Hatch/Paulsen Introduce Family and Retirement Health Investment Act of 2011

Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Ranking Member, Senate Finance Committee and Representative Erik Paulsen (R-3rd, MN) have introduced the “Family and Retirement Health Investment Act of 2011.”   The legislation makes a number of changes to strengthen and expand health savings accounts (HSAs) and flexible spending accounts (FSAs).  Specific provisions in the legislation would:

  • allow a husband and wife to make catch-up contributions to the same HSA;
  • remove the requirement that an individual have a physician’s prescription to obtain HSA or FSA reimbursement for OTC drugs;
  • allow individuals to roll-over up to $500 from their FSA accounts;
  • clarify the use of prescription drugs as preventive care that will not be subject to an HSA-eligible plan deductible;
  • reauthorize the use of Medicaid health opportunity accounts;
  • promote wellness by expanding the definition of qualified medical expenses to encourage more exercise and better diet;
  • allow seniors enrolled in Medicare Part A to continue contributing to their HSAs; and
  • allow for the purchase of low-premium health insurance and long-term care insurance with HSA dollars.

Kevin McKechnie, executive director, ABA’s Health Savings Account Council, said in a statement that the American Bankers Association and ABA’s HSA Council strongly support Senate and House versions of the Family and Retirement Health Investment Act of 2011.

McKechnie said, “The legislation seeks to correct oversights in the current HSA statute to make HSAs available to more Americans, particularly veterans, individuals eligible for TRICARE coverage and individuals that utilize Indian Health Services.  It will also allow seniors to continue to save for future healthcare expenses by enabling Medicare beneficiaries enrolled only in Part A to continue to contribute to their HSA accounts after turning 65.”

Docs and Patients Now Have More Ways to Get CIGNA’s Real-Time Itemized Cost Estimates

BLOOMFIELD, Conn., November 09, 2010 – CIGNA (NYSE: CI) announced today that it will expand access to its CIGNA Cost of Care Estimator® through four of the largest health information networks in the U.S.: Availity, NaviNet, Passport Health Communications Inc. and RealMed (an Availity Company). These companies service 90 percent of America’s physician practices, hospitals, and clinical facilities.

“The CIGNA Cost of Care Estimator is delivering on our promise to both our contracted physicians and our customers to make our health plans transparent,” said James Nastri, CIGNA vice president of product and service transparency. “By opening access to Estimator through the nation’s largest health information networks, we can help more individuals understand their plan coverage and address any cost issues upfront, so that both doctors and patients can focus on improving health rather than worrying about potential financial unknowns after the fact.”

Since it was launched nationwide in April 2009 on the CIGNA for Health Care Professionals website, (www.cignaforhcp.com), the CIGNA Cost of Care Estimator® has delivered real-time, pre-care itemized estimates of specific treatment charges and payments for 21,000 health care professionals. The Estimator’s Explanation of Estimate provides a simple, clear explanation of the key elements of payment for medical procedures and treatments and is designed to correspond with the award-winning CIGNA Explanation of Benefits.

Sekine, Rasner & Brock OB/GYN Practice Administrator Judi Lento says she prints out a CIGNA explanation of estimate for every CIGNA-covered patient: “The estimate really makes the whole process simpler for both our office and our patients. It is essential for defining the treatment, coverage and any potential out-of-pocket costs up front — so there’s no guesswork, confusion or administrative issues. Our patients really appreciate getting accurate information in advance, and the CIGNA Estimator has helped our practice save hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“The Estimator approach is truly revolutionary because unlike real-time claims adjudication, it does not require purchasing technology and re-keying information into our practice management system,” said Lento. “Because we will now be able to access CIGNA’s estimates through a multiple payer system, our office flow will be even better than before.”

The CIGNA Explanation of Estimate provides the key information individuals need to know about how their CIGNA medical benefits are applied to their physician’s services:

  • Total Cost: Estimation of the total cost of services, including both the amount to be paid by CIGNA and the amount the covered individual will owe;
  • Patient Cost: The anticipated amount covered individuals will owe after their plan benefits are applied to the estimated total cost, including any deductible, coinsurance, or co-payment;
  • Potential Fund Payment: This displays the estimated amount to be paid automatically to the health care professional at the time the estimate is run from available funds in the covered individual’s Flexible Spending Account (FSA), Health Savings Account (HSA), or Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) as well as any additional funds that may be owed. Ninety-two percent of individuals enrolled in CIGNA’s consumer-driven, account-based health plans have opted for automatic claims payment.

Beginning in the fall of 2010, health care professionals have the additional option of producing estimates for their patients enrolled in CIGNA health plans in targeted markets using:

  • Availity, a health information network supporting the exchange of more than one billion transactions per year on behalf of more than 200,000 physicians;
  • NaviNet Network, America’s largest health care communications network that connects 70 percent of the nation’s physicians to leading health plans and information for 121 million insured patients;
  • Passport Health Communications Inc., eCare Patient Access Suite includes revenue cycle software and services to help health care organizations verify patient demographic and insurance information, maintain payer compliance and accurately estimate and collect patient payments. Passport OneSource is used by one-third of all U.S. hospitals.
  • RealMed, an Availity Company, delivering revenue cycle management solutions to more than 30,000 health care professionals and processing more than half a billion transactions per year.

About CIGNA

CIGNA (NYSE:CI), a global health service company, is dedicated to helping people improve their health, well being and sense of security. CIGNA Corporation’s operating subsidiaries provide an integrated suite of medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy and vision care benefits, as well as group life, accident and disability insurance, through 60 million customer relationships with individuals in the U.S. and around the world. To learn more about CIGNA, visit www.cigna.com. To sign up for email alerts or an RSS feed of company news, log on to http://newsroom.cigna.com/rss/. Also, follow us on Twitter at @cigna, visit CIGNA’s YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/cignatv and listen to CIGNA’s podcast series with healthy tips and information at http://www.cigna.com/podcasts or by searching “CIGNA” in iTunes.

Benefit Harbor and BenefitSpan Deliver Innovation and Value for CDHC Administrators and Participants.

Benefit Harbor, a leading provider of integrated benefit enrollment and administration services has formed a strategic partnership with Consumer Health Technologies, Inc. (CHT). CHT is a CDHC software technology leader, providing services to administrators, payers, and financial institutions for the delivery of optimal benefits administration solutions in the CDHC market segment.

CHT develops BenefitSpan, an award winning Consumer Directed Healthcare software platform which offers a comprehensive solution for FSA, HRA, and HSA account administration. As part of its partnership with CHT, Benefit Harbor will make available through BenefitSpan a comprehensive continuum of services including benefit administration, enrollment, and customer services for group and individual benefit plans.

The CDHC market is evolving at a dramatic pace; therefore, it is crucial to remain current on the most leading edge solutions available. We help companies initiate, develop, and deliver innovation in an extremely demanding market space, and for that, BenefitSpan was the obvious choice because it is a unified destination for all stake holders, regardless of company size or complexity of benefit design, said Bill Lester, the President of Benefit Harbor. Mr. Lester further added, The open architecture platform offers a range of advantages, such as 100% private-label services for the total administration of all CDHC accounts while integrating with multiple financial institutions. Additionally, BenefitSpan offers very strong dynamic packaging capabilities of high-value CDHC products and services, including telemedicine, health advocacy and wellness. This empowers plan participants with a new level of service and efficiency along with maximum flexibility and transparency, resulting in measurable cost containment for the consumers.

Pradeep Goel, CEO of Consumer Health Technologies, Inc. commented that, Benefit Harbor brings a unique set of capabilities to the CDHC space with a broad range of consumer engagement tools and support services highly relevant to benefit consultants, health plans and financial institutions alike. We are very excited to count them as part of the CHT family. This strategic partnership will position both partners in such a manner as to make them highly competitive in the CDHC market space.

About Benefit Harbor:

Benefit Harbor delivers total benefit solutions that enable employee benefit and delivery strategies by leveraging strategic relationships with carriers, specialized administration and enrollment firms, brokers/consultants, and plan sponsors. Benefit Harbor is uniquely differentiated by our proprietary technology that supports the integrated administration and enrollment of group and individual benefit plans on a single platform. Founded in 2000, we currently serve more than 1 million employees, support $2 billion in annualized premiums, and interface with over 700 group and voluntary carriers.

Benefit Harbor is part of the Summit Alliance Companies, headquartered in Dallas, Texas. The group also includes Summit Alliance Financial, a full-service insurance brokerage agency, and Summit Alliance Investment Group, a broker-dealer serving independent investment advisors and credit unions.

To learn more about Benefit Harbor please visit www.benefitharbor.com.

Source: Consumer Health Tech

Senate Restrictions on Flexible Spending Accounts Spur New Campaign.

Save Flexible Spending Plans, a national grassroots organization dedicated to protecting flexible spending accounts (FSAs), today launched a new campaign, “Ten Before Ten,” that encourages Americans to voice their support for protecting the cost-saving benefit by sending 10,000 emails to their senators before the start of 2010. The campaign coincides with the Senate’s consideration of legislative provisions that would significantly restrict the use of FSAs to help fund a portion of health reform, as well as an amendment filed by Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) to adjust for inflation a proposed cap on FSA contributions. In a demonstration of the support for protecting FSAs, more than 50,000 emails have been sent by supporters to Congress and the Obama Administration since the launch of Save Flexible Spending Plans in July 2009.

“Now is a critical time for consumers to take action to protect their FSAs as the Senate considers pending provisions that would significantly restrict access to the benefit through a contribution cap and an amendment offered by Senator Schumer that makes sure the cap is indexed with inflation,” said Joe Jackson, chairman of Save Flexible Spending Plans and CEO of WageWorks Inc., a benefits company based in San Mateo, California. “If the Senate fails to increase the proposed cap on FSA contributions and, at a minimum, index the cap to inflation, millions of Americans will face higher taxes, increased health care costs and a reduction in the value of this cost-saving benefit.”

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, pending in the Senate, includes a $2,500 annual cap on FSA contributions, which unlike in legislation approved by the House of Representatives, is not designed to adjust with inflation. An amendment (SA 2993) filed earlier this week by Sen. Schumer would resolve this problem by indexing the cap, ensuring that access to FSAs stay in line with increasing costs. Failing to adjust the contribution cap will cause the value of a $2,500 FSA to plummet to less than half its worth within a decade.

“Everyone that has come to rely on their FSA to hold down their health care costs has something at stake and should take the time to learn more and get involved in encouraging the Senate to protect the benefit,” added Jackson. “Our supporters have shown strong opposition to the proposed restrictions, and we hope they will continue to push the Senate to support Senator Schumer’s amendment and preserve this valuable benefit, which has empowered millions to play a more active role in managing their health care and getting the care they need.”

Proposed restrictions on FSAs will force approximately 7 million Americans who use their FSAs to cover out-of-pocket health care expenses greater than $2,500 to pay higher taxes and health care costs. As currently crafted, the Senate legislation will cut in half the $5,000 limit on FSA contributions enjoyed by Federal employees. Additionally, state employees in 46 states who currently have FSA contribution limits set at $3,000 or more will be negatively impacted. Sadly, those with the highest out-of-pocket health care costs — the sickest — will be hit the hardest by restrictions on FSA use.

About Flexible Spending Accounts

Flexible spending accounts are voluntary, account-based plans that enable millions of Americans to use pre-tax dollars to pay for eligible out-of-pocket health care expenses like prescription drug co-pays, vision and dental costs, office visits and medical supplies.

Most FSA participants are middle income Americans, earning approximately $55,000 annually. Currently, limits on contributions to FSAs are set by individual employers.

Individuals and families with chronic illnesses typically receive the most benefit from FSAs. Even when they are insured, they incur annual out-of-pocket expenses averaging $4,398 per year, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found — well above the proposed limit. Approximately 44 percent of Americans have one or more chronic conditions.

About Save Flexible Spending Plans

Save Flexible Spending Plans is a national grassroots advocacy organization that protects against the restricted use of flexible spending accounts in health care reform efforts. The campaign is sponsored by the Employers Council on Flexible Compensation (ECFC), www.ecfc.org, a non-profit organization dedicated to the maintenance and expansion of private employee benefit programs on a tax-advantaged basis. To learn more, take action and read the personal stories of FSA participants, please visit www.savemyflexplan.org.

Source: Save Flexible Spending Plans

Majority of Employers Would Reduce Health Benefits to Avoid Proposed Excise Tax, Survey Finds.

Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of employers in a recent survey by Mercer say they would cut health benefits to avoid paying an excise tax included in the Senates Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, unveiled November 18. Mercer estimates that one in five employers offer health coverage that would be deemed too generous and thus be subject to the Acts 40 percent non-deductible tax on the excess value.

In early November, Mercer surveyed 465 employer health plan sponsors to find out how they might respond to such a tax on their health plans. Respondents included roughly equal numbers of small employers (fewer than 500 employees), mid-sized employers (500-4,999 employees) and large employers (5,000 or more employees).

In general, excess annual costs under the legislation are those above $8,500 for employee-only coverage or $23,000 for family coverage, starting in 2013. Higher annual cost thresholds $9,850 and $26,000 would apply to retiree plans, coverage for certain workers in high-risk jobs and coverage in certain high-cost states.

In all cases, annual costs include employer-paid, employee-paid, pre-tax and after-tax premium or premium-equivalent amounts for the health, dental and vision coverage. Annual expenses also include pre-tax (not after-tax) contributions to flexible health spending, and employer contributions to health reimbursement and health savings accounts.

As health care costs continue to trend upwards, the proposed tax is predicted to apply to about a fifth of all employers if it becomes effective in 2013. The percent of employers impacted by the cap would increase annually because the Act proposes that the baseline trend be inflated by the annual consumer price index (CPI) plus 1 percent, which is about half the average health care trend.

According to Linda Havlin, a Worldwide Partner with Mercer, For many employers, its a matter of when, not if, they will hit the cap. While some policy analysts expect the cap would prompt employers to make major changes to cut back on excessive health care spending, its important to note that not all the plans that would be subject to the tax are particularly generous. There are other factors beside plan design that drive up cost.

Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of employers who responded say they would cut covered benefits to avoid paying the excise tax. About a fourth of respondents (23 percent) say they wouldmaintain their current plan, but pass along the cost of the tax to their employees. Just 2 percent say they would keep their plan, but absorb the new tax themselves. These employers may be constrained by bargaining agreements from shifting cost or they may simply feel that out-ofpocket costs are already as high as their employees can tolerate.

Seven percent of the responding employers say they would terminate the high-cost plan. Notably, 9 percent of small employers which typically offer only one medical plan choice saythey would terminate their plans, potentially forcing their employees into the individual market.

Ms. Havlin noted, Small employers have been exiting the health market for years and this statistic is another indicator of their frustration. Only 60 percent of employers with fewer than 50 employees offered coverage last year compared to 99 percent of large employers. In some markets that have expensive benefit mandates and taxes on insurance, such as New York City, were seeing an uptick in that exit rate.

Of those employers that would reduce covered benefits, 75 percent say they would use the familiar strategy of raising deductibles and copays. Forty percent would add an alternative lowcost plan to their benefit offerings and 32 percent would replace their current plan with a lowcost option.

Many of the larger employers would attempt more sophisticated strategies. One-fourth of employers with 5,000 employees say they would seek quality and cost-efficiency improvements through high-performance networks, medical homes, and health management incentives.

We all need to work to take the inefficiencies and inappropriate spending out of health care, Ms. Havlin stressed. The risk to employers is that reform has a lot of other costs that will make it even harder to stay under the cap. For example, employers will likely bear the brunt of the governments $156 billion fees on insurers, manufacturers, hospitals and other suppliers and they will pass the cost on to employees.

The largest responding employers would also be the most likely to terminate employer contributions to flexible health spending, health reimbursement and health spending accounts: 25 percent of those with 5,000 or more employees would do so, compared to 19 percent of all sizes.

One argument that some have made in favor of the excise tax is that employers cutting benefits would return the savings to employees in the form of higher wages. However, less than a fifth of respondents (16 percent) say they would convert their cost savings into higher pay.

Large employers more likely to favor the individual mandate

Both the House-passed bill and the reform plan headed to the Senate floor would require all individuals to obtain coverage if they can afford it, either through their employer or in the individual market. A majority of responding employers (52 percent) is in favor of the individual mandate: 37 percent are opposed and 11 percent have no opinion. The largest responding employers (those with 5,000 or more employees) are the most in favor: 65 percent favor the individual mandate, while only 45 percent of the small responding employers support this mandate.

Respondents overwhelmingly agree that if individuals are required to have coverage, Congress should allow employers and insurance companies to offer low-cost, catastrophic plans (86 percent), which would not be permitted under the current House and Senate proposals. On this point, Ms. Havlin notes that Expensive plans arent appealing for many self-employed or low wage earners. These people are more likely to take the risk of being uninsured, particularly if they are young. The individual market is an opportunity for us to offer a variety of plans that meet different needs, including some plans that provide breakthrough ideas in quality, compliance and outcomes.

Source: Mercer

Senate Health Bill Would Significantly Curtail Flexible Spending Accounts.

Following the introduction of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Joe Jackson, chairman of Save Flexible Spending Plans and CEO of WageWorks Inc., a San Mateo, CA-based benefits provider issued the following statement:

“It is disappointing that the Senate is determined to fund health care reform by restricting access to flexible spending accounts (FSAs), a valuable benefit relied upon by more than 35 million Americans to help hold down health care costs. Severely curtailing the use of FSAs will not only force participants to pay more in health care costs, it flies in the face of President Obama’s pledge to not raise taxes on the middle class.

Especially damaging to plan participants is the Senate bill’s failure to index an already unreasonably low $2,500 cap on FSA contributions. Failing to adjust the cap for inflation will cause the value of a $2,500 FSA to plummet to less than half that amount within a decade.

Initially, the Senate will force approximately seven million hard-working Americans who use their FSAs to cover out-of-pocket health care expenses greater than $2,500 to pay higher taxes and health care costs. Federal employees who currently enjoy a $5,000 limit on FSA contributions will see their access to FSAs cut in half. Additionally, state employees in 46 states who currently have FSA contribution limits set at $3,000 or more will be negatively impacted. Sadly, those with the highest out-of-pocket health care costs — the sickest — will be hit the hardest by restrictions on FSA use.

The bottom line is FSAs work and should be persevered. They empower millions of Americans to play a more active role in managing their health care and getting the care they need while keeping costs down — a major goal of health care reform.”

About Flexible Spending Accounts

Flexible spending accounts are voluntary, account-based plans that enable millions of Americans to use pre-tax dollars to pay for eligible out-of-pocket health care expenses like prescription drug co-pays, vision and dental costs, office visits and medical supplies. Most FSA participants are middle income, earning approximately $55,000 annually. Currently, limits on contributions to FSAs are set by individual employers.

Individuals and families with chronic illnesses typically receive the most benefit from FSAs. They incur annual out-of-pocket expenses averaging $4,398 per year, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found — well above the proposed limit. Approximately 44 percent of Americans have one or more chronic conditions.

About Save Flexible Spending Plans

Save Flexible Spending Plans is a national grassroots advocacy organization that protects against the restricted use of flexible spending accounts in health care reform efforts. The campaign is sponsored by the Employers Council on Flexible Compensation (ECFC), www.ecfc.org, a non-profit organization dedicated to the maintenance and expansion of private employee benefit programs on a tax-advantaged basis. To learn more, take action and read the personal stories of FSA participants, please visit www.savemyflexplan.org.

Source: Save Flexible Spending Plans

Web Site: http://www.savemyflexplan.org/
http://www.ecfc.org/

Senate Finance Committee Considering Excise Tax on Health Benefits.

Word is coming out of the Senate Finance Committee that consideration is being given to imposing an excise tax on health care benefits that exceed a specified threshold beginning in 2013. Although the threshold amount has not been finalized, reports suggest that the Committee may be considering $21,000 for family coverage. Reports also indicate that contributions to Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) and Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) would be included in determining whether the health benefits package exceeds the threshold. If employees receive benefits exceeding the overall threshold employers and/or insurers would pay a 35 percent excise tax on the amount in excess of the threshold.

In addition, reports indicate that the Senate Finance Committee is also considering imposing a $2,000 cap on contributions to FSAs beginning in 2013. This, coupled with a House plan to eliminate the use of HSAs and FSAs for over the counter drugs, is placing the burden of financing healthcare reform squarely on the shoulders of middle class workers.

Here are some fundamental problems with these ideas:

  • FSAs, and more recently HSAs, have become important health care tools for both employers and their employees. They help Americans afford their out-of-pocket health care costs. Even under a reformed health care system, patients will still face out-of pocket expenses and we need these tools to help us afford these expenses.
  • Placing additional caps on the contributions that may be made to these accounts will disproportionately harm patients with chronic illnesses who tend to face very high out of pocket costs.
  • Further capping contributions to FSAs and HSAs is effectively a tax on health care and a tax on middle class Americans.
  • Including FSAs and HSAs in the calculation of the excise tax threshold will cause employers to scale back or eliminate these plans (and potentially dental, vision, and other health benefits) to ensure they don’t exceed the overall cap on employee benefits and trigger the excise tax.
  • Imposing an overall cap would be extremely complex and burdensome for employers. Employers would have to calculate the excise tax for each employee and their varying benefits and coverage levels and likely have to account for benefits provided to spouses and dependents under their employer’s plan.

Below is a list of Senate Finance Committee members and their contact information. If you value your FSA or HSA, this is the time to reach out to one or more of the committee members and let them know where you stand.

MemberDC Office PhoneDistrict DirectorDistrict Phone
Lincoln(202) 224-4843Donna Kay Yeargan(501) 375-2993
Kyl(202) 224-4521Kim Wold(602) 840-1891
Carper(202) 224-2441Larry Windley(302) 573-6291
Nelson(202) 224-5274Celeste Brown or
Sherry Hupp Davich
(407) 872-7161
Grassley(202) 224-3744Bob Renaud(515) 288-1145
Crapo(202) 224-6142Layne Bangerter(208) 334-9044
Roberts(202) 224-4774Chad Tenpenny(913) 451-9343
Bunning(202) 224-4343Debbie McKinney(859) 341-2602
Kerry(202) 224-2742Drew O’Brien(617) 565-8519
Snowe(202) 224-5344Gail Kelly(207) 945-0432
Stabenow(202) 224-4822Teresa Plachetka(517) 203-1760
Baucus(202) 224-2651Barrett Kaiser(406) 657-6790
Conrad(202) 224-2043Marty Boeckel (West)
Scott Stofferahn (East)
(701) 258-4648
(701) 232-8030
Menendez(202) 224-4744Michael Soliman(973) 645-3030
Bingaman(202) 224-5521Terry Brunner(505) 346-6601
Ensign(202) 224-6244Sonia Joya(702) 388-6605
Schumer(202) 224-6542Martin Brennan(212) 486-4430
Wyden(202) 224-5244Lisa Rockower(503) 326-7525
Cornyn(202) 224-2934David James(512) 469-6034
Hatch(202) 224-5251Melanie Bowen(801) 524-4380
Cantwell(202) 224-3441Chris Endresen(206) 220-6400
Rockefeller(202) 224-6472Rochelle Goodwin(304) 347-5372
Enzi(202) 224-3424Robin Bailey(307) 682-6268

Visa Pre-Paid Forum will Address use of Stored-Value Cards in Health Care

pjLater this afternoon I will be making my way to Phoenix for the annual Visa Prepaid Forum. This is the event hosted yearly by the people at Visa who work to bring us those stored value cards like the gift cards that look and operate pretty much like a bank debit card. The Forum will attract banks, merchants, card processors, and others involved in making pre-paid cards work.

Among this group will be a smaller subset of health care people who will break out after the General Sessions to focus on the use of stored value cards to facilitate the use of various account-based health plans including Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs).

The big topic of discussion over the past couple of years, and the one likely to dominate the discussion this year as well, is how to make these cards compliant with IRS guidelines. As of January 1, 2008, the IRS required ‘non-healthcare’ retailers, such as supermarkets, grocery stores, discount stores, warehouse clubs, and mail-order merchants, that sell medical goods and services to maintain a point-of-sale system that effectively identifies eligible transactions when consumers use flexible spending account (FSA) and health reimbursement arrangement (HRA) debit cards.

Fort the past couple of years, the Special Interest Group for IIAS Standards (SIGIS), has worked to develop its a voluntary industry standard solution to meet IRS requirements for operating an inventory information approval system (an “IIAS”). IIAS-compliant transactions enable real-time, auto-substantiation for eligible medical items purchased with an FSA/HRA payment card. For more information see: http://www.sig-is.org/en/index.asp.

Visa Healthcare has been a driving force in the development of the IIAS Standards and will no doubt have new information to present during the forum.

Time permitting; I will be blogging from the conference, so check here for updates.