The Special Interest Group for IIAS Standards
IIAS Certification – SIGIS has established the procedures which enable merchants to certify that they meet the requirements to operate an IIAS. There are two types of merchant IIAS certification:
- Merchants that operate their own inventory and cash register/point-of-sale software certify directly by completing the SIGIS IIAS Merchant Questionnaire and completing a technical certification with their acquirer. See IIAS Merchant Certification for more information.
- Merchants that have contracted with a POS vendor/third-party servicer (TPS) may use a simplified online registration if their POS vendor/TPS has completed SIGIS IIAS certification. See Third-Party Servicer (TPS) Certification for information and a list of SIGIS-certified TPS.
It is ready today, but full rollout requires SIGIS and merchants to take action. The key driver behind the change will be the availability of an updated list of eligible products from SIGIS and the implementation of that list by participating merchants. SIGIS is starting the process to create the list and is working closely with its members to complete this task.
From the HR Service/B3PA systems point of view, no new configuration will be required for this change to be effective. Any plans that currently cover OTC items such as saline solution and medical supplies will provide coverage for the expanded OTC items as soon as the merchants complete implementation, and OTCs are eligible in standard 213(d) plan templates for manual claims processing.
We anticipate that SIGIS and merchant implementation of the new eligible item list will occur gradually within 4-6 weeks of the President signing the bill into law. The first step is SIGIS updating its eligible products list and publishing it to merchants for download. Current SIGIS rules require merchants to update their point of sale systems on at least a monthly basis, and we anticipate many will likely do this as soon as the new list is available.
However, it is essential to emphasize that each merchant will adhere to their timeline for completion of this process based on their internal considerations, and card processors cannot influence this. Also, those merchants who have private label brands need to update their POS databases to mark these products as eligible.
All of this will undoubtedly result in inconsistencies in shopping experiences for the consumer (i.e., OTCs may be allowable at one merchant, but not another) as the industry. Makes this critical transition. We expect any issues like this to be temporary and resolved in a reasonably short time frame.