Advice and reference info from members of the independent HP
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for additional information on this topic.
(Dec 28, 2022. Revised
Dec 30.) Comments:
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.)
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
(The email was sent on Dec 13. Subject line "Annual Election Opportunity
for Your Retirement Spending Account")
- 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
- 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
- If you have had no RMSA transactions this year, your
myhpbenefits account does not show your opt-in/out status. If unsure,
see your transactions, select "Your Spending Account" in the row of
- "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."
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
Select "Your Spending Account" in the row of "Quick Links." Click
"Knowledge Center" in the "Take Action" menu on the right. Then "Using
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
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
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
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
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:
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
- "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]
You can check for a forgotten RMSA or other HP reimbursement account via
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.)
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
"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."