Card issuers and issuer processors enable plan administrators to offer FSA/HRA debit card programs to employer clients. Any issuer or issuer processor using the SIGIS Technical Specification to process IIAS transactions or 90% Rule exceptions is required to be a SIGIS member. Additionally, issuers and issuer processors play an important role in supporting plan administrators with support when FSA/HRA cardholders have questions about card purchases at participating merchants. Plan Administrators support programs to the respective employer and the respective plan participants.
Membership in SIGIS offers issuers and plan administrators access to the following programs:
The SIGIS Specification outlines the requirements needed for merchants, acquirers, processors, card issuers and plan administrators to support an IIAS.
The SIGIS List is a valuable resource in the development of plan criteria for identifying eligible products. The SIGIS List represents a unique tool that provides an industry-vetted list of eligible products that can be used in the administration of FSA/HRA card programs. See the Eligible Product List Criteria publication for more information.
SIGIS actively engages with the IRS and Treasury Department on rules impacting the use of health benefit cards. SIGIS has led efforts to clarify item eligibility and changes required by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Offering FSA/HRA cardholders the opportunity to use their cards at registered 90% Rule merchants is a great way to increase the convenience and usability of an FSA/HRA card program. It is noted that transactions at 90% Rule stores are not auto-substantiated and plan administrators will need to follow their policies for substantiation of such purchases, most likely asking cardholders to forward their sales receipts. Visit the 90% Rule Merchant Attestation for more information.
SIGIS provides additional support through our Help Desk that is available to answer any questions regarding the programs listed above.
As a paid Member of SIGIS in good standing, a merchant is able to confirm the status of its SIGIS 90% Registration or IIAS Certification status by visiting the Publications page.
Please note that the 90% Merchant list is updated each Monday morning and the IIAS Merchant list is published at 5 am PST each business day..
No. A merchant is not required to implement an IIAS; however, FSA/HRA card issuers will not be able to approve FSA/HRA card transactions when a merchant does not support an IIAS. If you are a merchant and choose not to implement an IIAS, you do not need take additional steps. Merchants that are pharmacies/drug stores and primarily sell prescriptions and medical items may qualify under the IRS rules as a “90% Rule” merchant. See the 90% Rule Merchant FAQs for more information.
For merchants that would like to accept the FSA/HRA cards from their customers, the IRS requires Merchants selling health care eligible products to support an Inventory Information Approval System (IIAS). The IIAS system is a combination of inventory management and point-of-sale systems that can verify the health care eligibility of items purchased with an FSA or HRA debit card, generate a payment transaction that contains the required IIAS information, and includes an information archive system that allows the merchant to respond to an IRS audit(s) as required. As noted above, for Drug Stores / Pharmacies where 90% of the sales on a store-by-store basis qualify as FSA-eligible, a 90% Rule registration program is an alternative option.
Merchants have the option to not become a Member of SIGIS by establishing their own IIAS standards or 90% Rule Exemption and working with third-party plan administrators individually.
With the IIAS Certification developed by SIGIS, a non-profit standards organization, a broad range of participating merchants have been able to implement a solution that is recognized industry-wide, which enables acceptance of most FSA/HRA payment cards. Likewise, third-party plan administrators have implemented a common set of procedures that are applied to IIAS transactions at participating merchants.