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Friday, March 30, 2007

Health Spending Account Help

Good morning,
I work for a large company. During the annual benefits sign up period I opted for an HSA insurance account. Some of my co workers opted for a FSA. ( I'm assuming you know what I am referring to.)

Any how, the company has not funded these accounts properly. The company pledged to fund my HSA evenly though out the year and has failed to do so. I try to contact the home office and get stonewalled, any reply is achieved by getting my supervisors to send e-mails to them. They put random amounts in the account when you complain and send you an e-mail saying the fund is correct.

Actually, I've got it good, because my co workers with the FSA have funds deducted from their paycheck and not posted to their account.

I have contacted the Federal Wage board and other than one message on my answering machine,( telling me to contact her, and all other follow up calls have met voice mail purgatory).My question is, what means of redress do I have?

Thanks, I do enjoy your blog.

Oh dear, you are in a pickle. First, let's define a few things. HSAs are Health Savings Accounts. They are designed to allow you to pay for medical costs tax free. Individuals or employees can contribute to them. I'm a big fan (although I've never personally used one, but I think I'd be a fan.) An FSA is a Flexible Spending Account. These have a big difference from the HSA in that they are use it or lose it accounts. If you put $1000 in and then only have $500 worth of eligible costs, you lose that $500.

Now, on to your question. Your employer is about to get themselves in a whole heap of trouble. The IRS regulates Flexible Spending Accounts. They are definitely known for their warm fuzziness and understanding of mistakes, right?

The way to get things fixed internally is to get the right person upset about it. Your e-mails go unnoticed, but your supervisor's e-mails get responses. Can you get your supervisor to get her boss to complain? The higher up the complainer is the more likely you are to get a response. You might want to throw in the words, "you know, the IRS regulates this." It might help.

Unfortunately, I'm not a benefits expert, but B. Janell Grenier is. Hop on over to her blog and see if she can give you a better answer.

Good luck!

Evil HR Lady


Anonymous said...

I'd be willing to bet that an e-mail to the company tax manager or risk or compliance manager (if there is one) would get swift attention, regardless of the source. If the IRS got wind of this they might just swoop in and terminate the entire plan for the whole company. And then start auditing things like the accountable plan (expense reports) and payroll taxes.

TabithaRuth said...

"Swoop" sounds like the perfect verb to describe the IRS.