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HPInc Retiree Medical Savings Account Opt-Out

Advice and reference info from members of the independent HP Alumni Association.   

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If you are leaving the company, use our ASAP Checklist for additional information on this topic.

(Dec 28, 2022. Revised Dec 30.)  Comments: info@hpalumni.org

Including

Starting Dec 29, members report that they are being told by agents at the outsourced HPInc Benefits Center that the deadline has been extended to Jan 31. (Until then, callers were told that the deadline had been extended from Dec 16 to Dec 31.)


From the HP Alumni Benefits Forum Dec 27, 2022

RMSA for most HPE (Hewlett Packard Enterprise) retirees is different -- administered by Fidelity.  (However, some HPE retirees are covered by the HP "Pre-2003 Retiree Medical Program" -- instead of an HPE program. HPE has paid HPInc to administer health benefits for those HPE retirees. All other responsibilities for HPE retirees are handled by HPE.)  Otherwise, go to HPE RMSA

If you received an email or letter from HPInc containing a "Retirement Medical Savings Account (RMSA) Annual Notice" you may need to take action before Dec 30 Jan 31. (The email was sent on Dec 13. Subject line "Annual Election Opportunity for Your Retirement Spending Account")

Copy of email: https://www.hpalumni.org/RMSA-HPInc-Email-2022.pdf

Who:

-  Email or letter was sent only to those who have an HP Retiree Medical Savings Account. (No connection with Retiree Reimbursement Accounts for those on the Pre-2003 Retirement Plan.)

- You got this notice even if you opted-out earlier this year.

- You are opted-in for next year if you have been successfully getting claims processed during the past year.  Member: "If your RMSA account is active, you don’t need to do anything as you will continue to have access. I called earlier today to confirm this."

- If you have had no RMSA transactions this year, your myhpbenefits account does not show your opt-in/out status. If unsure, call.  (To see your transactions, select "Your Spending Account" in the row of "Quick Links.") 

- "I was surprised to learn that I was already opted in, all the way back to my retirement in 2007... If you find yourself in his situation you can submit expenses up to 18 months ago."

- You will not lose money by opting out. HP email/letter: "Amounts credited to your plan will remain in your plan for future use when you make a subsequent opt-in election to access amounts credited to your plan."

Why:

It appears that a year-old IRS requirement caught HP's long-time benefits admin outsourcer by surprise. Some members have been told by Benefits Center agents that notifications were sent in 2021 which defaulted to opt-in -- however no one has only a few have reported receiving such notices. To make things worse, the outsourcer did not prepare their call center for the surge of incoming calls.

From the email/letter: "Outside of HP, the RMSA is known by the IRS as a general-purpose Health Reimbursement Account (HRA).  By having access to a general purpose HRA, you are restricted from contributing to a Health Savings Account (HSA)..."

"The decision to "opt in" to your plan is an important one, because under current IRS guidance, you cannot make or receive contributions to an HSA or receive premium tax credits that may otherwise be available to you for health insurance coverage purchased through a federal or state Marketplace while you also have access to the RMSA for reimbursement of qualified health care expenses."
[Member: "...they don't want you using pre-tax dollars for healthcare reimbursements if you are already getting subsidies through ACA."]

"For example, if you are employed by another employer after you leave HP and you have access to an HSA through your new employer (or through continuation of coverage from HP), you cannot make or receive contributions to that HSA if you have access to your RMSA for reimbursement of qualified health care expenses." 
 

"The decision to 'opt in' to your plan can give you access to funds to help with your health care expenses, but that decision can potentially limit your opportunity to make or receive contributions to an HSA and to receive premium tax credits."

Details: Log into myhpbenefits. Select "Your Spending Account" in the row of "Quick Links." Click "Knowledge Center" in the "Take Action" menu on the right. Then "Using your RMSA."

When:

Starting Dec 29, members report that they are being told by agents at the outsourced HPInc Benefits Center that the deadline has been extended to Jan 31. (Until then, callers were told that the deadline had been extended from Dec 16 to Dec 31.)

The email was sent by the Benefits Center on Dec 13. Postal mail notices started arriving a week later.

The text said: "You have 60 days from the date on this notice... Any election you make will be effective January 1, 2023... If you do not contact YSA to make your election by the deadline, your current election (or deemed election) will remain in place... If you miss the Annual Election Period deadline, there is no recourse or appeal."

If you got an RMSA when you left, you were automatically opted-IN: "If you do not opt out during this initial 60-day window, you will automatically be considered to be opted-in and you will have access to your RMSA. Additional opportunities to opt out (or to opt back in) are provided during the Annual Election Period held each November/December..." --RMSA plan details on myhpbenefits

How to opt-out:

- You must call the Benefits Center and speak to an agent, who will create a "ticket" instructing the back office to manually change the setting on your RMSA account.

- Cannot be done online, despite the reference to myhpbenefits in the letter.  (It turns out that HP does not have much control over this ancient, complex website -- no doubt because it is used for hundreds of the outsourcer's corporate clients.)

- Cannot be done via messaging. "I sent an email from the site explaining my issue and they replied saying I had to call and closed my ticket."

Call the HPInc Benefits Center: (Operated by Alight Benefits Administration, formerly Aon Hewitt -- a separate company from Alight Retiree Health Solutions, the Medicare insurance sales agency that HP uses.)
1-800-890-3100 -- 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Central Time, Monday - Friday
1-847-883-0465 -- Outside the United States, Puerto Rico, or Canada

Reaching an agent: 

Email/letter is misleading: "If you wish to make an opt-in election or an opt-out election, you must call Your Spending Account™ (YSA)..." If you select that option in the menu, you get an endless loop.

Member reports of techniques that worked:

- "Hitting "#" a dozen or so times gets you transferred to a representative directly."

- "The phone tree path I took at YSA was: Retirement Medical Savings Account > Account Balances.  
Then I chose the option to request the balance for a specific account. After it provided the amount, I was offered a choice of 'Other balance questions' and THEN I got offered a callback."

- "Able to get through opting for the 'speak to a representative'  menu item.  Do not select the one that sounds right for retirement medical benefits; it leads to a set of machine response queries with no option to get back to a person without hanging up and starting again."

- "I selected option #3 to talk about Direct Deposit."

- "I requested RMSA opt out for 2023 and asked for an escalation to reverse my 2021 and 2022 opt status to "opt out." She created a ticket number and emailed me the ticket. She called back to say that since I had not taken any distributions from my RMSA in those years, they would change my status to opt out for previous years."

- "...she said she would create a ticket requesting the Opt-Out and asked if I would like a phone call or an email once completed.  I asked for an email and I received one soon after, with the case #, and one a day or two later, confirming my Opt-out."

- Email: "...your issue has been resolved and this ticket has been closed. You may be able to verify the resolution or update(s) online." [You cannot verify this online. --cg]

More...

You can check for a forgotten RMSA or other HP reimbursement account via the website:
Select "Your Spending Account" in the row of "Quick Links."  That should show current balance and any recent transactions on any RMSA (or other HP health account like a Retiree Reimbursement Account.)

Unclear what went wrong. As reported by HPAA members, HP's benefits admin outsourcer in Lincolnshire, Illinois has done an excellent job under various owners for decades. They serve hundreds of corporate clients. HP's practice of funding a Retiree Medical Savings Account for people who leave the company may be unusual and have broken their standard process.

The HPAA will be again reporting this to HP Corporate Benefits when HP opens up after the holiday break.

"As we were ending the call I wished the representative well... She said that the HP retirees have been uniformly good natured and understanding about the long wait times. Speaks well for the legacy of HP."

--cg, moderator


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