SIGIS was started in 2007 as an informal industry forum called the IIAS Standards Interest Group to develop a voluntary industry standard solution to meet requirements established by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for an inventory information approval system (an “IIAS”). This standard enables Flexible Spending Account (FSA) and Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) debit cards to be accepted at participating merchants by communicating the dollar amount of eligible health care items to their benefit plan administrator for approval.
In December 2007, the IIAS Standards Interest Group incorporated as SIGIS: Special Interest Group for IIAS Standards. And in January 2008, the SIGIS standard was launched, enabling merchants to meet the new IRS requirements. In addition to the technical standard, SIGIS also initiated a merchant certification for support of its IIAS Standard and made the SIGIS Eligible Product List available for use by Member merchants and benefit plan administrators.
In 2009, SIGIS added a new 90% Rule service to enable drug stores and pharmacies to self-register if they met the IRS requirement that 90% of a store’s gross receipts consists of items which qualify as medical expenses. Once registered, SIGIS communicates information about 90% Rule merchants to issuer processors and benefit plan administrators to enable approval of FSA/HRA card transactions at these drug stores and pharmacies.
Download a copy of the SIGIS Backgrounder.
SIGIS Mission and Goals
To advance the interests and objectives of SIGIS members, by fostering the adoption and growth of common standards meeting legislative and regulatory requirements to facilitate acceptance of health benefit payment cards.
SIGIS Strategic Goals
Goal 1: Provide standard industry solutions that are both scalable and broadly adoptable, while consistent with legislative and regulatory requirements.
Goal 2: Promote the role and value of SIGIS to its Members and other stakeholders, including consumers and applicable regulatory authorities.
Goal 3: Provide effective channels of communication and involvement by Members in SIGIS standards and other programs.
Goal 4: Ensure that SIGIS demonstrates leadership and is seen as a key resource meeting the needs of its Membership.