Frequently Asked Questions

We know that health care plans and tax favored accounts can be confusing, so we’ve developed a list of the most frequently asked questions and the answers. We understand that this won’t answer all the questions you may have, so please contact your campus benefit representative or email benefits@umsystem.edu if you have additional questions that we haven’t answered here.

 

Q. How are the myOptions Plan and the myChoice Plan different?

A. The myOptions Health plan is a new plan that offers a lower premium with a higher deductible and out of pocket maximum.  It can be paired with a Health Savings Account to offset your out of pocket medical, dental and vision expenses this year or used to save for future years’ health care expenses.

The myChoice Health Plan has a higher premium but less out-of- pocket expense for services. myChoice Health Plan can be paired with a Health Reimbursement Account and Flexible Spending Account to offset out of pocket health care expenses.

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Q. How does the deductible and out of pocket maximum work with the myChoice Plan?

A. The deductible is the total amount members are required to pay each year before the plan begins to pay a benefit. Under the myChoice Plan, each member must meet the individual deductible of $250 for network services ($500 for non-network services) or three family members may meet their deductible to reach the maximum $750 family deductible for network services ($1,500 for non-network services) before a benefit will be paid for any covered member. The 2014 Benefits Guide provides more details about the plan.

These deductible amounts apply only to Medical services under the myChoice Plan; a separate deductible applies to prescription drugs purchased at a retail pharmacy.

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Q. How does the deductible and out of pocket maximum work with the myOptions Plan?

A. The deductible is the total amount members are required to pay each year before the plan begins to pay a benefit. Under the myOptions Plan, if you have individual coverage, you must satisfy the individual deductible of $1,500 for network services ($3,000 for non-network services) in 2014 before any benefit will be paid.  If you have family coverage (two or more are covered), you and/or your dependents must satisfy the family deductible of $3,000 for network services ($6,000 for non-network services) before any benefits will be paid for any member. The 2014 Benefits Guide provides more details about the plan.

Both Medical and Pharmacy (prescription drug claims) services accumulate toward the myOptions Plan deductible and maximum out of pocket amounts.

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Q. What are the new tax favored accounts for health care expenses?

A. There are two tax favored accounts available this year. Which you use will depend on what medical plan you choose.  The tw0 accounts are a Health Savings Account (HSA) and a Health Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA). These accounts are described in more detail below.

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Q. What is an HSA?

A. If you choose the myOptions plan and are not covered by another plan or claimed on another’s taxes, you are eligible to set up an HSA to pay for current health expenses and save for future qualified medical and retiree health expenses on a tax free basis. The account is owned and managed by the employee and funds remain in the account from year to year if not used for qualified (medical , dental and/or vision) expenses. Penalties may apply when funds are withdrawn to pay for anything other than qualifying medical expenses. If you leave the university, the funds in the account go with you. Both you and the university can contribute to the account.

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Q. What is an FSA?

A. If you enroll in the myChoice plan you can enroll in a health care Flexible Spending Account (FSA). An FSA allows money to be deducted from your paycheck on a pre-tax basis to pay for qualifying health care expenses. (Note: you may also use a dependent care FSA for child/day care expenses, but this is a separate election.) By reducing your taxable income, a health care FSA can save you a substantial amount on a wide range of IRS-qualified medical, dental and vision expenses that are not covered by your insurance. Contributions to your FSA accounts are exempt from federal and, in some cases, state income taxes. The catch is that if you do not use all your contributions within the plan year, you forfeit any money left in your account at the end of the year. It is important to carefully budget your contributions and expenses for the year.

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Q. Do I have to have health insurance to have a health savings account (HSA)?

A: Yes. To be eligible to open and contribute to an HSA, you need to be enrolled in a qualified high-deductible health plan (HDHP). Enrollment in the university’s myOptions Health Plan qualifies your for an HSA; it has an In-Network deductible of $1,500 for self-only and $3,000 for family coverage.

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Q: Who owns the HSA?

A: The HSA is owned and managed by the employee.

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Q: Who contributes to the HSA?

A: The employee and the employer may both contribute up to the 2014 IRS annual limits of $3,300 for someone with self-only coverage or $6,550 for someone with family coverage.

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Q: Does the money in my HSA earn interest?

A: Yes, and tax-free. HealthEquity calculates, compounds and credits interest monthly based on the applicable rate for different tiers of the account balance. For current rates, see the interest rate page in the HealthEquity online resource center www.heatlhequity.com.

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Q: Can I invest the money in my HSA?

A: Yes. Similar to an IRA, you may invest a portion of your account balance in mutual funds available through HealthEquity HSA.

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Q: How much money can I contribute to my HSA?

A: For 2014, the maximum contribution set by the IRS for an individual account is $3,300 and the maximum contribution for family account is $6,550. Those of age 55 or older can make an additional “catchup” contribution of $1,000 per year. These limits apply to the total of what you and the university contribute.

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Q: What happens to the money in my HSA if I leave my job or retire?

A: The HSA is in your name. It is your account and goes with you if you leave employment with the university. If you are on Medicare or go to another employer that does not have a qualified high deductible plan, you can still use your HSA money for qualified medical expenses, but will not be able to continue to make contributions.

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Q: Does the money I have in my HSA roll over from year to year, or do I lose the money at the end of the year?

A: The money continues to accumulate from year to year. You don’t lose the money left in your HSA or the interest it has earned.  It is your money.

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Q: Can I take the money out of my HSA any time I want?

A: Yes. You can take money out any time tax-free and without penalty as long as it is used to pay for qualified medical expenses. If you take money out for other purposes, however, you will pay income taxes on the withdrawal plus a 20% tax penalty.

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Q: What medical expenses qualify under an HSA?

A: Qualified medical expenses are those that would generally qualify for the medical and dental expenses income tax deduction as outlined in IRS Publication 502 Medical and Dental Expenses. See www.irs.gov/publications/p502/index for a current complete list.

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Q: If my spouse is on Medicare, can I contribute to an HSA?

A: Yes. As long as you are not enrolled in Medicare yourself and are still enrolled in a qualified high deductible health plan like myOptions, you can contribute to your HSA.

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Q: Can I have an HSA account if my spouse has a health care flexible spending account through his/her employer?

A:  You cannot have an HSA account if your spouse has a health care flexible spending account through his/her employer under which money can be reimbursed for your eligible health care expenses.

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Q: What company is the HSA managed by?

A: For 2014, HealthEquity, in partnership with Coventry HealthCare, will provide HSA accounts for eligible university faculty and staff.

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Q: How do I contact HealthEquity?

A: You can call HealthEquity’s dedicated service line for University of Missouri, which is 877-372-5383, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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Q: How do I contact Coventry?

A: You can call Coventry member Services at 1-800-613-7721 or visit www.ummedcvty.com.

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Q: How do I determine which plan is best for me?

A: Utilize myBenefit Decision Center located in myHR Self Service to compare medical plan details, estimate your out of pocket expenses under each plan and estimate your tax favored account contributions.

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Q. How do I earn the $100 Wellness Incentive?

A:  Complete the personal health assessment and a health screening to earn $100 in your final May 2014 paycheck. See the 2014 Wellness Incentive webpage for details.

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Q. Do I have to be enrolled in a UM medical plan to receive the incentive?

A:  Yes

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Reviewed 2014-03-04.