Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) - Human Resources at Ohio State

Health Reimbursement Account (HRA)

Starting January 2017, Ohio State offers benefits-enrolled employees access to a Health Reimbursement Account (HRA). An HRA is an employer-funded account from which you can be reimbursed, tax free* for eligible heath care expenses.

You earn access to an HRA through participation in Ohio State’s Your Plan for Health (YP4H) Incentive Program. This is part of the university’s continued effort to provide access to high-quality benefits that support both your wellness and financial goals.

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How an HRA Works

  1. You COMPLETE your PHA with biometrics
  2. Ohio State SETS UP your HRA account and adds a $25 credit.* You spend or save your credits
  3. You PARTICIPATE in YP4H programs and challenges to earn points
  4. Ohio State ADDS additional HRA credits once you earn enough points to reach incentive program levels 2 and 3
*Within three days, your $25 credit will appear in your online account with TASC, Ohio State’s HRA administrator. TASC will mail a Health Care Debit Card to your home address if you do not already have one. (Lost your old FSA card? Request a new one by logging into Employee Self Service and selecting MyFSA/HRA.)

HRA Details

Ohio State faculty and staff enrolled in an Ohio State medical plan are eligible to earn up to $150 in HRA credits in 2017. Another $150 can be earned by your enrolled spouse or same-sex domestic partner. Not enrolled in an Ohio State medical plan? You can still participate in YP4H activities and earn Amazon gift cards.

Completion of your Personal Health and Well-Being Assessment (PHA) with biometrics will allow you to earn HRA credits, which the university will add to your personal HRA. Participants can earn additional credits after the completion of wellness activities as a part of the YP4H Incentive Plan. After January 1, 2017, schedule your biometric screening then complete your PHA.

You can use the credits to pay for eligible health care costs, such as deductibles, coinsurance and copayments that you are responsible for paying under your medical, prescription drug, dental and vision plans for yourself and/or your enrolled dependents. The IRS defines expenses that are eligible for reimbursement through an HRA.

Any unused HRA credits will automatically roll over to the following year if you maintain your Ohio State medical plan enrollment.

You have multiple options for filing a claim:

  • Swipe the Health Care Debit Card at the point of service.
  • File a claim online: log on to Employee Self Service, click on “My FSA/HRA” then “File a Claim” and follow prompts for claim info and uploading appropriate receipts.
  • Fill out a Reimbursement Claim Form and fax or mail it to TASC with copies of appropriate receipts.
  • File a claim using the Benefits by eflex mobile app; use your phone to take a photo of receipts.

An HRA is similar to a Health Care FSA, but there are important differences. View the detailed comparison chart below.

Health Care FSA and HRA Comparison
Question/Topic Health Care FSA HRA
What is it? An account that can be used to pay for eligible health care expenses, as defined by the IRS. An account that can be used to pay for eligible health care expenses, as defined by the IRS.
Who can contribute? Only employees contribute to Health Care FSAs under Ohio State’s program. Only the employer can contribute to an HRA.
How do I get an account? You can sign up for a Health Care FSA during Open Enrollment. In 2017, once you complete Level 1 in the YP4H Incentive Program, an HRA will be opened for you and funded with your first credit amount. Additional HRA funding is also available when you complete Levels 2 and 3 and when your enrolled spouse/SSDP completes any of these incentive levels.
Do I need to be enrolled in an Ohio State medical plan to use this account? No Yes
Is there a limit on how much can be put in the account? Yes, the IRS limits how much you can put into an FSA each year. Your contributions can range from $100 to $2,550 per year. In 2017, you can earn up to $150 in HRA funding, and your enrolled spouse/SSDP can earn an additional $150.
Can I save unused contributions to use in future years? No. You must incur eligible expenses to be reimbursed from your 2017 FSA during the period of January 1, 2017, through March 15, 2018. Any remaining funds after that time period will be forfeited. Yes. Any unused HRA funds will roll over to the next year.
Can I cash out my account for anything other than eligible health care expenses? No No
How do I get reimbursed for eligible health care expenses? You can use your Health Care Debit Card when you are paying for expenses at the point of service. Be sure to keep your receipts in case they are requested later to verify the claim. You may also submit reimbursement requests from your smart phone or computer, along with verification of the expense. You can use your Health Care Debit Card when you are paying for expenses at the point of service. Be sure to keep your receipts in case they are requested later to verify the claim. You may also submit reimbursement requests from your smart phone or computer, along with verification of the expense.
Can I choose the account from which I want to be reimbursed? No. Health Care FSA funds will always be used first to reimburse eligible health care expenses because those funds are not eligible to be rolled over to the following year. Once any Health Care FSA funds are exhausted, you may begin to access HRA funds. No. Available HRA funds can be used to reimburse eligible health care expenses only after any Health Care FSA funds have been exhausted. Unused funds at the end of the year are eligible to be rolled over as long as you continue to be enrolled in an Ohio State faculty/staff medical plan.
What happens if I leave Ohio State and I have funds remaining in my account? Funds in your Health Care FSA continue to be available for reimbursement of eligible health care expenses until the filing deadline if you remain employed in an eligible position with Ohio State. For information on availability of FSA funds following a change in eligibility or employment termination visit Health Care FSA. Unused credits in your HRA will continue to be available until the filing deadline only for reimbursement of eligible health care expenses incurred prior to the date your Ohio State medical plan terminates. Unreimbursed credits in your HRA after your medical plan termination date remain with Ohio State unless you elect COBRA medical coverage.

Brutus Buckeye has an active lifestyle here on campus. Read a few sample scenarios featuring our favorite mascot, Brutus Buckeye, to help demonstrate how an HRA might work in various situations.

What is a Health Reimbursement Account (HRA)?
A Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) is an employer-funded, tax-advantaged* account that can be used to help employees pay for out-of-pocket health care expenses.


How do I become eligible for an HRA?
Faculty and staff enrolled in an Ohio State medical plan earn HRA credits by completing the incentive levels in the Your Plan for Health (YP4H) Incentive Program. To earn the first credit amount for level 1, you must complete the Personal Health & Well-Being Assessment (PHA) with biometrics in 2017.  Additional credits can also be earned by completing incentive levels 2 and 3.


Why should I use an HRA?
Participating in an HRA is a great way to stretch your budget. You can use the credits to pay for eligible health care costs, such as deductibles, coinsurance and copayments that you are responsible for paying under your medical, prescription drug, dental and vision plans for yourself and/or your enrolled dependents.


Am I required to have Ohio State medical coverage to use the HRA?
Yes. You must be enrolled in an Ohio State medical plan to be eligible to earn HRA credits.


How much may be contributed to my HRA?
Employees who are enrolled in an Ohio State medical plan have from January 2 – December 3, 2017, to earn the maximum 2017 HRA credits of $150 through Your Plan for Health (YP4H).


Can my spouse/SSDP earn HRA credits?
Yes, if your spouse/SSDP is covered as dependent under your Ohio State medical plan they are eligible to earn up to an additional $150 in HRA credits.


Are HRA credits taxable for non-dependent same-sex domestic partners?
Yes. The taxation is based on the Fair Market Value and is included in the SSDP premium contribution for tax purposes. It is not taxed separately through the incentive payout.


Does my dependent need to be covered by an Ohio State medical plan in order for me to pay for their health care expenses through my HRA?
Yes.


Are the HRA credits available all at once?
No, HRA credits can be earned upon completion of each incentive level, in order, for a total of $150:

  • $25 in HRA credits – Complete level 1 with the PHA with biometrics
  • $50 in HRA credits – Complete level 2 with additional YP4H activities
  • $75 in HRA credits – Complete level 3 with additional YP4H activities

What expenses can I pay for with an HRA?
The IRS defines expenses that are eligible for reimbursement through an HRA in the same way that they are defined for reimbursement through a Health Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA).


Do I lose my HRA credits if I don’t use them all during the plan year in which I earned them?
No. Any unused HRA credits will automatically roll over to the following year if you maintain your Ohio State medical plan enrollment.


What is the maximum amount I can carry over in my HRA?
There is currently no maximum for how much you can rollover to the following year.


Is there a deadline for submitting claims?
You have until March 31, 2018 to submit claims incurred in 2017.


What happens if I terminate Ohio State medical coverage?
Unused credits in your HRA will continue to be available until the filing deadline, but only for reimbursement of health care expenses incurred before your Ohio State medical plan terminated. Unused credits in your HRA after the filing deadline remain with Ohio State unless you elect to continue your medical coverage through COBRA.


*There are tax consequences for non-dependent same-sex domestic partners.