Posted by: danielrashke | October 5, 2020

Innovative Benefit Solutions with The TASC Card

For more than 45 years, TASC has been a leader, an innovator and a partner to employers committed to ensuring the health, wealth, and well-being of their employees and their employees’ families and community. We are a driven and visionary company.

We’ve set our goals and we know what we need to accomplish to meet and exceed them. Those goals include remaining the leader in third-party benefits administration in the markets we serve, achieving double-digit growth every year with positive returns and low debt and being a high-performance, engaged, and community-minded workforce.

How do we get there? Innovation and providing our customers with solutions that make their benefits easy to access and manage.

In uncertain and strained times, I know how important it is for people to easily access their money and manage their benefits. That’s why we have the TASC Card®. We have always been a leader in healthcare cards and our TASC Card continues to be the evolution of that.

The TASC Card is provided to participants to easily purchase qualified items from merchants and pay using funds from their benefit account. With the passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the list of eligible expenses for FSAs, HSAs and HRAs to include OTC drugs and medicines as well as menstrual care products. That means there now are thousands of additional qualifying healthcare items. This allows participants save even more money by using their pretax benefit funds to purchase these items instead of using out-of-pocket funds. When you know that U.S. households spend an average annual of $442 annually on OTC items1, you see how impactful the potential savings can be.

The expansion led the Special Interest Group for IIAS Standards (SIGIS) to release a list of over 20,000 newly eligible OTC items that should now be recognized as healthcare qualitied in merchant Point of Sale systems. With these additions, SIGIS now has over 109,000 items that are included as covered expenses.

The CARES Act was signed into law on March 27 and the change to include eligible over-the-counter expenses was made retroactive to January 1, 2020 meaning that expenses that were accrued since January 1 are eligible are reimbursable.

The TASC Card makes purchasing OTC items simple and quick because the card recognizes qualifying expenses for approval.  Should participants not use their TASC Card, receipts reimbursements can be submitted.

The CARES Act restores the ability to use HSAs, FSAs and HRAs to purchase certain OTC drugs and medications, like aspirin and other pain medications, allergy medication, etc., without a doctor’s prescription.

For the first time, menstrual care products are considered qualified medical expenses for payment or reimbursement with an HSA, FSA or HRA. Both provisions for OTC and menstrual products apply to amounts paid or expenses incurred on or after January 1, 2020 and are ongoing without an expiration date which means that at the end of 2020 this will continue and be available for those who need it.

What could this mean for you? Over the counter medications that would not have qualified previously are now eligible expenses on your My TASC card. Pain relievers, Athletic and orthopedic braces and supports, reading glasses, sunscreens with SPF 15 or higher and much more. It’s easier than ever to get the items you need and get reimbursed for them. Simply swipe your card and the OTC eligible items that are eligible will automatically be paid from your benefit funds.

As many of us start end of year planning, it’s important to point out that starting in 2020, a permanent increase for health FSA carryover has been implemented. Traditionally, this number was $500 but has been increased to $550. Stay tuned because we don’t believe this is the end of this carryover increase discussion. We expect a more realistic number could possibly be in the works that could really go a long way in helping with additional health expenses at the beginning of the year and allows more of your expenses to be utilized for additional qualifying expenses.  

Here at TASC we constantly monitor TASC Card activity for insights which improve a participant’s experience. TASC has observed an almost 100% increase in the number of approved TASC Card healthcare transactions at IIAS merchants which were not prescription related.  This increase occurred over a short time period as merchants updated their point-of-sale (POS) systems for the new items. 

The TASC Card and our TASC Mobile are just more examples of how we make benefits smart and easy. Benefits that feel like benefits.

For more information on the CARES Act and other COVID-19 related items check out TASCResponds.com. For specific information related to CARES Act and Over The Counter changes see our info sheet Here.

1- CHPA, “The Value of OTC Medicines to the U.S. Healthcare System”, March 2019.

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