2011 Effective Date for FSA Restrictions Threatens Participants and Plan Administrators

Thursday, March 11, 2010 General News
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Proposed Restrictions Will Quickly Force Chronically Ill and Millions of Working Families to Pay Higher Taxes and Health Care Costs

WASHINGTON, March 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- President Obama and Democratic leaders in Congress are currently planning to require restrictions on the use of flexible spending accounts (FSAs) - most significantly in the form of a $2,500 cap on FSA contributions and new limits on the use of the benefit to cover the cost of over-the-counter medications - to take effect next year. In response to this significant threat, 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's completely unreasonable to expect individuals and families with an FSA, as well as plan administrators, to plan for and be prepared to comply with the significant changes being proposed by next year.

A more reasonable policy is to push the effective date applied to FSA restrictions to 2014, more in line with the start date of many other health reform provisions. This common-sense approach would provide a much better transition period for participants, including those battling chronic conditions, to be educated about the new rules and have a reasonable amount of time to find new ways to finance their health care costs.

If the effective date of the FSA restrictions is not moved to 2014, millions of working families and those with chronic illnesses will be forced to scramble even more quickly to find new ways to cover their out-of-pocket health care costs - or be forced to go without their necessary treatments.

Furthermore, a 2011 deadline for compliance will leave plan administrators with very little time to reprogram data systems and make necessary modifications to their plan materials in advance of the annual open enrollment period.

The bottom-line is that a 2011 effective date is a financial and logistical nightmare for participants and plan administrators alike."

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

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