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Help with Horizon BCBS: I'm in a revolving door and can't get out!

Discussion in 'Insurance' started by karens0312, Mar 9, 2017.

  1. karens0312

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    I hold an insurance policy with Horizon BCBSNJ that entitles me to open a Health Savings Account (HSA). The information I have found on the Member Services website indicates a Horizon MY Way HSA is available for me. It provides a link to a customer portal MyBenefitWallet.com to set up an account. My attempt to set up an account results in an error that indicates I am not in their system.
    This is when the series of phone calls and live chats begin. Each representative I speak to at Horizon tells me there are no HSAs available through them. I give them (would be) facts to prove my claim:

    Personal Account Management
    Personal Account Management gives you access to the online tools and services needed to manage the financial part of your Horizon MyWay plan.

    My Account Balance
    Horizon MyWay HSA
    ACS/Mellon HSA Solution

    Horizon MyWay Resources
    This is an example, for illustrative purposes only, of the ACS/Mellon HSA Employee Welcome Kit. ACS/Mellon mails Welcome Kits to each employee as part of the Horizon MyWay HSA enrollment process. Prompt completion and return (to Mellon) of the Signature Card is required to establish an employee’s HSA.


    This is part of the Member Guide I found as one of the resources on MyBenefitWallet:

    Open your HSA.
    Opening your HSA is very important because if you do not open your account, you can’t receive contributions or use the funds to pay for Qualified Medical Expenses. If you agreed to the terms and conditions during open enrollment, then BenefitWallet received your electronic signature and your account will open automatically once you reach your effective date. Once we receive your enrollment, BenefitWallet will send you a Welcome Kit. If you already provided your electronic signature when you signed up for an HDHP, then your Welcome Letter confirms your account was already opened and there are no further steps required to open the account . If you have not opened your account, your Welcome Kit provides you with instructions on how to do so – either electronically or by returning the enclosed Master Signature Card .

    I have my doubts about any of the information I have been told by either Horizon or MyBenefitWallet. I also have doubts about how I am interpreting what I am reading. It is possible I am missing something.

    The question I still have is:
    Why is there a link on my Member Services portal which leads me to believe I can enroll in this HSA? The Horizon MyWay Resources indicates the illustration is for an ACS/Mellon HSA Employee Welcome Kit. I am not employed by Horizon, or anyone else.

    Here is part of the illustration:

    Congratulations on selecting a rewarding way to pay for your current and future health care costs – the ACS|Mellon HSA Solution, provided in conjunction with your Horizon MyWay HSA benefits plan.
    To activate your account, you’ll need to provide your signature, either electronically or with the enclosed Master Signature Card. (We’ve included web instructions and a reply envelope, so just choose the option you find easier!)
    How Do I Activate My Account Electronically?
    Logon to www.hsamember.com. You can create a personalized User ID during your first logon by selecting FIRST TIME USER in the upper right hand corner of the web page. Your social security number is your temporary password. (The first time you logon, you will be required to change your password.) You’ll see electronic signature screens appear. Follow the prompts to verify your Tax ID (your Social Security Number), and review and accept the listed terms and conditions.
    If I Sign Up Electronically, Should I Still Send in the Master Signature Card?
    The Master Signature Card is required if you do not wish to use online registration. The card also allows you to immediately designate an account beneficiary and sign up to receive a personalized checkbook. (A checkbook is not sent automatically.)
    What If I Have Questions?
    Contact us by phone: 1-800-355-BLUE (2583) Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.,
     
    #1
  2. johnbaker

    johnbaker Moderator
    Staff Member Advocate

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    @karens0312 You might want to reach out to your bank. A lot of them offer HSAs and it would be one less bank to deal with....
    Occasionally these are wording things or regulatory (ie BCBS may have an issue in NJ but your seeing a 50 states website)
     
    #2
    jsn55 and Neil like this.
  3. Lizzie1492

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    Did you open your Horizon BCBSNJ policy online, or did you work with an insurance agent/broker?
     
    #3
    JVillegirl541 likes this.
  4. karens0312

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    The "one less" mentality is why I wanted to enroll in a HSA I can access from my Horizon Member Services portal. I guess I am still attempting to find the answers because of the principle of the thing, now.
     
    #4
  5. karens0312

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    Yes, through Healthcare.gov. Is that a key to all of this confusion?
     
    #5
  6. Lizzie1492

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    No, not a key to the confusion, but a broker might have been able to offer some assistance in getting to the bottom of this.

    You have probably already done this, but first make sure your plan really qualifies for an HSA. If the plan only covers you, your 2017 deductible must be at least $1,300 and your out-of-pocket maximum must be $6,550. For a family plan, those numbers are $2,600 and $13,100, respectively.

    If you qualify, unfortunately I don't know why you are not able to enroll through Horizon, as I am not familiar with their plan offerings (for example, do they offer HSA administration only to employer-based plans or also to individual plans).

    For others who may be reading along, here's a quick primer on HSAs:
    http://obamacarefacts.com/health-insurance/health-savings-account-hsa/
     
    #6
  7. Neil

    Neil Moderator
    Staff Member Advocate

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    You may have to find an insurance broker who is experienced with this. I have a guy in a networking group that a finally stopped issuing individual policies because he had to start charging a fee for the paperwork and time he expended with individual policies. I am sure there are some in your area that can help you.
     
    #7
  8. jsn55

    Staff Member Advocate

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    I'm not sure that you can, or should, set up your own HSA. I had my tax advisor set mine up when they first came out. If 'something' isn't done exactly right, the IRS can come after you years later and you won't have a clue. I'd get a professional to set up your HSA to be sure each detail is exactly right. I'm glad you contacted us.
     
    #8
  9. MiskasMom

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    I believe things must have changed drastically since you opened your HSA! I opened our HSA about 6 years ago with very little difficulty. All you need is your health insurance policy information which shows your deductible and maximum annual out of pocket. (You can find the rules for qualifying for an HSA at the IRS.gov site.)

    In my case, we also have BCBS and chose to open the HSA with a local, large bank and went in person to set it up. Out of curiosity, last year I looked online to see what other banks offered HSA accounts and found that Chase and Bank of America had them in my state, in addition to the one at my bank. I am checking around to see if any of them offer low fee investment accounts so that I can get a greater return by putting a portion of the funds in a mutual fund or other growth account . Anyway, BOA has a dedicated department that you can talk to on the phone if you have questions after reading about HSA accounts at their website. (I am not endorsing any particular HSA site; I am just saying this has been my experience when I was "re-shopping " around )

    As long as you meet the requirements for establishing an HSA , fund it properly, and use it for legitimate medical expenses, it works wonderfully and is very easy to use. At my bank, they issued a debit card tied to the account for paying medical providers directly, or, we can pay through other means and then submit the qualifying receipts for reimbursement. Access is available online 24/7 for reviewing the account and we can make deposits easily by drafting our credit union account.

    The thing to be aware of is that some banks change a monthly fee to manage the account. Most will wave the fee if you have a high enough balance, or if you have regular automatic deposits. This can make a HUGE difference in the cost effectiveness of the account, especially since I have seen fee ranges from $4.95 to $25.00 per month in my research!

    The maximum amount you can contribute changes annually, and usually goes up about $100 per year. I believe the single amount went up for this year, but not the family. And, if you are over the age of 50 or 55 (can't remember! ), you can contribute an additional $1000.00 per year! And you get a great tax deduction on the total amount you put into the account, NOT on the total amount you use from the account!

    The biggest thing to keep in mind is that you don't have to use the money at all, if you don't want to, and it will carry over from year to year, unlike most HRA and FSA accounts (although, starting this year, some companies are allowing some carryover amounts in their HRA and FSA accounts per IRS changes). We have about $40,000.00 in our account and will keep putting money in for later, when our "parts" inevitably wear out.

    I mention all the above so that those who are unfamiliar with HSA accounts will know that they have plenty of options and do not have to be tied into any particular bank or other financial institutions for placement of their HSA funds.
     
    #9
    Carrie Livingston likes this.

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