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Bid Title: Request for Proposals for Section 125 Plan Administration Services
Category: Human Resources
Status: Closed

Request for Proposal
City of Bismarck
Section 125 Plan Administration Services
Proposed Effective Date: January 1, 2021

Introduction & Bid Process
This document is a request for qualified companies to submit proposals to provide the City of Bismarck with administration and claims payment services for its Flexible Spending Account Program. The contract period should be from January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2021 or longer.

Submission Requirements
  1. Proposals will be received by the City of Bismarck, Attn: City Administrator, 221 N 5th Street, Bismarck, ND 58506, until 3:00 p.m., Monday, August 3rd, 2020. Late proposals will not be considered.
  2. Eight printed, paper copies of the proposals, must be returned (with all necessary attachments) to the City of Bismarck by the proposal receipt date and time specified.
  3. Following is a schedule of the RFP process:
RFP Posted and Issued:  July 17, 2020
RFP Closing:  August 3, 2020
Contract Award:  August 11, 2020
Contract Effective Date:  January 1, 2021

General Requirements
Said proposals must conform to the following specifications and instructions.
  1. The City of Bismarck reserves the right to reject any and all proposals and to waive formalities. Upon review of each proposal, the City of Bismarck also reserves the right to request additional clarification, if needed, regarding networks, benefits, and funding.
  2. The contractor agrees to comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act, Fair Employment Practices, Equal Opportunity Employment Act and all other applicable Federal, State and County Laws.
  3. Services are to be provided in accordance with Section 125 of the Internal Revenue Code and all other laws and regulations which may become applicable from time to time. All proposals should assume that complete administrative and reporting services will be provided for the following Reimbursement Account Plans: Medical Flex Spending Account Plan and Dependent Care Account Plan, COBRA Administration.
  4. Your proposal must respond to the specific questions and requests for information addressed in this Request for Proposal. In responding, please include a letter stating the extent to which your proposal deviates from the Description of Required Services and indicate the reason for any deviation. If no statement of deviation is provided, it will be assumed that your proposal conforms to the Description of Required Services.

Evaluation Criteria
Each proposal should enable the City of Bismarck Commissioners to make a thorough evaluation and arrive at a sound determination as to whether the proposal will meet their requirements. Each proposal must be specific, detailed and complete as to clearly and fully demonstrate that the proposer has a thorough knowledge and understanding of the requirements.

Contract Award
  1. The City of Bismarck reserves the right, before making an award, to investigate whether or not the qualifications or services proposed by the offeror meet the requirements set forth in the proposal and are ample and sufficient to insure the proper performance of the contract in the event of an award.
  2. Any notice of contract award resulting from this RFP will be made only by written authorization from the City of Bismarck.
  3. The City of Bismarck reserves the right to waive any or all requirements of this RFP; accept or reject any or all proposals, if deemed by the City of Bismarck to be in the best interest of them.

Background Information
General Background

The City of Bismarck is committed to providing a quality Section 125 Administration program for its employees. Currently the City of Bismarck employees 635 full time employees. 
  1. Classification of Employees: All full-time employees actively working 40 hours per week. Coverage for employees is effective the first of the month following 30 days of employment. 
Current Plan
  1. The City of Bismarck has been with TASC since January 2009.
  2. The annual Medical Flex Spending Account maximum is $2,750. The annual Dependent Care Account maximum is also $5,000.
  3. The City of Bismarck plan year begins each year on January 1 and includes the $500 rollover provision. Participants have 60 days from the end of the plan year to seek reimbursements for services incurred in the prior plan year.

Description of Required Services
The objective of the RFP process will be to identify among multiple proposals the best employee program with the most effective price for Section 125 Plan Administration. The plan must be compatible with the City of Bismarck online enrollment platform Blue Connect/bswift. 

Claims Administration
  1. The administrator will be responsible for verifying coverage from the initial enrollment data of each plan year and any subsequent changes which are transmitted to it by The City of Bismarck. Claims can only be paid to participants in the plan.
  2. The administrator must process all claims on a direct claim basis with no verification of claims by The City of Bismarck.
  3. The administrator must process and make all necessary payments on valid and documented claims within five (5) working days from the receipt of the properly completed claim form. The administrator must issue payments each business day. In those cases where a claim cannot be processed due to lack of information or some other reason beyond the control of the administrator, notice must be sent within five (5) days from receipt of the claim, advising the employee of the nature of the issue preventing the claim from being processed. The notice must be clear, concise, and easily understood by the employee.
  4. The administrator must review each claim and determine the appropriate benefit payment based on the terms and conditions of The City of Bismarck Flexible Benefits Plan in a manner which will ensure compliance with all applicable state and federal regulations.
  5. The administrator must be able to recognize actual accrual of employee contributions in the determination of reimbursement amounts.
  6. A listing of checks, debit card transactions or direct bank deposits to participating bank accounts, issued to pay claims must be made available to The City of Bismarck no less frequently than monthly.
  7. The administrator must provide, with each payment, an explanation of the benefit paid. Explanations of Benefits must clearly identify the details of each submitted claim included in any payment.
  8. The administrator must be able to respond to questions from employees by making available telephone access and staff who can address issues which are raised from time to time. Such access must at least be available during the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. CST, Monday through Friday.
  9. The administrator must maintain enrollment, claim and contribution accrual data in machine readable format that would allow for the transfer of claim information to another administrator at the termination of the contract.
  10. The administrator must agree to make every effort to facilitate the transfer of claims data to another administrator at the culmination of the contract.
  11. The administrator must have the capacity to accept contribution information transmitted electronically by the City of Bismarck online enrollment vendor Blue Connect.

Data Analysis and Reporting Requirements
  1. The administrator must provide The City of Bismarck with monthly reports of each participant’s status in each FSA account. Include all sample reports in your proposal. Such reports, for each employee, should include: Participation election amount, Actual accrual of contributions year to date, Reimbursements year to date, Pending claim amounts, Net FSAP account amounts (contributions less reimbursements) year to date.
  2. All payments made by the City of Bismarck must reconcile to this report.
  3. The administrator must provide a report (in electronic format, if requested) of Dependent Care contributions by the participants at the end of the plan year for W-2 reporting purposes. The administrator must provide reports (in electronic format, if requested) of any other information on FSA participants required for regulatory compliance.
  4. The administrator must provide each plan participant with a status report of participation on each account no less frequently than quarterly. A status report must also be sent to the employee, no less than ten days after the administrator is alerted to an employee’s coverage termination (or break) due to employment termination (or leave status), or alerted to an employee’s coverage resumption, or COBRA participation. The report must include a reminder regarding the forfeiture risk born by the employee and applicable dates for claims accrual and reimbursement filing restrictions. A composite status report must be prepared for those employees participating in both Medical Flex and Dependent Care account.

Administration Services
  1. The administrator must provide assistance with the development of plan language provisions and communication materials to employees. This would include, but not be limited to, plan documents, brochures, articles, paycheck stuffers, and meetings.
  2. The administrator must maintain a knowledge base of all applicable regulatory compliance requirements and advise The City of Bismarck of those as they develop or change.
  3. The administrator must assist The City of Bismarck in performing, measuring, and meeting all applicable regulatory tests such as non-discrimination testing.

  1. The administrator must be able to handle the Medical Flex and Dependent Care Reimbursement accounts.
  2. The administrator shall agree that the amount due from The City of Bismarck for the monthly administrative fee will be received by the administrator no later than the last day of the month for that month’s fee.
  3. All correspondence and periodic reports to the City of Bismarck employees shall be sent to the employee’s home address.
  4. The City of Bismarck requests pricing for debit cards for employees participating in Medical Flex accounts.
  5. The selected vendor will need to be able to accept a weekly full file feed from the benefits administration system BlueConnect/bswift. The scope of services generally falls into the following categories:
• Electronic Enrollment Services for all plan offerings
• Automation of demographic and enrollment changes-basically the ability for the file to update their system with the applicable changes that an employee makes throughout the year such as address changes, election changes etc. 
• Eligibility Maintenance
• Payroll Deduction Communication
• Premium Invoicing Services
• Administrator Functions
• Trouble-Shooting Features
• Qualifying Event Management
• Form and Document “Portal” Services

Publication Date/Time:
7/17/2020 12:00 AM
Closing Date/Time:
8/3/2020 3:00 PM
Submittal Information:
Proposals will be received by the City of Bismarck, Attn: City Admin, 221 N 5th Street, Bismarck, ND
Contact Person:
Robert McConnell
Director, Human Resources
City of Bismarck
Business Hours:
8:00 am - 5:00 pm

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