Benefit E-ssentials

A set of Solutions for COBRA, ACA tracking and reporting and Spending Accounts. 

With Benefit E-ssentials You Can Expect:

High Touch Service

The Benefit E-ssentials team makes a difference for you and your employees by ensuring compliance, simplifying complexity, saving you time and money, and maximizing your employee benefits offerings.

  • 20+ years providing COBRA/Spending Account solutions
  • 10+ years providing ACA support
  • Colleagues with a combined 180+ years in the industry

Day to Day Administration

We save you time by handing the administration, communications, and reporting through cost-effective support that protects you from potential financial penalties.

  • Direct-to-participant communications, robust employee portals and mobile app
  • 24/7 IVR access to balance and claims details, with full service call center during business hours
  • Pre-paid debit card for spending accounts services

Compliance Support

As regulations change, it’s more important than ever that employers stay atop of new requirements to protect their organizations from risk and financial penalties.

  • In-house Compliance Center of Excellence (COE) with ERISA attorneys
  • E-Newsletter Alerts for Changing Legislation
  • Real-time tracking and reporting for all services

Communication and Technology Resources

  • Strategic support from dedicated specialists
  • Best-in-class employer service and employee experience
  • Comprehensive employer reporting
  • Service guarantees and robust employer portal
  • Debit card to access funds
  • Online portal for account management
  • Mobile account access
  • Fast and accurate claims processing
  • Superior service
  • Access to valuable decision-support and health education resources to help employees make informed choices

COBRA, Spending Accounts and ACA Reporting: 


Navigating COBRA regulations is challenging, time-consuming, and mistakes are costly. Our team eliminates the administrative burden to save you time and money while keeping you compliant. Our COBRA team supports you with their combined knowledge of more than 120 years of industry experience, using leading technology to manage eligibility, enrollment, communications, and reporting—backed by our in-house team of compliance specialists. We provide the tools, services, and support to help you avoid penalties, and to simplify COBRA administration for your employees and human resources team.



Spending Account plans are an important part of a well-designed benefits package, helping you and your employees limit rising benefits costs by using pre-tax dollars. MMA’s spending accounts specialists have a combined 160+ years of industry experience helping employers design these flexible programs to ensure you have the right plans in place to meet your objectives and support your employees, while providing the administrative support needed to keep you in compliance. Regulatory changes can make program management difficult in the day-to-day operations of all that an HR team manages. Let us take the lead and take the burden off your desk. Our mobile app, single debit card, and call center give your employees freedom, flexibility, and support, while we manage the financials, reporting, communications and compliance. We offer administration of:

  • Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
  • Health Savings Account (HSA)
  • Health Reimbursement Account (HRA)
  • Commuter Reimbursement Account (CRA)
  • Tuition Reimbursement Account (TRA)
  • COVID-19 Care Card

Click here to read our white paper,
HSAs and why you should change the retirement strategy


Our dedicated team of ACA specialists can help guide you through the complexities of the ACA and put the right tools in place to ensure that you are compliant including.

  • IRC Sections 6055, 6056 Reporting
  • Look-Back Measurement Period Calculations
  • Form W-2 Reporting
  • Summary of Benefits and Coverage Participation
  • Automatic Enrollment
  • Employee Notice of Exchange Distribution

Frequently Asked Questions:

Spending Accounts

1. How does an FSA work?

With an FSA, employees elect to have their annual contribution (up to the limit set by the IRS) deducted from their paychecks each pay period, in equal installments throughout the year, until they reach the yearly maximum they have specified. The amount of their pay that goes into an FSA will not count as taxable income, so they will have immediate tax savings. FSA dollars can be used during the plan year to pay for qualified expenses and services. And at the end of the year, employees can roll over up to $550 of their contribution to the next plan year, provided your plan allows this.

 2. What types of Spending Accounts/Reimbursement Accounts services do you provide?

  • Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
    • HCRA
    • DCRA
    • Limited Purpose
  • Health Savings Account (HSA)
  • Health Reimbursement Account (HRA)
  • Commuter Reimbursement Account (CRA)
  • Tuition Reimbursement Account (TRA)
  • MMA COVID Card
  • Wellness Reimbursements

3. How can employers ensure their Spending Account Plans are in compliance?

As an FSA administrator, we keep current with the latest cafeteria plan regulations and court cases to insure that your program is administered in accordance with the current regulations – especially as they relate to debit card processing. Our FSA compliance services are designed to help you meet your reporting, disclosure, and non-discrimination requirements.

4. What sets MMA’s FSA administration services apart from our competition?

Spending Account plans are an important part of a well-designed benefits package, helping you and your employees limit rising benefits costs by using pre-tax dollars. At Marsh & McLennan Agency (MMA) our team of experts (over 160 years of industry experience and average team tenure of 9 years) work with you to simplify Spending Account administration and put the right plan in place and keep you in compliance

Innovation, Enthusiasm, Service, Integrity, Value and Responsibility are the core values we strive to exemplify through our Spending Account administration services. These values are personified through our positive client relationships.

5. How can a Spending Accounts solution benefit employees impacted by COVID-19?

Employers can help employees in their time of need with providing financial assistance easily with our emergency debit card, available in either post-tax or Section 139 tax-free options.

Employees can use the COVID-19 Care Card to cover unexpected costs or purchase necessities such as:

  • Healthcare expenses (hospitalizations, behavioral care, etc.)
  • Childcare (nanny/au pair, babysitter, private day care center)
  • Household Expenses (groceries, cleaning supplies, utility costs)
  • General Support (hazard pay or to soften a furlough/layoff)

6. Does the 2020 Cares Act apply to Spending Accounts solutions?

Yes, changes outlined in the 2020 Cares Act allow for the following additional benefits:

  • Over-the-Counter medications are now eligible in FSA/HSA
  • Feminine products are now eligible in FSA/HSA
  • Relief for Dependent Care with allowance to stop or decrease contributions to account without a QLE

7. What if an employee has a question about their account?

Employees can reach the call center via the toll-free number during normal business hours (8:30Am – 5:30PM ET), Monday through Friday with the exception of designated holidays.  Our voicemail, electronic mail, and Interactive Voice Response (IVR) services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Extended hours are available until 8:00PM EST.

Our average answer speed of all queued calls will be 30 seconds or less, 45 seconds or less during any quarter in which an open enrollment occurs.

8. What is the advantage of an employer offering a Spending Accounts Solution?

Employee Advantages

  • Increased Control
    • With money that belongs to them, employees have more control over their healthcare
  • Employee Tax Savings
    • Employees contribute to their FSA through payroll deductions, taken out on a pre-tax basis for qualified expenses incurred during the current plan year.

Employer Advantages

  • Competitive Benefits
    • With flexible options, employers can attract all-star talent with compelling benefits
  • Payroll Tax Savings
    • With higher pre-tax employee contributions, employers pay less in payroll taxes


9. Which employers are required to offer COBRA coverage?
COBRA generally applies to all private-sector group health plans maintained by employers that had at least 20 employees on more than 50 percent of its typical business days in the previous calendar year. Both full- and part-time employees are counted to determine whether a plan is subject to COBRA. Each part-time employee counts as a fraction of a full-time employee, with the fraction equal to the number of hours worked divided by the hours an employee must work to be considered full time. For example, if full-time employees at Company A work 40 hours per week, a part-time employee who works 20 hours per week counts as half of a full-time employee, and a part-time worker who works 16 hours per week counts as four-tenths of a fulltime employee.

COBRA also applies to plans sponsored by state and local governments. The law does not apply, however, to plans sponsored by the federal government or by churches and certain church-related organizations.

10. Can an employer deny Cobra insurance?
If the terminated employee was never an eligible plan participant, the employer can cancel coverage retroactive to the original coverage … Under COBRA, a person who has been terminated for gross misconduct may be denied COBRA.

11. What if an employer fails to offer Cobra?
Employers who fail to comply with the COBRA requirements can be required to pay a steep price. Failure to provide the COBRA election notice within this time period can subject employers to a penalty of up to $110 per day, as well as the cost of medical expenses incurred by the qualified beneficiary

12. How does MMA help us keep track of changes enacted due to COVID-19 and assure employers maintain compliance?

Our goal is to make your job easier by saving you money and time, and to keep you compliant. When you partner with MMA, you can rely on our team of experts (over 120 years of industry experience and average team tenure of 15 years) backed by our in-house team of compliance specialists. We offer the tools, services, and support to help you avoid penalties and to simplify COBRA administration for your employees and human resources team.


13. What services are included with MMA’s ACA solution?

MMA offers 3 ACA solutions which can be integrated with our Benefits Administration or be handled on a standalone basis.

  • Reporting and Tracking
  • Reporting only
  • State reporting

14. Must employers purchase full service ACA Solutions?

No. MMA offers reporting only services for those employers who do not have a variable hour population and/or do not need full tracking and reporting.

15. What is the Individual Mandate?

The Individual Mandate generally requires individuals to purchase qualifying health coverage or pay a tax penalty, unless they qualify for an exemption. The Mandate forces people who might otherwise not buy health insurance to do so in order for health insurance to be more evenly spread amongst the pool of covered individuals, and not just the sick. Of course it also covers a healthy individual from an unexpected illness or injury. To avoid a health care tax penalty, the Individual Mandate requires individuals to submit proof of insurance with their tax filings. Employers nationwide should expect this trend of states adopting their own Individual Mandates to continue.

MMA can provide these services to remove the burden from your HR Team.

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