Expanded IIAS Standard: Pay for Vision-Related Prescriptions with FSA Card

In welcome news for both consumers and benefits TPAs, the Inventory Information Approval System (IIAS) has expanded to include vision-related prescriptions, with the first merchant, Walgreens.com, officially adopting the new standard. IIAS, created and maintained by the Special Interest Group for IIAS Standards (SIGIS), is the industry-standard inventory coding system that allows for pharmacy point-of-sale (POS) systems to discern whether transactions are FSA-eligible via the product SKU.

Alegeus has supported the expansion of IIAS since its announcement in August of 2016, as it makes benefit debit cards more consumer-friendly – and creates back-office efficiencies for the organizations that administer them. Because the IIAS system can auto-substantiate the eligibility of purchased items at the POS, this change will minimize the consumer inconvenience and administrative burden of tracking down receipt documentation for FSA-eligible vision expenses.

“Let’s say a consumer is purchasing prescription glasses,” says Chris Rodkey, head of product at Alegeus and a SIGIS board member. “Rather than getting a receipt and submitting it for reimbursement, they can now use their benefit card to immediately pay for the glasses with funds from their FSA.”

The expanded standard will greatly improve auto-substantiation rates. Previously, fewer than 50% of vision swipes were auto-substantiated. As more merchants sign on to the expanded standards, that percentage will increase significantly. For certified merchants like Walgreens.com, 100% of transactions will auto-substantiate.

“Expanding the IIAS standard for vision-related prescriptions is a win for the consumer-directed healthcare industry,” Rodkey says. “Our top priority is to improve the consumer healthcare experience, and we look forward to seeing how this expansion simplifies FSA purchases.”

As part of its initial platform development work to implement the IIAS standard for pharmacy, Alegeus made a strategic decision to also add the capabilities for vision and dental – even though they were not a part of the initial standard. This means Alegeus clients can immediately take advantage of the change.

Contact us for more insight into the Alegeus platform and best practices with FSAs.

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