Author Topic: Fed Employee HSA (MHBP) - Where's the HSA?  (Read 837 times)

Blonde Lawyer

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Fed Employee HSA (MHBP) - Where's the HSA?
« on: January 07, 2022, 05:55:06 AM »
Hi Everyone,

It's been a long time since I've posted.  If this is more appropriate for the tax thread, just say so and I will move this.  We recently signed up for MHBP (insurance available to fed employees) and it comes with an HSA.  The language is confusing though.  Do I have to open up an HSA somewhere to link to it or do they open an account for me? When we signed up it said that we had to link an account but then it also said we would get information in the mail about our account which made it sound like we had a default one through them.

My husband is the federal employee and I manage the finances so it's not like I can just call up HR.  It seems like it is difficult for him to do so as well as there isn't a specific point person.  Anyway, I'm normally a very skilled googler but I just cant find this info.  The first paycheck w/ that contribution will be two weeks from now and I want to make sure everything is set up so there are no hiccups.  I can probably also call MHBP but it it's a bit unclear if they handle the HSA stuff or if OPM does.

Thanks everyone!

JJ-

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Re: Fed Employee HSA (MHBP) - Where's the HSA?
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2022, 07:06:33 AM »
Federal employee plans require providers to set up an HSA for you. If you Google MHBP HDHP 2022 brochure, OPM publishes all the info about the plan. It looks like payflex is their provider.

Note you can set up your own hsa but two things. One, the pass through goes to the HSA the provider establishes. Two, there are typically fees paid by the provider (monthly fees etc) that you may have to pay elsewhere.

Note if you contribute directly to the HSA without payroll deductions you do not get the payroll tax savings.

Peachtea

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Re: Fed Employee HSA (MHBP) - Where's the HSA?
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2022, 07:14:20 AM »
I have GEHA not MHBP, but the card and info comes in the mail and they set up the contributions on their end without you doing anything, even if you donít activate the card or register an account for awhile.

For my contributions, I signed up for those via my employee express portal. The nice thing is that you enter the account info yourself and can pick any HSA, not just the one you get in the mail. So I created my own HSA through Lively and enter the banking info for that account into employee express for my contributions. It looks like MHBP uses payflex. https://mhbp.com/frequently-asked-questions/ If you donít like their fees or investment options, I would look at creating an HSA with another company for your husband and sending your contributions there. I use the GEHA pass through contributions first (they use HSA Bank) so if I switch insurance later I wonít have to fiddle with multiple HSAs.

Depends on which agency your husband works for, but our first pay period of the year ended Jan 1. Weíre now on pay period 2 of 26. You might want to double check which pay period heís in if it will change the amount you want to contribute each paycheck, ie to max out the account.

Definitely call the insurance company with any questions not OPM. Each company has  their own HSA sub company. OPM wonít handle the HSA or payroll in general. Thereís other federal agencies that handle payroll for federal agencies, i.e. DOI Business or DFAS.

terran

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Re: Fed Employee HSA (MHBP) - Where's the HSA?
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2022, 09:54:38 AM »
For my contributions, I signed up for those via my employee express portal. The nice thing is that you enter the account info yourself and can pick any HSA, not just the one you get in the mail.

You're sure you get the FICA tax deduction when you contribute in this way? Usually you have to contribute to the HSA that the employer/insurance company partners with to avoid paying FICA on the contribution, so that's a great feature that most employers don't offer!

Blonde Lawyer, Lively is a great option for most of your HSA other than the employer contribution. Fidelity is the other great option. I have a slight preference for Fidelity since you can invest right there in the account (and I also have other accounts at Fidelity) as opposed to Lively which requires a transfer to a separate linked TD Ameritrade account.


Blonde Lawyer

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Re: Fed Employee HSA (MHBP) - Where's the HSA?
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2022, 10:16:41 AM »
Thanks for the info so far.  My husband and I set up the health insurance stuff together.  I'm the one with the health issues so super paranoid about getting something wrong and not being able to fix it for a year.  #Americanproblems.  We both wanted two eyes on the clicks.  When we chose our plan we also put in what we want for our contribution to the HSA.  We are maxing it out. 

As far as pay periods, he did get his first paycheck on 1/2 but that was for time worked through 12/31 which is why we thought it had dental still elected.  We got rid of it for this year.  Now I'm concerned that I shouldn't be seeing dental on this paystub.  It did have a deduction for our limited purpose FSA which we did not have last year but do this year.  Here's what I see for deductions. 

Taxes:
Fed Withholding
Fed MED/EE
Fed OASDI/EE

Before Tax Deductions:
Dental-Pre
LPFSA-Heal
FEHB PTax
TSPFERS EM

After Tax Deductions:
Basic Life
OPT B ADLF
OPT C Fam
OPTASTD10
FERS-HAZ

Employer Paid Benefits:
FEHB PTax
Basic Life
TSPFERS EM
FERS-HAZ
TSP 1%

I appreciate the help! Is the HSA on there?

Edit to add: I have received our insurance cards from MHBP so I at least know we signed up for that correctly.  We haven't received anything yet in the mail about our HSA or LPFSA.

« Last Edit: January 08, 2022, 06:46:32 PM by Blonde Lawyer »

Blonde Lawyer

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Re: Fed Employee HSA (MHBP) - Where's the HSA?
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2022, 10:31:05 AM »
And yes, my goal is to leave it and invest it and use other income to pay for health expenses.  We'll save the receipts of course so we can use the money when needed.  I'm hoping to get the long term benefit of investing it for awhile.

JJ-

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Re: Fed Employee HSA (MHBP) - Where's the HSA?
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2022, 11:18:05 AM »
For my contributions, I signed up for those via my employee express portal. The nice thing is that you enter the account info yourself and can pick any HSA, not just the one you get in the mail.

You're sure you get the FICA tax deduction when you contribute in this way? Usually you have to contribute to the HSA that the employer/insurance company partners with to avoid paying FICA on the contribution, so that's a great feature that most employers don't offer!

Blonde Lawyer, Lively is a great option for most of your HSA other than the employer contribution. Fidelity is the other great option. I have a slight preference for Fidelity since you can invest right there in the account (and I also have other accounts at Fidelity) as opposed to Lively which requires a transfer to a separate linked TD Ameritrade account.

I use EEX and am confident that the FICA is not applied. For my plan I withheld $5400 the last few years to the non sponsored plan HSA and it was reported in box 12 code W. It is indeed a sweet deal.

Now that GEHA waived the $1k minimum cash balance with health equity I am back using health equity (the sponsored HSA) for my contributions. However I don't know much about the MHBP plan HSA.

Peachtea

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Re: Fed Employee HSA (MHBP) - Where's the HSA?
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2022, 04:15:19 PM »
So your husbands agency is one of the odd ball ones that does itís own thing - has itís own portal etc. I donít see HSA contributions on there. It seems unusual to have one new election, the FSA, be on there but also still have last years dental election. But his agency has its own special FSA program so maybe that election follows a different effective date than FEHB elections. Does the health insurance rate (FEHB PTax) match this years rate for the plan you selected? Might be worth a call to HR to figure out what should have taken effect in that paycheck.

Blonde Lawyer

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Re: Fed Employee HSA (MHBP) - Where's the HSA?
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2022, 05:23:54 PM »
I don't know why I didn't think to compare premiums! The health insurance premium is our old one, BCBS Basic.  Since that matches w/ the dental being the old one and I already have my MHBP cards so I know I was enrolled, I'll wait until next paycheck before I get worried.  I'm also pretty sure we got mail from the former dental company confirming we cancelled.

I'll also try making an account for my husband on PayFlex. I had read the whole giant plan document but I didn't realize PayFlex would be the account holder.  I guess I just assumed that was the name of one of his many internal websites for benefits. 

Thank you so much!!

charis

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Re: Fed Employee HSA (MHBP) - Where's the HSA?
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2022, 07:50:37 AM »
I don't know why I didn't think to compare premiums! The health insurance premium is our old one, BCBS Basic.  Since that matches w/ the dental being the old one and I already have my MHBP cards so I know I was enrolled, I'll wait until next paycheck before I get worried.  I'm also pretty sure we got mail from the former dental company confirming we cancelled.

I'll also try making an account for my husband on PayFlex. I had read the whole giant plan document but I didn't realize PayFlex would be the account holder.  I guess I just assumed that was the name of one of his many internal websites for benefits. 

Thank you so much!!

You won't see the new medical/dental changes until the next paycheck.  If memory serves, when you are new to an HSA plan or switch to a new plan, it takes a couple of pay periods for contributions to start.  A few years ago, I switched to a new plan with a different HSA provider and there was a lag in contributions, but I think they adjusted the numbers automatically to account for the lag.

Blonde Lawyer

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Re: Fed Employee HSA (MHBP) - Where's the HSA?
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2022, 05:41:35 AM »
Thanks! Oddly, I got into PayFlex last pay period and there was $200 but nothing on the paystub.  This most recent paystub fixed premiums (no more dental, etc) but had no contributions and PayFlex is still at $200.  We emailed PayFlex but haven't heard back.  We were going to call tomorrow but I think we will give it another pay period and see then.

 

Wow, a phone plan for fifteen bucks!