How about no one accept the HSA card unless the insurance company pays
the transaction fee -- essentially if no one takes it then its useless
to the insurance company. Another problem is there is probably small
print in this that will force you to take amex regular for copays --
again giving someone else more of your money. this of course coming
from the guy who is of the opinion that taking credit cards is a mistake
in the first place.
Daniel I. Schwartz wrote:
> Here's a bit of an update on the American Express Healthpay Plus Card
> to follow up some private correspondence I'd had on this HSA card.
> This information is of general interest.
> To summarize what I am talking about... this is the card that Horizon
> BC of NJ and Empire BC of NY are providing their members to access
> the funds in their HSAs. Of course this only affects you if you take
> these plans and take AMEX but it may apply in to other plans.
> The card works like this:
> The patient comes to the office. You bill them and swipe their card
> for the FULL price of the visit.
> The funds for this visit are credited to your bank the next business day.
> Several days later the process is reversed. The funds are debited
> from your bank account. You receive notification of this by mail a
> few days after that.
> The managed care company adjudicates the claim and notifies AMEX as to
> the discounted price.
> AMEX credits your bank account MINUS their fee. You are notified by
> mail several days later.
> There are several problems with this but the primary problem is...
> they are currently charging their transaction fee on the ORIGINAL
> swipe, and then AGAIN on the repriced transaction. The usual AMEX fee
> is 3%. Since your posted price may be half again as much or more....
> they are effectively taking 8-9% of the final payment.
> I spoke with the department in American Express Merchant Services that
> manages this card and they had someone in the Product Development team
> for the Healthpay Plus card call me back. This person was unaware
> this was taking place and stated it was not their intention to charge
> a transaction fee on the initial swipe. He is looking into this
> situation and will get back to me. If anyone is using this card in
> this manner you should keep track of the totals and check if this has
> occurred after the problem is fixed.
> The reason the card is swiped in the first place is twofold. The
> first is that a hold is put on the account for the amount charged so
> that the member can not exhaust those funds elsewhere. If there are
> not sufficient funds available I presume you would know it then. The
> second function is to trigger the direct payment. You still submit
> your HCFA as previously but the card swipe means you don't have to
> bill the patient when the EOB returns.
> I discussed a few other concerns with the Product Development
> representative. My other gripe is that the transaction fee is
> deducted from the payment. I may be wrong but I doubt many systems
> have a place to account for that fee in when posting insurance
> payments. He is looking into the possibility of charging the fees
> separately in bulk with a statement.
> Does anyone have any other thoughts?
> This message is from PEDTALK - a Pediatric Focused email discussion