Tips for using the Debit Card

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Using your MySource FSA debit card can be a great advantage because for the first time, it allows you to access your money without having to come out-of-pocket twice. What does that mean? Well, first you payroll deduct money into the general FSA account. (This is the first Out Of Pocket) Then traditionally when you had a medical expense, you had to pay for that expense out-of-pocket (that’s the second OOP). Only then could you submit the receipts for reimbursement of the second out of pocket expense. By using the debit card properly, you payroll deduct into the FSA account (one out-of-pocket), and then when there is an eligible expense, you simply swipe the debit card to pay for that expense. That’s it, no need to wait for reimbursement.

Using the FSA debit cards has always been complex as the technology is emergent and developing even now. The IRS has solidified guidelines for using FSA debit cards, and these guidelines are difficult to understand and a bit cumbersome in practice at times. We’re constantly working to make the process simpler for you.

After June 30, 2009 the debit cards will work only at approved providers, so some locations, especially smaller retailers are no longer able to accept your FSA debit card. Most of the national retailers are already on-line with the system known as the IIAS and others are scrambling to make the deadline. When you use your FSA debit card at one of these merchants, the card will actually be able to approve the items at the point-of-purchase. So for items purchased at these retailers, submitting a receipt in most cases will not be necessary to substantiate your expenses. It is always a good idea to hold onto all receipts for which you are using the debit card as the IRS on occasion may request them at some future date.

The cards cannot determine the eligibility of all services and items in this way, and when this occurs, we will notify you by e-mail that we need further documentation to substantiate that your expenses are eligible. When you get that e-mail it is simply letting you know we need to review the expense. The provider has been paid, so no need to worry about that. At this point it is only a review of your expense. To do this we need to see what the expense was for. We cannot use the little credit card receipts in most cases as we need something documenting the:

  1. Date of Services
  2. Person who incurred the expense
  3. Description of services or items
  4. the patient responsibility (your charge)

If the expense went through your insurance company in many cases you can download an EOB which details all the relevant information we need to process your swipe.

The MySourceCard  is like a debit card that you can use to pay for specific eligible expenses without having to come out-of-pocket at the point-of-purchase. For the most part it works like a normal debit card. It is tied to the account that your employer has established, and gives you access to those funds immediately for certain expenses. Each provider that accepts MasterCard is assigned a Merchant Category Code. Each time you use your MySourceCard, the merchant sends over a “Merchant Category Code” to the bank. This code tells the banking computers that this merchant is a retailer or provider of eligible expenses and services. There are over 500 of these MCC codes, but your card is customized to work with the codes that are valid for your specific plan.The card is set so that it can recognize the difference between eligible and non eligible providers. For example the card will work when swiped at an IIAS approved pharmacy, but not at a movie theater. The Merchant Category Codes (MCCs) are chosen by the provider to describe their business. In certain circumstances, a provider does not use an MCC that is recognized as eligible. Unfortunately we do not have the discretion to tell the providers how to code themselves, but if they are using an MCC that is not recognized, then the card will not work there. The design of your company plan determines the types of providers and retailers who will qualify. The reason the cards are so specific as to where and for what the cards can be used is to avoid ineligible swipes. If the card is used for something determined to be ineligible, that money must be returned to the account that the debit cards pull from.

Two important things to note, is that even though this card is in fact a debit card:

  1. There is no PIN
  2. It must be run through as a credit card and not a debit card.

It is very important to make sure that we have a current e-mail address that you check regularly to ensure that you are being notified of the card transactions. Whenever your card is swiped you should get an e-mail notification that your card was used, where it was used and the amount of the swipe. This is for security and also identity theft protection so that you know every time your card is used. If a swipe goes through the system and our software cannot match the expense to any of your insurance co-pay amounts, the system will send a second e-mail to the address we have on file for you. This e-mail notifies you that we were not able to match this expense to a co-pay amount, and it also did not match an IIAS approval code, so the swipe could not automatically adjudicate. This means that the card cannot tell what you purchased and if it is eligible. The IRS requires that every claim be independently adjudicated, either automatically at the point-of-purchase, or done manually in our offices.

Since the card cannot determine if this expense is valid or not, the system is requesting that we have a human look at that claim. To do this we need a receipt or provider statement showing the date of service, the nature of the services rendered, the costs for the services, and the providers name and address to determine if everything is in line with IRS guidelines. We ask that you fill out a claim form and submit that with your statement, receipt, or EOB so that we can review the expense. The second e-mail notification that you receive will alert you to the need to send in your receipts and claim form.

If it turns out that the swipe was for eligible services and/or items then we notify the bank that the swipe was in fact valid and ask that they “clear” the swipe. If we review the statement and the expenses are not valid under the guidelines of your plan, we will contact you directly to let you know that you will have to pay this money back into the plan. We also send notification to your HR department so that they are aware that you will be bringing in reimbursement for an ineligible swipe. We will not discuss the nature of the swipe in any manner with your employer. Your private health information is just that – private.

If it turns out that the expenses were ineligible, we will work with you to get the transaction resolved quickly to avoid any interruption in benefits. The next section covers this in more detail.

No one expects you to know every Section 213(d) eligible expense, and you may swipe the card for an expense that the IRS has not included in their list. The cards are set up to try to avoid the chance of ineligible swipes, but on occasion these accidents do happen. If you’ve used your card for an expense and it turns out that this expense was not eligible under the guidelines of your plan? You can pay that money back into the account that the debit cards pull from with an understanding that you cannot receive a tax-favored status for that item or service. When you do this, that money again becomes available to you for future eligible expenses.There are several ways to pay this money back into the plan.

  1. Login to your account on the Secure Website. Once logged in, click on the tab with the debit card icon that looks like this.
  2. Then click on Repay My Employer and follow the prompts. This “clears” your swipe and reactivates your card (if it had been turned off for failure to pay in a timely manner).
  3. Bring a personal check or cash payment for the ineligible amount into your HR office.
  4. Ask HR to see if you can make an after-tax payroll deduction.

Once we’ve received notification of the re-payment we clear the swipe from your account, credit those funds back into your available balance and if necessary reactivate your cards. If you use option 2 or 3 we will do these manually in our office and the card will be ready to use the next business day following notification to our offices of your request. If you use option 1 above and do it yourself at the website all these things happen automatically and you won’t have to wait for the card to become active again.