Background regarding the recent issues with the 2017 HRA Accounts

Background regarding the recent issues with the 2017 HRA Accounts

  • FCA told the NCRO that it had been assured by WW that no claims filed in 2016 would be swept into 2017 for payment.  Just like with YSA in past.
  • This is different, we understand, from other WW clients — as they allow old claims to be paid with new money.  It’s the employer’s choice.
  • BC sent WW the extra 2017 HRA deposit — but for only about 90% of retirees, we were told by FCA
  • WW recorded the erroneous double deposit and then processed the reimbursements, when the HRA balances were overstated
  • The reimbursements from WW actually did include the un-reimbursed 2016 claims that had been filed or were set up for automatic reimbursement

When the NCRO and FCA learned about the errors

  • The 2017 HRA deposits were recorded by WW on January 9
  • The NCRO received an email about the higher-than-expected deposits and higher-than-should-be balances the morning of Jan 10
  • That morning was the NCRO monthly phone meeting and an Insurance Committee member read his email from WW about his reimbursement
  • He was shocked at the high deposit and huge balance, so he checked his WW account on line and saw the entries.
  • The IC member wrote an email to our FCA HR contact during the call and also phoned the rep and told her about the errors.
  • She had gotten a call from an employee she said (maybe one who knew a retiree?) about the double deposit  — and the NCRO’s call.  Neither WW nor BC had contacted FCA at that point.
  • FCA was caught by surprise at that point on both of the WW and BC on both issues —the double deposit and the paying of the un-reimbursed 2016 claims.

BC and WW corrections – and another error

  • On about January 11, BC sent WW the offsetting debit to the accounts to correct the double HRA deposit amount
  • WW told FCA that no retiree received more that the proper reimbursement amount — i.e., there were no excessive reimbursements from the HRAs
  • On January 15, the NCRO received communication about one who received $4k+ from his HRA, and the NCRO sent that to FCA HR because it was over  $3725
  • Our contact followed up with WW and then advised the NCRO the 18th that WW had actually paid 400+ retirees more than the proper HRA reimbursement
  • There are about 13,000 retirees and surviving spouses with HRA accounts, we understand
  • WW began on January 19 emailing and mailing a notice to the 400+ about the required repayment.  WW will also phone each one. They are required by law to collect – that is a rule of the IRS because it’s a tax-free payment.  FCA provided copy of the notice to the NCRO.

NCRO’s communications to its members: 

  • By emails and mailings and on its website, as well as at the January 18 Quarterly Meeting, the NCRO has kept its members informed and will continue to do so