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Eligibility for the Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA)

OPERS offers a Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) to benefit recipients meeting certain age and service credit requirements. The HRA is an account funded by OPERS that provides tax-free reimbursement for qualified medical expenses such as monthly post-tax insurance premiums, deductibles, co-insurance, and copays incurred by eligible benefit recipients and their eligible dependents.

OPERS members retiring with an effective date of Jan. 1, 2022 or after will be eligible for the HRA by meeting one of the following criteria:

Age 65 or older

Age 60 - 64

Age 59 or younger

Aging into eligibility

Female OPERS HRA recipient

Providing a member has at least 20 years of qualified health care service credit at retirement, they will eventually be eligible for the HRA even if they are not eligible when they first retire.

Your Monthly HRA deposit

If you are eligible for the HRA based on the criteria previously listed, OPERS will fund your HRA with a monthly deposit. The amount of this deposit will be a percentage of a base allowance amount.

With an OPERS benefit effective date of Jan. 1, 2022 or after, your allowance percentage is determined by:

2022 base allowance amounts:

Pre-Medicare benefit recipients: $1,200 per month
Allowance Percentages and monthly HRA deposits will range from 51% ($612.00 per month) to 90% ($1,080.00 per month) of the base allowance amount.

Medicare benefit recipients: $350 per month
Allowance Percentages and monthly HRA deposits will range from 51 percent ($178.50 per month) to 90 percent ($315.00 per month) of the base amount.

Where can I find my HRA allowance amount?

Your individual monthly HRA deposit amount is provided on your annual Open Enrollment statement. Or, if you are a new benefit recipient, this amount will be provided in your health care confirmation letter.

Your monthly HRA deposit amount can also be found within your OPERS online account (link opens in new tab). You can check your HRA balance at any time by logging into your Via Benefits online account. (link opens in new tab)

If you are not yet receiving an OPERS benefit, you can estimate your monthly HRA deposit in retirement through the Online Estimator within your OPERS online account. (link opens in new tab)

Eligibility for the HRA for OPERS disability benefit recipients

OPERS requires that disability benefit recipients apply for a disability benefit (SSDI) through the Social Security Administration and notify OPERS of the enrollment. If you are not eligible to receive a disability benefit through SSA, you may still be eligible for Medicare.

I receive a disability benefit from OPERS with an effective date:

On or before Dec. 1, 2013 On or after Jan. 1, 2014

Next: How and when can I enroll in the HRA?

If you receive a disability benefit from OPERS with an effective date on or before Dec. 1, 2013, you are eligible for the OPERS health care program (to receive monthly HRA deposits from OPERS and enroll in the OPERS vision and dental plans) regardless of age and/or years of qualifying service credit.

Next: How and when can I enroll in the HRA?

If you receive a disability benefit from OPERS with an effective date on or after Jan. 1, 2014, you will have access to the OPERS health care program only during the first five years you receive the disability benefit.

You may continue to be eligible for the OPERS health care program and monthly HRA deposits beyond five years if you become eligible for Medicare on the basis of a disability prior to the end of your first five years. If you are eligible for Medicare on the basis of disability or upon turning 65, you must meet one of the following criteria to continue to be eligible:

  • Have a disability benefit effective date on or between Jan. 1, 2014 and Dec. 31, 2014 and have 10 years of qualified health care service credit.
  • Have a disability benefit effective date on or between Jan. 1, 2015 and Dec. 31, 2021 and meet one of the age and service credit criteria:
    • Age 60 or older
      • Minimum of 20 years of qualified health care service credit
    • Age 59 or younger
      • Group A – 30 years of qualified health care service credit
      • Group B – 32 years of qualified health care service credit at any age or 31 years of qualified health care service credit and at least age 52
      • Group C – 32 years of qualified health care service credit and at least age 55
  • Have a disability benefit effective date on or after Jan. 1, 2022 and meet one of the age and service credit criteria.

A previous disability retirement based on a different condition will not qualify a new disability benefit application for an exception to the five-year rule.

Next: How and when can I enroll in the HRA?