“IT’S A WISE MAN THAT LEARNS FROM HIS MISTAKES, BUT IT IS A DAMN FOOL THAT DOESN’T LEARN FROM THE MISTAKES OF OTHERS!
- Frasier Crane
It’s a sad fact that the world is full of ne’er do wells. They are everywhere, and they are always blaming someone else for whatever bad situation they find themselves in.
Take the participant who earlier this week called the Benefit Fund Office and said that they were never informed about what would occur to their HRA debit card if they either misused it or failed to timely submit proper supporting documentation.
I have to say, every time I throw out another piece on this very subject, you loyal readers get kind-of-tight. I can hear you now. “Pfft, pul-lease! Not again. Not another article on the HRA debit card. What does it take for people to understand this stuff?” Trust me. I feel your pain and I wish I knew.
So here is the question: Does this caller deserve a shout-out for shamelessly trying to play that card? Or should the call be seen as an insult to the preponderance of the participants who bothered to allocate five minutes of the 525,600 minutes in the last year to read any of the many communications on this benefit so their card would not be permanently deactivated?
Two things I think we all can agree on is: 1) that this subject has been written about ad nauseum; and 2) similar to writing about this benefit again and again, reading about this benefit over and over is a fun-sucking exercise.
Nevertheless, and as the Italians say,
“Non tutte le ciambelle riescono col buco!”
(“Not all donuts come out with a hole.”)
Meaning; things don’t always turn out as planned. (Yes, I could have just said that, but hey, I am just trying to keep this piece interesting, and educational. Plus, who doesn’t like Italian or donuts, right?)
Okay, and once more, if your debit card has been permanently deactivated……you are going to have to deal with the fact that you messed up. That does not make you a bad person, however, it does mean that your card will not be reactivated. That boat has sailed. (Just wave it goodbye and be sad.)
Before you all start an aggressive write-in campaign because the prior paragraph is uncompromisingly to the point, keep in mind that from the proverbial “git-go”, the penalty for either the misuse of a HRA Debit card or for failing to timely submit the proper supporting documentation was clearly communicated. Want proof? Check out the:
- The document that the HRA debit card was affixed to when you first got it. (Specifically, read the very first two bullet points of the left column as well as section 4 (b) found under the section titled “How to Use Your Benefit Card” located on the right column.)
- The HRA article in last April’s newsletter.
- The HRA article in last June’s newsletter.
- The HRA landing page within the Healthcare tab found on the Funds website.
- The HRA FAQs found under the FAQ tab on the Funds website.
- The HRA section of the Health and Benefit Funds Summary Plan Description book. (See pages 145 and 146)
- Oh yeah, this was mentioned during several membership meetings over the past year.
- And if asked, explained by the Fund Manager prior to each and every monthly membership meeting.
As you can see there was no shortage of guidance provided by the Plan.
Looking on the bright side, this:
- Participant no longer has to worry about losing this HRA debit card.
- Participant’s billfold is less bulky.
- Participant still has access to his HRA benefit. He can file future claims electronically or manually directly with Create.
- Participant no longer will have to be concerned about declaring on his taxes any unsubstantiated debit card purchases as that scenerio cannot occur when filing electronically or manually.
The option to learn from this individuals mistake is in front of you. Are you going to choose the actions that will help you thrive, or not?