January Plan Renewal Process
IMPORTANT: Please click the LINKS in this document to access the FORMS you will need and for the DETAILED STEPS of your plan renewal.
One or more of your reimbursement accounts is set to renew on January 1st for the 2017 plan year.
In order to renew your plan, regardless of the enrollment method you choose, please complete and return our Plan Renewal Form to firstname.lastname@example.org by October 14th and send all employee enrollments no later than December 1st.
The enrollment methods available to you vary by type of reimbursement account, detailed steps of which are outlined in our Plan Renewal Form. Here is a summary of those methods:
Available Enrollment Methods
ABG Online Enrollment
- Employees make their elections online using ABG’s WealthCare Portal
(no census file is needed for this method, as new enrollees create their own demographic records in the system)
Your Own Enrollment Method
Collect enrollments using your own method and submit them to ABG no later than 12/1. You may submit your enrollment data either by:
- Using our Enrollment Submission Spreadsheet
- Ongoing eligibility file feed via your HRIS or payroll vendor
(if you are using this method, you will need to contact ABG to let us know when you are sending the 2017 data)
Rolling Benefits Option for Commuter Plans Only
- Since Commuter benefits are month-to-month, you may have ABG extend your Transit or Parking plan indefinitely and roll employees’ December elections into January, without them having to make an active election for the benefit month
Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs)
Employees must actively make an election for their Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) each plan year. Because of this, General Purpose Health FSAs, Limited Purpose FSAs and Dependent Care Assistance Programs (DCAP) cannot be automatically renewed.
Please send a completed Plan Renewal Form to email@example.com indicating your intention to renew and your renewal method by October 14th. See the chart above and the Plan Renewal Form for details about renewal methods.
Carryover Provision Changes!
ABG is changing how we administer the Carryover Provision for Health FSAs and Limited Purpose FSAs.
Employees must make a new plan year Health FSA election to receive Carryover Provision funds
Employers who have adopted the Carryover Provision will have to restrict the availability of rollover dollars only to employees who make an active election in the new plan year. This means: In order to carryover funds from 2016, employees must make an election for the 2017 plan year.
Health FSA minimum annual election is $100
As part of this, employers should set a minimum Health FSA electionamount – this will be set to $100 unless a different minimum is communicated to ABG prior to open enrollment, or unless a plan already has a greater maximum.
Does my organization have to change how the Carryover Provision works?
No. However, If your organization does not wish to require an active election for employees rollover Carryover Provision funds, then you will need to agree to the following:
- Notify us of terminations for all employees who received Carryover Provision but did not have active, new plan year elections
- Offer COBRA to terminated employees with a Carryover Provision balance (they will not have a premium to pay for this, but they will have to accept the Health FSA COBRA in order to benefit from it)
- For COBRA participants who had a balance at the end of the plan year, continue their COBRA for 18 months from their COBRA event date
Educational Resources for Participants
Calculator Link - How Much to Contribute?
FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions
Table of Eligible Medical Expenses - Eligible Medical Expenses
Enrollment Kit - Sign Up for a Pay Raise
Save Money Flyer - I Could've Had an FSA
Vision Flyer - Improve Your Focus
Dental Flyer - Brace Yourself
Commuter Transit and Parking
You may use ABG’s Online Enrollment for your Transit and Parking, or if you typically integrate your Commuter benefits into your own open enrollment process, may send those elections to us in a file from your benefits system or via our Enrollment Submission Spreadsheet.
2017 Pre-Tax Limits for Transit & Parking
There is a pre-tax limit set by the IRS for monthly Commuter benefits. As the date of this communication, they remain the same for 2017 as they were for 2016:
- Transit = $255 per month
- Parking = $255 per month
Educational Resources for Participants
Transit & Parking Home:
Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs)
ABG understands that HRA renewals are dependent on the renewal process of the integrated Group Health Insurance Plan(s), therefore you may not necessarily have your HRA renewal data to send by our deadline of December 1st.
If this is the case, please still indicate your intention to renew via our Plan Renewal Form by October 14th, then send your enrollment data securely to firstname.lastname@example.org using our Enrollment Submission Spreadsheet once that data becomes available to you.
In addition to a completed Plan Renewal Form and employee enrollments, to renew your HRA we also will need from the underlying 2017 integrated Group Health Insurance Plan – the Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) and the insurance benefit summary (see our Plan Renewal Form for details).
If your plan is subject to Medicare Secondary Payer (MSP) Mandatory Reporting, you must provide detailed demographic information for employees, covered spouses and dependents – see our Plan Renewal Form for more details and our Enrollment Submission Spreadsheet for the required fields (only HRAs that have the potential to reimburse an employee $5,000 or more within a plan year, including carryover from the previous year, are subject to this reporting)
Educational Resources for Participants
Important Benefit Updates
If you have not adopted the Carryover Provision for your Health FSA or Limited Purpose FSA, please consider offering this new benefit—it will allow employees who make an active election in the following plan year to rollover up to $500 of their 2016 year-end balance into the 2017 plan year. Learn More
Health FSAs as Excepted Benefits
Most Flexible Spending Accounts are classified as Excepted Benefitsand therefore are not subject to many of the PHS ACT requirements for Group Health Plans. Please see our Plan Renewal Form for more details.
Health FSA Plan Year Maximum Remains $2,550 for 2017
Please note that spouses may have a separate health FSA with a maximum of $2,550 under their employer’s plan.
Integrated Voice Response (IVR) System
ABG’s IVR provides 24/7 access to employees account information via telephone. Employees will be able to use the system to:
- Check account balances
- Check recent transaction
- Retrieve PIN number
- Report ABG Benefits Card Lost or Stolen
For All Benefit Renewals
Caution – after Open Enrollment, but before the start of the Plan Year!
No matter which open enrollment method you use, please be careful to communicate any changes to elections, enrollments or the eligibility status of employees between the close of your open enrollment and the beginning of the plan year. This includes new hires and terminations. ABG will not know of any changes that occur after open enrollment, unless they are communicated to us independently of your open enrollment process.
ABG Benefits Card
Remind your employees to keep their cards—they are active for 3 years from the date of issue.
ABG WealthCare Mobile App
Your employees can their check balances, recent transactions, submit claims and more, directly from their smart phone.
Please feel free to call us at 800-499-3539 or email email@example.com if you have any questions about or need assistance with the renewal process.