Tuesday, May 8, 2012

HRA process stays the same

I have already been asked if the HRA process will stay the same for next year. The answer is yes. The Board will continue to view the HRA as the employee's money to spend on approved expenses, and that continues to mean that the remaining balance can carry forward into the next year.

I need to make the strong point that the Flex, 125 plan, dollars that you set aside pre-tax do not flow forward. I do not usually give advice on how to mange your business, but in this case I strongly recommend that you use those Flex dollars for planned and known expenses, or use that fund before the HRA account. Flex dollars are lost if not used in the allotted time-frame, but the remaining balance in the HRA flows into the next year.

We have been asked if we can have health care suppliers direct bill medical (clinic) expenses directly to the HRA. I received an answer back (I hope I asked the question correctly) and the answer is no unless we severely limit how to spend HRA dollars. The School Board has taken the most wide definitions and allow employees to spend HRA dollars on any approved expense. The only way to have medical institutions direct bill is to limit HRA reimbursement only to insurance related expenses. Under the current plan design we do not limit to only those expenses, and I do not think we want to narrow it down, so we are stuck with scanning or sending in the slips.

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