With only a few short weeks left in the year, coupled with the business of the holiday season, it's easy to lose track of your benefit accounts. We've created a year-end checklist for our plan participants to ensure that you maximize your benefits, and close the year with confidence.
1. Log into your account. This might seem obvious, but if you haven't recently, you should log into your account at northcoastadmin.wealthcareportal.com to check your account balance, and to make sure you don't have any outstanding requests, such as submitting any receipts or EOBs from claims or transactions earlier in the year.
Tip: Did you know? If you don't want to log into your account to check your balance, you can text BAL to 97487. You will receive a text with your balance for each benefit that you are enrolled in.
2. Check to see if your employer offers a Grace Period or Carry Over Provision. Many employers provide plan participants with a "cushion" so they do not forfeit funds remaining in their accounts at the end of the plan year. Employers can either offer a 2.5 month extension after the plan year to incur claims, or a carry over option where up to $550 of remaining funds will carry over to the next plan year, in addition to the new plan year election.
3. Know the last day to submit claims, or swipe your debit card. Even if your employer does not offer the Grace Period or Carry Over, you most likely have a run out period during which you can submit claims from the prior plan year. In general, a run out period is 90 days after the plan end date (*this may vary by employer). The run out period allows participants to submit claims that they incurred during the plan year. For example, if your plan year runs from January 1st through December 31st, your run out period could close on March 30th. This means participants can submit claims through March 30th, that were incurred any time from January 1st through December 31st. If your employer does not offer the Grace Period or Carry Over, you will need to swipe your debit card prior to the close of the plan year in order for the funds to be taken from your account for the correct plan year. Check the last day to submit claims by logging into the participant portal to see these important dates.
Tip: Don't wait until the last minute to submit manual claims! Give yourself plenty of time to provide additional information if it is requested (such as a detailed receipt or EOB). This will help to ensure that your claim is approved, and you do not lose the remaining funds in your account.
4. Make a plan. Do you have expenses that you know you'll incur before the plan year closes? Great! Make sure to swipe your card or submit you claims before the last day for submittal. Not sure how to use your remaining funds? Don't forget! Over-the-
counter drugs, medications, and menstrual care products are now considered eligible items for FSA and HSA funds without a prescription. With this change, there are over 17,000 newly eligible products to spend your funds on.
Tip: This ruling is effective back to January 1, 2020. You can submit claims for these items that you've incurred back to that date. Be sure to submit your receipt!
5. Get shopping! Still not sure where or how to spend your last remaining funds? Don't waste a dollar. Check out the NCA Marketplace. The NCA Marketplace is a feature available within the NCA Wealthcare Portal, that curates a wide range FSA- and HSA-eligible products and services employees can purchase using their health benefit account funds.
Marketplace partners provide a wide variety of offerings, from ov
er-the-counter products and medical services to hearing aids, vision care, and dental health solutions. You can also check out FSA Store and HSA Store to get inspiration for items that you might not realize are eligible.
Remember, any unclaimed funds that do not roll over will be forfeited. Log into your account today to make sure you don't waste one dollar!