HSA or Archer Medical Savings Account (MSA). A rollover of HSA or Archer MSA funds must be completed within 60 days from the date of constructive receipt to avoid taxation. Only one rollover every 12 months is permitted. When account holders make a rollover contribution, they must certify to the custodian or trustee in writing that they are making a rollover contribution. Once made, the certification is irrevocable.

  • Do I need to submit documentation for HSA transactions or distributions?

    Discovery Benefits does not require documentation for transactions or withdrawals/distributions from your health savings account.  However, we do recommend that you keep documentation of any expenses related to your HSA for your own records. 

  • How and when can money be taken out of an HSA?

    Account holders may make a withdrawal (also known as a distribution) from their health savings account at any time. HSA distributions received for qualified medical expenses not covered by the high deductible health plan are distributed tax-free.  HSA distributions can be requested via your online account. If you need help logging into your account, please send us a message

    HSA spending rules state that unless individuals are disabled, age 65 or older, or die during the year, they must pay income taxes plus an additional percentage (determined by the IRS) on any amount taken out of an HSA that isn't used for qualified medical expenses.

    Individuals who are disabled or reach age 65 can receive non-medical HSA distributions without penalty, but must report the distribution as taxable income.

  • How are excess or non-eligible contributions handled?

    Excess Contributions
    Contributions to a health savings account (HSA) that exceed the maximum contribution limit for the year or that are made by an ineligible individual are considered excess HSA contributions. If the individual makes the excess contribution, it cannot be deducted from the individual's income on the tax return. HSA contributions made by employers are included in the gross income of the employee to the extent the contributions exceed the allowable limit. Employers must include this amount on the employee's W-2 as taxable wages.

    An excise tax of 6% for each tax year is imposed on the account holder for these excess individual or employer contributions. If, however, the excess contributions for a tax year and the net income attributable to these excess contributions are paid to the account holder before the tax return deadline, including extensions, then the excise tax does not apply. The distribution of the excess contribution is not taxed. However, the net income attributable to the excess contribution is included in the account holder's income for the tax year in which the distribution is made.

    Non-Eligible Contributions
    Contributions that are made to an HSA for an ineligible individual will not qualify for the tax benefits applicable to HSA contributions. The individual will not be eligible for a tax deduction for any contributions attributable to the period during which he or she was not an eligible individual. In addition, the individual may also be subject to a 6% excise tax if the impermissible contributions and any attributable earnings are not removed from the individual's HSA within the time allowed for corrections.

  • How do I authorize my spouse and/or another individual to obtain information about my account?

    Due to HIPAA regulations, Discovery Benefits cannot disclose your personal health information (PHI) to any unauthorized representatives.

    To authorize an individual or entity to discuss your account detail, complete the Authorized Representative Form. Once authorized via the form, any authorized representatives can discuss account details until their authorization is removed. Authorization can be removed by completing another Authorized Representative Form and checking the Remove Authorization box. Please note, this process is retroactive for all authorizations already on file. If you already have an Authorized Representative Form on file, the authorized representative would be authorized until their authorization is removed. 

    If you have any questions, please contact Participant Services at 866-451-3399 or send us a message.

  • How do I report HSA activity on my tax return?

    The IRS has stated that health savings account (HSA) contributions and distributions are reportable transactions. An HSA deduction can also be made to the account holder's individual tax return. 

    Contributions:
    Employer HSA contributions are reported on the W-2 for each employee that received a contribution. It is reported on the W-2 as non-taxable wages.

    For an HSA deduction on taxes, regardless of whether HSA contributions are made by the account holder or the employer, contributions must be reported on the individual tax return of the account holder. Contributions to and distributions from HSAs are reported by the account holder on Form 8889 and attached to Form 1040.

    Distributions:
    Distributions from an HSA, if for qualified medical expenses, will avoid income tax consequences to the recipient. For this reason, the IRS requires the reporting of these distributions for an HSA deduction.

    The account holder can access Form 1099-SA for reporting distributions made during the tax year and Form 5498-SA for reporting contributions made to the HSA during the tax year electronically through their consumer portal. 1099-SAs and5498-SAs are made available on the portal by January 31st each year. It is the account holder’s responsibility to keep records to support distributions and to complete Form 8889 and attach it to Form 1040 to file for an HSA deduction.

    The HSA account holder is responsible to report the contributions, distributions and any HSA deductions to the IRS and is ultimately responsible for ensuring that account transactions are within the allowed regulations. If an error is made by Discovery Benefits or its custodian, Discovery Benefits would be responsible for that activity.

  • How do life-changing events (divorce, death, employment status, new insurance) influence my HSA?

    Divorce
    The transfer of an individual's interest in a health savings account (HSA) to that individual's spouse or former spouse under a divorce or separation will not be considered a taxable transfer. The recipient's spouse or former spouse may continue to avoid taxation on the account as long as it is maintained as an HSA.

    Death
    The tax treatment of an HSA after the death of the account holder depends on whether a spouse or non-spouse is designated as beneficiary of the account.

    New Health Plan (that is not HDHP)
    An HSA is an individually owned account. If you are no longer participating in an HDHP, you cannot make contributions to your HSA, but you can make withdrawals.

    Employment Status
    An HSA is an individually owned account. If your new employer does not offer a HDHP, you cannot make contributions to your HSA, but can request withdrawals. If you leave your current employer, but keep your HSA open with Discovery Benefits, there may be maintenance fees assessed to your account.

    If you have any questions, please contact Participant Services at 866-451-3399 or send us a message. 

  • How much can I contribute to my HSA?

    You can contribute up to the annual statutory maximum as long as your health savings account (HSA) is established by December 1 of the calendar year. The maximums are as follows:

    2017

    • Single HDHP Coverage = $3,400
    • Family HDHP Coverage = $6,750
    • Catch-up Contribution (age 55 by the end of the year) = $1,000

    2018

    • Single HDHP Coverage = $3,450
    • Family HDHP Coverage = $6,900
    • Catch-up Contribution (age 55 by the end of the year) = $1,000

    The contribution deadline is April 15 following the year for which the HSA contributions were made.

  • IRS Over-the-Counter Reimbursement FAQs

    The following FAQs were released by the IRS Labor Day weekend and accessed September 7, 2010 and available at the IRS web site.  

    Affordable Care Act: Questions and Answers on Over-the-Counter Medicines and Drugs

  • What are the tax advantages of owning an HSA?

    An HSA Offers Triple Tax Savings:

    • Contributions are tax free
    • Earnings are tax free
    • Withdrawals are tax free when made for eligible medical care expenses

    Three kinds of tax-favored HSA contributions:

    • Employee contributions that are deductible over-the-line (i.e. deductible even by non-itemizers)
    • Employer contributions that are excluded from income and employment taxes.
    • Salary reduction contributions made through a Section 125 cafeteria plan.

    All three forms of HSA contributions are exempt from federal income taxes. Employer and salary reduction contributions (section 125 cafeteria plan) are exempt from FICA and FUTA as well.

    For specific tax advantages, consult your tax advisor.

  • What constitutes a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP)?

    A HDHP is a health insurance plan that generally doesn't pay for the first several thousand dollars of health care expenses (i.e., your "deductible") but will generally cover you after that.

    It is important when selecting your HDHP that your insurance carrier verify and guarantee that the HDHP meets IRS regulations to ensure your HSA is qualified.

  • What happens if I don't cash my reimbursement check within 90 days?

    If your check is over 90 days old, your bank reserves the right to not honor it. However, if your bank will process the check after 90 days, Discovery Benefits will honor it for up to 180 days from the date it was issued.

  • What is a Health Savings Account (HSA)?

    What is an HSA? A health savings account (HSA) works like an IRA. You deposit money tax-free and it grows tax-free until you use it. A health savings account is an individually owned account that allows you to set aside pre-tax dollars for medical expenses. Interest or dividends accumulate tax-free, and payments for HSA qualified medical expenses have no additional tax consequences. Plus, you decide how to invest and grow your HSA.

    There are guidelines for HSA eligibility. To open an HSA, you must be enrolled in a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP). Use the money in your HSA to pay for the plan's deductible, co-insurance, and other non-covered eligible expenses. Once your deductible is met, the HDHP kicks in to pay for major health costs. Even if an HDHP no longer covers you, your HSA remains active and you can use the remaining balance for medical expenses, but you can no longer make contributions. The assets in the HSA always belong to you. Funds remain in the account from year to year unless they are used.

    An HSA is required to be set up with a qualified custodian or trustee. Discovery Benefits' custodian is HealthcareBank.

    If you have any questions about your HSA, please contact Participant Services at 866-451-3399 or send us a message

  • What is the contribution deadline?

    The HSA contribution deadline is April 15 following the year for which the contributions were made.

  • When is my HSA effective?

    When we receive your health savings account (HSA) enrollment, the account will be established. The HSA then becomes effective on the first of the month following the setup.

    For example, your HSA application is sent to Discovery on January 15 and your account was established January 17. Your HSA will be effective February 1, the first of the month following the date the account was established. HSA-eligible expenses will be those incurred February 1 or later.

    The effective date of the HSA cannot be backdated to the date your HDHP was established.

  • Where can I find out what is a reimbursable expense?

    You can find our most up to date eligibility lists here.

    Note: some over-the-counter products require a doctor's prescription.

    Due to frequent updates to the regulations governing FSA and HSA guidelines, this list doesn't guarantee reimbursement but instead is to be used as a guide.

  • Who can make contributions to an HSA?

    HSA contributions may be made by the HSA account holder or by any other person, including an employer or family member.  If the HSA is not offered through the cafeteria plan, employer contributions are subject to the IRS Comparability Rules.  When HSAs are offered through a cafeteria plan, the Comparability Rules do not apply and instead, the HSA is subject to the cafeteria plan non-discrimination rules

  • Who can participate in an HSA?

    Individuals who are covered by a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) may participate in a health savings account (HSA).

    Individuals may be excluded from an HSA if they are:

    • Covered under a spouse's or dependent employer's health plan that is not an HDHP.
    • Claimed on someone else's taxes.
    • Covered by Medicare (Part A and/or Part B).
    • Covered under a health FSA or HRA, unless the coverage under the HRA or FSA is limited to permitted benefits or specific benefits not provided by the HDHP.

    If an HSA is offered through an employer's cafeteria plan, the eligibility requirements of the cafeteria plan apply. Sub S Corporation owners, their spouses and dependents employed by the company may not participate in an HSA. Neither can sole-proprietors, 2% or more owners in a partnership, limited liability partnerships or limited liability corporations.

  • Why do I need to designate beneficiaries?

    The tax treatment of an HSA after the death of the account holder depends on whether a spouse or non-spouse is designated as beneficiary of the account.

    Spouse Beneficiary
    If the deceased account holder's designated beneficiary is a spouse, the HSA is treated as the surviving spouse's own HSA. Distributions to the surviving spouse for qualified medical expenses would be tax free.

    Non-spouse Beneficiary
    If a non-spouse beneficiary is named, the HSA ceases to be an HSA as of the date of death. The non-spouse beneficiary includes the balance of the HSA in his or her income for the year of death.

    If there is no designated death beneficiary, the fair market value of the account will be included in the account holder's final income tax return and estate tax return.

  • Why is my account blocked?

    The USA PATRIOT Act requires all financial institutions to obtain, verify and record information that identifies each person who opens an HSA. This means that when you open an HSA with Discovery Benefits, we will ask for your name, street address, date of birth and other information that will allow us to identify you. This process takes approximately two days, during which time your account will be blocked. Once this process is completed and your identity has been verified, access to your HSA will be unblocked and made available to you. If your identity is not verified (e.g. if you moved recently and your new address is not on file with the appropriate government agency), you may be asked to provide proof of your identity by providing a copy of your utility bill to verify your address or a copy of your Social Security card if the number does not match the verifying source’s records.