Our website now includes a list of eligible FSA and Section 213 expenses, check it out!
If you are a COBRA eligible participant, you have the same enrollment rights as all active employees. For example, if you were only signed up on Medical but now want to elect Dental, you are able to do so at this time.
If someone is getting a divorce and they drop their spouse prior to the divorce being finalized, will the spouse still qualify for COBRA benefits?
Possibly...this really depends on what the court upholds in the divorce decree (meaning the judge may dictate that the member be eligible for COBRA) or the carrier may allow for voluntary termination during a plan year, without a qualifying event.
If neither of those options are created, then the spouse would not be able to continue the benefit through COBRA.
New cards will NOT be sent each year; instead the new year funds will be loaded to your existing cards. Your cards are valid for three (3) years from the date issued, the expiration date is on the card. (New cards are automatically issued 30 days prior to expiration.)
Question: I participated with the FSA and/or DCA in 2011, should I expect to receive any type of tax document from you? For example, the 1099-SA form?
Answer: No, you will not receive any type of tax document through Polestar Benefits. Your FSA/DCA Tax Deductions are itemized on your W2. The 1099-SA form is specific for those participants that carry an HSA (Health Savings Account), Archer MSA (Medical Savings Account) or a Medicare MSA.
A COBRA participant has the right to keep their continuation benefits, even if they have access to a new group plan if the COBRA benefits are better.
What is a better benefit?
The DOL hasn't made an official definition, so "better" could mean a lot of things. However, usually it has to do with the financial exposure the COBRA participant has versus the other group plan and its premiums (like deductible risk, out-of-network providers, etc.).
If you are confused by the FSA maximum guidelines that take affect in 2013 and why they need to be addressed 2012, you are not alone. Take a look at our short clip and how this may affect you or your company.
With many groups moving into their new 2012 Cafeteria Plan year, please remember that you cannot use your benefits card or submit a claim for 2011 services to be reimbursed out of your 2012 account even if you didn't receive your billing statement or EOB until the new year.
However, if you haven't utilized all your 2011 funds, you can still turn in the claim for reimbursement through the end of the run-out period.
...the spouse or dependent can elect the FSA to be continued through COBRA.
When the COBRA FSA election is made, a second FSA account is created for the beneficiary...the employee still has their FSA account too. Just like any other COBRA plan, the participant must be enrolled in the plan(s) as of the date of the event and also make monthly payments, plus they can terminate an election on a month-to-month basis.