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HSA Advance Feature - Employer Guide

Find out what the HSA advance feature is, how it works, and why it may be beneficial to offer to your employees.

What is the HSA advance feature?

Further®’s health savings account (HSA) advance feature provides account holders early access to HSA funds before routine employer contributions have been deposited into their account. It's a supplemental feature that can be added to any HSA product offered by Further®.

What are the HSA advance feature's benefits?

For employers, this feature can help with increasing employee adoption of HSAs, provide employees a safety net against early medical expenses, reduce the likelihood of employees delaying necessary care due to cost, and improve the overall benefits offered to employees.

For employees, it offers access to HSA funds before they've had the chance to build their balances through routine employer contributions. This provides a safety net in the event medical care is needed early in the year, decreasing the likelihood of delaying care due to costs. The feature also helps employees who are new to HSAs familiarize themselves with high-deductible health plans and the basics of how contributions work.

How does the HSA advance feature work for employers?

  • Employers will start by completing a plan design guide and an HSA advance feature group election form
  • Employees who wish to opt-in will enable HSA advance feature via the member portal; their first qualifying expense will trigger advance funds
  • The new HSA advance feature report will be available on the Group Portal displaying all employees who have enabled the HSA advance feature
  • Weekly claims reimbursement will be invoiced for the total advanced amount for the employee population and an ACH pull will pay for the invoiced HSA advances
  • Routine group contributions repay the employee’s advanced amount until funded balance is zero
  • Employers will be automatically renewed for the HSA advance feature at the new plan year. Employees must re-enroll for HSA advance feature for each new plan year.

How does the HSA advance feature work for employees?

  • Eligible employees enable the advance feature under settings within Further®’s member portal
  • The first eligible expense claim that exceeds the funded available balance triggers the HSA advance feature to cover expenses exceeding the funded available balance. This amount cannot exceed the available advance amount.
  • The employer's routine contributions throughout the year are applied to repaying the outstanding advance balance until the outstanding advance balance is zero
  • After the current plan year ends, if the employee wants to re-enable the feature for the new plan year, the employee must re-enroll in the HSA advance feature in the member portal

What are employer eligibility requirements for the HSA advance feature?

  • Employer must have their plan year operate on a calendar year basis (plan year starting January 1)
  • Employer must have ACH on file or set-up ACH with Further®
  • Employer must make employer contributions

How much does the HSA advance feature cost?

The HSA advance feature has a monthly participant fee of $1.50/participant. There is no implementation or annual maintenance fee.

How much can I offer in advanced funds to my employees?

Employers can offer up to, but not exceeding, the amount of their planned annual employer contribution

How do I opt my employee population into the HSA advance feature and enable advanced funding?

  • Employers offering a Further® HSA for the first time will need to complete a Plan Design Guide (PDG) and the HSA Advance Feature Group Election Form. Employers who have already completed a PDG only need to submit the HSA Advance Feature Election Form.
  • Once employers have submitted their PDG and the HSA Advance Feature Group Election Form, employers then need to submit an adjusted enrollment file that dictates the advance amount for each employee based on each individual employee’s coverage type and eligibility.

Do I have to offer the HSA advance feature to all my employees?

Yes, if you elect to offer the HSA advance feature, it must be available to your entire employee population. However, it is worth noting, that by making it available to all eligible employees, it does not mean all employees will necessarily enable the feature as it is optional for each eligible employee.

How do employees opt-in and get access to advanced funds?

  • Log-in to the member portal
  • Under “settings” select “Enable” for HSA advance feature
  • The first eligible expense exceeding the funded available balance will trigger advance funds to cover the expense

When do advanced funds become available for employees to use?

Once an employee has enabled the HSA advance feature within Further®'s member portal, HSA advance funds will be available immediately for them to use. Their first eligible expense claim submitted to their account will trigger advance funds to cover the cost of the expense.

What happens when an employee submits a claim before they have enough funds in their account? Will advance funds cover the claim?

If an employee has enabled Advance Feature within Further’s member portal and the claim exceeds the total funded balance available, the Advance funds will cover the claim.

How are HSA advance feature funds repaid after being used?

Future routine employer contributions to employees’ HSAs repay employees’ outstanding advanced amount.

Are HSA advanced funds a loan? How is it different from a loan?

No, HSA advance feature funds are not a loan. Loans are typically a financial agreement between an individual and a financial institution like a bank or credit union and typically carry an interest charge that must be paid back along with the principal amount of the loan. The HSA advance feature is an agreement between an employee and their employer and advanced funds carry no interest that must be repaid.

What happens if an employee leaves before repaying advanced funds?

If an employee terminates employment with their employer before repaying HSA advance funds in full, the employer is responsible for recovering any unpaid balances.