BASIC EDI Overview

Below is information about establishing EDI feeds with BASIC.

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EDI Requirements (Specs/Layout in PDF) for FSA and COBRA; please contact BASIC for other lines of service

  • Unless BASIC already has an EDI agreement on file for this vendor, from the employer requesting EDI set up, the employer must read and sign THIS FORM, first and send it to  BASIC EDI Overview – (800-444-1922 x3)
  • There typically isn’t a set-up fee to establish secure file transmissions ($115/hour for time spent over 20 hours).
  • BASIC’s expectation is that the client will manage their vendor to ensure progress and timeliness for setting up EDI files.  BASIC will need contact information for both the client and vendor representatives involved in the setup.
  • BASIC reserves the right to charge a monthly fee under certain circumstances.  A monthly fee may be assessed (most likely between $50 and $250 per month) for EDI files with the following issues:
    1. Files are not provided in BASIC’s format
    2. Data fields have incorrect values that do not match BASIC’s administration systems
    3. Required data is missing/not provided
    4. Data is inaccurate or conflicting data is provided
    5. Files are transmitted in a non-standard manner
    6. File delivery notification is not provided
    7. Other reasons as determined by BASIC.
  • EDI Set-up Process (for FSA, HRA, HSA, Transit & COBRA; Leave & Absence Management follow a different process)
  • The Employer contacts BASIC to begin the EDI set-up (email EDIAdmin at or contact your Account Manager).
  • The Employer signs BASIC’s EDI agreement (which outlines EDI fees and responsibilities) and provides contact information for the Employer and their Vendor.
  • BASIC coordinates with the Employer and their Vendor to:
      • Answer questions about data requirements, formats, file names, and secure transmission.
      • Provide a designated secure protocol for Vendor to submit EDI files.
      • Review and test EDI files for accuracy; BASIC will determine if the EDI data meets requirements and, if not, BASIC will determine if the files can be implemented and establish a monthly processing fee.
  • BASIC determines when testing is complete and coordinates with the Employer and their Vendor to establish a go live date (production status).  Going forward, BASIC receives and processes EDI files.
  • EDI File Transmission and Notification

Transmission: Files must be transmitted by SFTP.  (FTP with PGP encryption is available if SFTP is not an option).  Also PGP at a file level can be added to sending with SFTP if requested for extra security, but file level encryption is not set up by default.
(We prefer a custom TCP port for the Secure FTP, but can support the default port of 22, by adding the public facing IP address of the server doing sending into our firewall.  In that case though, the sending party must make a note to let us know of any change to that IP address or range, or established feeds could stop working without warning).

Notification: We request that the vendor doing the sending of EDI files is able to send an email notification when new files are sent, with the number of records in the file(s) if possible.  An email address for notification will be provided per Line Of Service, as part of a new set up.

Vendors with existing SFTP Feeds with BASIC:  If you have an existing SFTP feed with BASIC, we request that you use the existing feed for new mutual clients wanting to set up an EDI feed.  Ideally, you will already have the password securely stored for reference, and access to our template and recent past set ups to allow for consistency in setting up new clients.  We can help though, if you have new questions about a new set up.

EDI Formats

EDI File Naming


  • EDI File Formats (Download Specs in PDF) for FSA and COBRA, please contact BASIC for other lines of service

Note:  BASIC’s systems do not support importing files in 834 format.
But we do accept CSV or Excel formats in the following file types matching back to a record type in our import specs.

FSA OE File:
Open Enrollment – Full file of all FSA participants (File type: FSAOE), record type 1 – (Sample1)

Note: An OE template file for a one time load is available HERE, for times where an upload is needed before EDI for FSA has been completed.  Once populated with the Open Enrollment data, it can be uploaded HERE.

FSA Ongoing Changes – 4 separate change files are defined.
Mid-year Enrollments   (File type: FSAAdd), record type 1, but as a change file
Election Changes   (File type: FSAChange), record type 2
Coverage Terminations   (File type: FSATerm), record type 3 – (Sample)
Demographic Changes, address & name changes (File type: FSADemo), record type 4  (Sample)
Notice: There is an allowance in the specs for combining the last 3 of these into 1 file, if preferred.  It does not include any option to combine new enrollments however.

FSA Payroll Deduction Import (optional):  -  (Sample1)
FSA Payroll deduction, optional file to report actual deduction amounts withheld each pay period.  (File type: FSAPayded) – Defined in specs, but with no record type number.

COBRA: (Applies only if client has COBRA with BASIC, and wants to send COBRA EDI files)
Initial Notifications – Changes only   (File Type: COBRAIN), record type 5 – (Sample1)
Qualifying Events – Changes only   (File Type: COBRAQE), record type 6 – (Sample1)

COBRA PLAN NAMES – Please contact EDIAdmin at and request a PDF version of the insurance plan report for the Employer being set up to see the plan names to match to.  If any plan names have commas in them then, if you are sending us a CSV file, please be sure to qualify the plan name field by surrounding it in double quotes, or the comma will be inappropriately considered as the start of the next field.

COBRA COVERAGE LEVELS – (Please match coverage levels to the appropriate ones below.  It is not case sensitive.  The import process has been modified so that the apostrophe shown before the EE is optional, so EE & SPOUSE works as well as ‘EE & SPOUSE for example.  TWO PARTY is like the 3 tier version of the ‘EE & SPOUSE coverage level.  It also matches our system if you send it as 2 PARTY)

‘EE & 2+ KIDS

Transmission and Notification
EDI File Naming

  • File Naming Conventions  (Also found inside the EDI SPECS)

File names must contain the Employer Name, File Type, and a unique time stamp, so that files are not overwritten.  Files sent for a different plan year, such as the OE file for an upcoming plan year, should have the plan year noted to help distinguish it from the usual change files for the current plan year that is active with the Employer.

Format: COMPANYNAME_FileType_YYYYMMDD_HHNNSS.csv or .xls
Examples:  ExampleInc_FSAAdd_20160415_063025.csv  OR  SampleCompany1_COBRAQE_20160601_080328.csv

For Files that are in Testing still, please prepend the word TEST to the file name, so it becomes TEST_COMPANYNAME_FileType_YYYYMMDD_HHNNSS.csv

  • FSA EDI Frequently Asked Questions

OE Record

-          Do you need to receive an OE record every time a new EE enrolls (even after OE has ended)?[Tracy Blanchard]  Yes new enrollee’s throughout the plan year should be provided on the OE record.  Note: this record should not be a full file, but only employees newly enrolling would be provided.  (I.E. Midyear Enrollment FSAAdd File)

-          In the account type field, the possible values include DCA, MRA, and MLP.  If we pass DCA for dependent care, what should we pass for the medical reimbursement plan?[Tracy Blanchard]  MRA is General Purpose Medical Reimbursement Account, MLP is Limited Purpose Medical Reimbursement Account.  If an employee enrolls in a DCA and a medical plan they would be on the file twice, once for each benefit type.

Annual Election Changes Record

-          We keep a salary effective date.  Is this equivalent to the Effective Pay Check Date?[Tracy Blanchard]  possibly not.  What we are looking for the pay check date that the MRA and/or DCA deductions will begin on.

-          Can you clarify when, and in relation to what kind of change, we should send “Permanent Change” in contrast to “Temporary Change”?  Our system does not record whether changes to any information (including name, effective date, account type, election amount, and per pay amount) are permanent or temporary.[Tracy Blanchard]  Most Third Party Provides are unable to indicate this.  An example of a temporary change would be if someone was to go on an unpaid leave for say 3 weeks, as a result they would not have payroll deductions for 3 pay periods.  A permanent change example would be an increase in someone’s election say form $300 to $500, the new per pay amount would be for the remainder of the plan year.

-          Although we do record the total number of pay periods an EE receives in a year, groups do not enter their pay schedules in our system.  We therefore do not currently have a means of tracking either the number of pay periods remaining in a year, or the number of pay periods for which a change in election amount is to be effective.  While we could provide a reliable number for EEs who enroll during OE, we cannot reliably factor the remaining amount of pays after a change or termination is reported.  Will the absence of this information pose a serious obstacle to processing our export?  [Tracy Blanchard]  If this is information is not provided we assume the change is “permanent”  and would expect if it is not, they would appear on a further file from ABC Company or on our Payroll file from a vendor with access to payroll information.

-          What information needs to be sent in the Notes field?[Tracy Blanchard]  this is at the providers discretion and is simply available “just in case”.

Termination Record

-          We do not track the date of last contribution.[Tracy Blanchard]  If this information is not provided there may be a monthly charge to the Employer and we would need to contact the client each time a termination occurs.  The Employer should be informed that this information is not able to be provided by you.  For small groups especially, to avoid potential fees for the Employer, you may consider the option to send them a secure email with termination or other change information, and they can add in the date of last contribution, plus any other fields you cannot provide, and just fill it out on our online PIC form, without using an EDI feed.

-          Because we do not track the amount of pays that each EE has received, we do not have a reliable way of reporting the Total Medical Reimbursement and Dependent Care Contribution Withheld.[Tracy Blanchard]  same as above.

-          What information needs to be sent in the Notes field?[Tracy Blanchard]  this is at the providers discretion and is simply available “just in case”.

Demographic Changes Record

-          What information needs to be sent in the Notes field?[Tracy Blanchard]  this is at the providers discretion and is simply available “just in case”.

Payroll Deductions Record

-          Are we able to set-up an import for deduction rate changes?[Tracy Blanchard]  within the file specs there is a layout for a payroll deduction/import file.  This file is used to report the payroll deduction withheld for all participants each payroll date.

Transmission and Notification
EDI Formats
EDI File Naming