Consumer Option FAQs

Section Banner Image

Consumer Option FAQs

Experience all that Consumer Option has to offer when you use the information here to help you understand and use your benefits and health savings account (HSA). There is a lot to know and do to help your Consumer Option benefits work best for you. 

If you have any questions, please contact one of our Consumer Option Specialists at 1-800-694-9901 - day or night 24/7, except major holidays.

This is a summary of the Mail Handlers Benefit Plan Consumer Option. For a complete description of benefits, please see the official Plan brochure (RI 71-016). All benefits are subject to definitions, limitations and exclusions set forth in the official Plan brochure.

1. HSA Basics

Learn more about HSA.

2. Activating Your HSA

In order for MHBP to make the Plan contribution, you will need to establish your health savings account (HSA).  To set up your account, you should have received an HSA Enrollment Form as part of your Welcome Kit.  Complete this form and return it to the address provided on the form.  Once returned,  you will receive your HSA Debit Visa card.  To access your HSA account information online, you will need to sign into My Online Services to access HealthEquity and follow the registration procedures.

3. Contributions to Your HSA

MHBP will contribute up to $900 for Self Only coverage, or up to $1,800 for Self Plus One and Self and Family coverage per year to your HSA.

Plan contributions are made in monthly installments of $75 for Self Only coverage, or $150 for Self Plus One and Self and Family coverage, for each month you are enrolled in Consumer Option and eligible for an HSA.

You can also make tax-deductible contributions to your HSA. Your contribution may be made in one lump sum at the beginning of the coverage year, or incrementally throughout the course of the coverage year. Your eligible family members may also contribute to the HSA on your behalf.

  • For 2016, you may make a contribution to your HSA, up to $2,450 for Self Only, or $4,950 for Self Plus One or Self and Family.
  • For 2017, you may make a contribution to your HSA, up to $2,500 for Self Only, or $4,950 for Self Plus One or Self and Family.

The maximum annual contributions to your HSA (plan contributions and your contributions combined) are:

  • For 2016, $3,350 for Self Only, or $6,750 for Self Plus One and Self and Family.
  • For 2017, $3,400 for Self Only, or $6,750 for Self Plus One and Self and Family.

These amounts may change in future years.

Please note - you are responsible for keeping track of your contribution totals, which must not exceed the IRS limit.  We recommend reviewing IRS Publication 969 for additional information about funding your HSA.

4. HSA Account and Bank Routing Numbers

To determine your 12-digit HSA account number, you can reference your account statement or log in to My Online Services  where you can access your statement online. The routing number for your HSA is available online. You should use these numbers when depositing funds into your account.

5. Accessing Your HSA Funds

You may access funds in your HSA for qualified medical expenses in two ways:

  • Using your MHBP HealthEquity Debit Card
  • HSA Withdrawal Form (obtain from HealthEquity)

6. How to use your MHBP HealthEquity Visa Debit Card

You have the freedom to spend your HSA on the qualified medical expenses that you consider are most important to you.

  • Once you have returned your banking paperwork and your HSA has been established, you will receive your Visa Debit card.
  • You can use your Visa debit card at the pharmacy to pay for prescription drugs. HSA funds – when available – will be automatically withdrawn from the HSA when you present your card at the pharmacy counter.
  • When you get a medical bill from a health care provider, please allow for the provider to bill the insurance prior to providing your HSA debit card information to pay your bill.  This will allow for any discounts to be applied to your services before you make a payment.  Also, depending on how your HSA account is set up, We will either pay the provider directly from your HSA after any applicable discounts are applied, or leave the choice to you  whether to use your HSA or other funds. Your doctor's office will typically send you a statement after the insurance discount has been applied to advise of you outstanding balance (if any). 
  • As the account holder, it is your responsibility to make sure that your HSA disbursements are for qualified medical expenses to be eligible for tax-free treatment.
    Please note – You have the ability to withdraw funds at any time for any reason subject to any specific rules related to the use of the debit card that the HSA bank or the Plan may impose.
    If you withdraw money for items other than qualified health expenses, it will be subject to income tax and – if you are under 65 years old – an additional 20% penalty tax on the amount withdrawn.

7. Qualified Medical Expenses

You may use the funds in your HSA to pay for qualified medical expenses.

For your convenience, we have included a handy list of some of the most common qualified expenses.

For complete detailed information, refer to “IRS Publication 502 – Medical and Dental Expenses,” Catalog number 15002Q.

When you incur expenses for qualified medical expenses not covered by the MHBP Consumer Option HDHP, such as dental care, you may submit a Withdrawal Form to the address provided on the form.

8. HSAs and FSAs

OPM offers a Limited Expense Health Care Flexible Spending Account (LEX HCFSA) for employees in FEHB high deductible health plans (HDHP) with a health savings account (HSA).

  • The Limited Expense Health Care Flexible Spending Account (LEX HCFSA) is for eligible dental and vision expenses only.
  • HSA enrollees are not eligible for general health care flexible spending accounts (HCFSA), according to Section 125 of the Internal Revenue Code. However, you can have both an HSA and a limited purpose HCFSA.
  • With the LEX HCFSA, HSA enrollees will be able to set aside pre-tax FSA dollars for dental and vision services, just as non-HSA enrollees can.

For further information, visit the OPM website.


9. Health Reimbursement Arrangements

If you are not eligible to establish an HSA, the Plan will provide you with a Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA).

  • At the start of the Plan year, the MHBP will credit your HRA with up to $900 for Self Only coverage or $1,800 for Self Plus One or Self and Family.  These amounts may be prorated for mid-year enrollments.
    Please note – enrollee contributions to an HRA are not permitted.
  • These funds can be used to pay for any of your health-related expenses, such as office visits, deductibles and prescription drugs.
  • When you or a health care provider submit a claim to the Plan for qualified medical expenses, funds will automatically be withdrawn from your HRA and sent to you or your provider as payment.
  • Likewise, when you purchase prescription drugs from a retail pharmacy, funds will automatically be withdrawn from your HRA at the time of purchase to cover out-of-pocket expenses such as deductibles and copayments.
  • Once your HRA has a zero balance, you will be required to pay for covered medical and/or pharmacy related services until you reach your deductible.
  • Remember, you will save money – and the funds in your HRA will go further – when you receive care from network providers and use generic medications.
  • When you incur expenses for services not covered by MHBP Consumer Option, such as orthodontia and Medicare premiums, you may submit a Reimbursement Request to the address provided on the form. 

 Adobe Reader

To view and print PDF files, download and install the latest version of Adobe Reader.