OPERS Medicare Connector Health Reimbursement Arrangement
A Health Reimbursement Arrangement, or HRA, is an account funded by OPERS that provides tax-free reimbursement for qualified medical expenses. The monthly allowance deposits can accumulate from month to month and, unlike most flexible spending accounts, the balance will roll over from year to year. Via Benefits administers the HRA.
How to use your HRA
The HRA is provided to eligible retirees for reimbursement of qualified out-of-pocket medical expenses incurred by you or your qualified dependents.
For example, you may seek reimbursement of premiums (e.g., individual Medicare Advantage or Medigap (Medicare Supplement) plan, Medicare Part B, dental and vision) and other out-of-pocket expenses as defined by the IRS including medical and prescription drug copays and co-insurance.
Get the Via Benefits Accounts mobile app and have your account at your fingertips
Access your HRA account anytime, anywhere, with the Via Benefits Accounts mobile app. Check your balance, submit a reimbursement request and get support right at your fingertips!
Download the Via Benefits Accounts mobile app on the Apple App Store or Google Play. Use your existing Via Benefits online account username and password to log in. Questions? Please call Via Benefits, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern Time.
To be eligible to receive the HRA, you must be:
- Currently eligible for OPERS health care coverage as a primary benefit recipient
- Enrolled in both Medicare Parts A and B
- Enrolled in an individual Medicare medical plan through the OPERS Medicare Connector
The HRA administrator sets up the account after the retiree is enrolled in a medical plan through the Connector.
How much is deposited into my HRA?
The monthly amount deposited into your HRA depends on your years of service and age when enrollment in the OPERS health care plan first takes place.
Individual allowance amounts range between $229 and $405 with more than 90 percent of current retirees receiving $337 or more per month.
You can check the amount in your HRA at any time by logging into your Via Benefits online account.
Submitting Claims for Reimbursement from your HRA
The HRA will reimburse you up to the extent that there is a balance available in your account.
There are two different ways to receive reimbursements from your HRA: automatic and manual.
For some medical and prescription drug premiums, retirees have the option of either Automatic Premium Reimbursement or Recurring Reimbursement. Refer to the Via Benefits Getting Reimbursed Guide for detailed descriptions that describe the benefits of each type of reimbursement method.
Reimbursement forms are available through the retiree's Via Benefits online account (link opens in new window) and by phone at 1-844-287-9945. Each form includes a personalized barcode specific to the retiree's HRA as well as a check list detailing the required documentation needed with each claim type. Personalized barcodes eliminate the use of social security numbers to identify accounts and increases accuracy and efficiency when Via Benefits processes reimbursement requests.
Submit claims onlineClaims may also be submitted through your online Via Benefits account. For step-by-step instructions, refer to the Via Benefits Getting Reimbursed Guide.
How to Navigate Your Via Benefits Dashboard (link opens in new tab)
For Caregivers and Families
A trusted resource (such as a caretaker, family member or friend) can be given as little or as much access to your HRA account as you'd prefer.
To provide someone with these privileges, you will need to contact Via Benefits and provide them the appropriate authorization form: Authorized Representative Full, Authorized Representative Limited, and/or Power of Attorney.
To assist a retiree with their enrollment in an individual Medicare Plan or with their HRA
Assistance with Enrollment
A retiree can provide verbal authorization allowing a caregiver to assist with enrollment (this complies with the privacy requirements of HIPAA), but the retiree will need to actually complete the enrollment.
Managing the HRA
A retiree can provide permission verbally for a specific caregiver to assist them with their OPERS account. To allow a caregiver to take full control of their OPERS account, the retiree must complete the Authorization for Release of Account Information process.
Assisting someone who has recently passed
If you are assisting someone who recently passed away, you will need to notify OPERS (1-800-222-7377) and Via Benefits (1-844-287-9945) that the OPERS benefit recipient is deceased.
You will also need to inform medical and pharmacy carriers to stop charging monthly premiums.
More information for caregivers can be found within A Guide for Caregivers and Families.
Medical expenses after a retiree passes away
Any outstanding, qualified medical expenses in the retiree’s name can be submitted to the retiree’s Health Reimbursement Arrangement for reimbursement up to 24 months following the retiree’s death.
Eligible spouses and dependents can also submit qualified medical expenses to the HRA for reimbursement up to 24 months following the retiree’s death. After the 24-month period, the balance of the HRA will be forfeited into the OPERS health care fund.