TO: Member Schools Not Participating in the Rainbow Plan
FROM: Brian C. Meekhof, Benefits Administrator
Flexible Spending Account Plans (Section 125 Plans)
Flexible spending account plans allow participating schools and employees to take advantage of a valuable employee benefit. Eligible employees can participate in spending accounts that allow them to pay benefit-related expenses with pre-tax dollars. Every dollar contributed to a flexible spending account plan is exempt from FICA taxes. The more employees contribute to the plan, the more money the school saves in payroll taxes. In fact, many schools have realized more in tax savings than it costs to administer the plan. Employees save an average of over $300 and schools save an average of over $1,000 after expenses by using the CSI Flexible Benefits Plan.
The New CSI Flexible Benefits Plan (Formerly the Rainbow Plan)
It is our goal to provide member schools with a high quality benefits package that is administered in an efficient manner. Based on feedback from participating schools and administrative difficulties we have experienced with the Rainbow Plan, we are terminating our relationship with HRM Claim Management. We are pleased to introduce the new CSI Flexible Benefits Plan administered by Employee Benefit Strategies (EBS). We are confident that EBS will do an excellent job administering our flexible spending accounts and welcome them as our new administrator.
New Features of the Plan
The features of the new CSI Flexible Benefits Plan are quite different from the current Rainbow Plan, differences that schools and individuals will find quite attractive. We are able to incorporate a number of improvements into the new Plan in response to suggestions and comments from schools and participants. The features of the new Plan are:
1. Fee Reduction: The $1.00 per month fee for a participant using only the premium account will be eliminated. The fee for flexible spending account and dependent care account participants will remain at $4.50 per participant per month. The monthly minimum fee for a school remains at $25.00.
2. Monthly Statement: Schools will no longer be invoiced in advance for monthly contributions causing them to pre-fund payroll deductions. Instead, schools will self-report deductions each pay period and include a check for only that pay period. A monthly invoice will still be sent but it will only bill for the administrative fee.
3. No Remittance of Pre-Tax Premium Deductions: Schools will no longer be required to pay premium contributions. (Under the current Plan, premium contributions are remitted to HRM and schools must wait for reimbursement.) Premium contributions will still be reported each pay period but only the health care and dependent care contributions are remitted to the Plan.
4. No Pre-Funding of Health Care FSA Claims: Schools will no longer be required to pre-fund health care FSA claims when a participant submits a claim for more than their account balance. As long as funds are available in the group account, participant’s health care FSA claims will be paid up to their annual maximum immediately. This eliminates the current two-step process for reimbursement for claims that exceed a participant’s account balance. Dependent care claims will continue to be paid to the extent that funds are available in the individual participant’s account.
5. Direct Deposit: Participants will be able to have reimbursements deposited electronically into their bank account. This time-saving direct deposit feature is optional and the participant will receive a deposit advice in lieu of a check.
6. Fax Claims: Participants may fax claims to EBS to reduce the time required to receive reimbursement.
7. Claim Form: A new claim form is included with each reimbursement so that the participant always has one available for the next claim.
8. Claim Processing: Claims are processed and payments are issued daily and EBS guarantees that all claims will be processed within two business days of receipt.
9. Web Site: A web site is available for participants to access their accounts online to check claims, reimbursements, and account balances.
10. Forms: You will be able to print claim forms and other forms from the web site.
Enrollment Forms for the Plan Year Beginning September 1, 2002
The new enrollment materials for the Plan Year beginning September 1, 2002, will be shipped to schools in mid-May. If you would like more information about the CSI Flexible Benefits Plan or would like to take advantage of it’s tax-saving features, contact Brian at (800) 635-8288, x267 or Shirley at x230.