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High Deductable Health Plan and HSA New York

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  • High Deductable Health Plan and HSA New York

    Hey All,

    Short version: If I wasn't told I was eligible to participate in X and incur expenses because of my employer (or their agents) what recourse do I have?

    Longer version: I work for a small software company in upstate New York. I'm not sure of the complete structure of the company but effectively Boss and Spouse own the company (which is incorporated). There are 6 employees (8 including Boss and Spouse) and a few offsite contractors (which I believe receive a 1099 from them so they probably don't count on this question). I am full time and work at LEAST 40 hours a week and have done so since September of last year. I do not have a time card of any sort... overtime is not paid to me. (As opposed to one of the employees that is hourly and does have a timesheet and gets overtime)

    Effective 1/1/06 the company switched to a High Deductable Health Plan.
    The 10cent description of this is "If you are generally healthy, and want to save for retirement you get a HDHP, then put the money that you save from your premium into a Health Savings Account. This HSA contribution is an above the line tax deduction like an IRA, and like an IRA you do not lose the money at the end of the year and can access it penalty free when you are old enough. In addition you can pay for current medical expenses with your HSA money."

    In effect you get a lot of out of pocket expenses (high deductable) BUT you get to write them off as tax deductions.

    I was diagnosed diabetic in April and so not only don't I fall under the 'Generally Healthy' anymore. At that point I did not know about the HSA so I just saw that I had a HUGE deductable and lots of looming expenses. (I know... I know... before I saw only the savings and thought I was invincible). I did my own research and found out that the HDHP is supposed to go hand in hand with the HSA. When I confronted my employer she said that she knew nothing about the HSA since her broker hadn't told her. Even though some of my research was from paperwork SHE had (but hadn't read).

    The US Treasury web page on HSAs is black and white, you cannot write off expenses incurred before the HSA was opened even if you were eligible to contribute at the time. So I've lost spent close to $4000 out of pocket (or will by the end of the month including doctor's visits, testing supplies, medications, eduction classes and the like) and I can't deduct ANY of it.

    The complicating problem is that the Broker that sold the HDHP to my boss isn't returning our calls, and the one time I did speak with him a couple weeks ago he "wasn't in the office" and would need to get me the paperwork when he was. I've TRIED to find a financial institution that offers an HSA "to the public" and they all say "We don't have that, talk to the company that gave you the HDHP" and that company (Blue Cross Blue Shield) says "We aren't a bank... we don't offer financial products"

    What recourse do I have? Against my employer? On one hand they didn't do "due diligance" in finding out about our eligibility, they just blindly seized on the cheapest plan without finding out why its cheap or reading any of the provided documents. On the other hand... Against the broker? he's going to say he wasn't asked about that and even then he provided the paperwork... but he isn't returning our calls. I'm the only employee on the plan (besides the Boss and Spouse, since all the other employees are on THEIR spouse's plans) So I don't have anyone to pull for me...

    Thanks in advance!

    Matt
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