Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is a Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA)?
A. An HRA is a consumer-directed health care option from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas that gives members more control over how they spend their health care dollars by providing a health plan, along with an employer-funded health reimbursement arrangement (HRA) that they manage. This is coupled with online tools that help members make wise decisions about contracting providers, prescription drugs and general health issues. Members will have the resources and information they need to better manage their health and health benefits.
Q. What does “crossover” mean?
A. Crossover is the convenient electronic feature of HRA that connects providers, the health plan, and the HRA fund. If a member has crossover, claims are submitted electronically from the health plan to the reimbursement account, which means less paperwork for the member. Members also have the option of having reimbursements sent to them as a check or deposited directly into a checking or savings account, without completing any paperwork.
Q. How is a member reimbursed for payments made to providers?
A. If a member has crossover, he or she will receive reimbursements through an automated submission from BCBSKS. Otherwise, the member will need to complete a claim form and mail it to the address provided on the form, along with a copy of the summary of claims processed that shows the care received and the charges the member is responsible for. Members can find claim forms on the SelectAccount Web site.
Q. What is “rollover”?
A. Rollover means that the employer allows an employee to carry over all or part of the HRA funds to the next year if a balance remains at the end of the current plan year. The next year’s employer-funded amount would then be added to the rolled-over amount, giving the employee more account money to help pay the deductible amount for that year. Check the plan materials to see if rollover is available.
Q. Is an HRA subject to taxes?
A. No. For more information about this type of account and government regulations, consult a tax advisor.
Q. Will a health care provider be paid automatically from the HRA account?
A. No. The member will be responsible for paying the health care provider. The member has the option to request that reimbursement amounts be deposited directly into his or her personal checking or savings account. Otherwise, the member will receive a check, payable to him or her, mailed to the member's home.
Q. Will the member have to pay the doctor before he or she can receive my account reimbursement?
A. We’re committed to processing claims promptly. Even so, there may be situations in which a member will receive a bill from the doctor before receiving funds from the HRA. In these situations, we suggest the member speak with his or her doctor regarding a mutually acceptable payment plan.
Q. Is my personal health information protected?
A. Our HRA complies with all state and federal regulations for protecting the privacy of our members, so our members can rest assured that their personal information is secure.
Q. Who does a member call about claims questions?
A. The member can simply call customer service at the number on the front of the member ID card for questions about a specific claim, or check the status of a claim our secure section, BlueAccess.
Q. How can a member keep track of their accounts?
A. With an HRA members can obtain regular updates on HRA accounts. Members can access this information at any time through the SelectAccount website. There, a member can receive quarterly balance updates and account status reports that provide balance information and claims detail for a given plan year (available upon request).
Q. What is preventive care?
A. Preventive care refers to services that help members stay healthy. Things like immunizations, regular physicals, mammograms and cholesterol testing, can help prevent illness and reduce health care costs. It’s a win-win for an employee and employer.
Q. Will BCBSKS help members manage their health, as well as their health benefits?
A. Yes. Our members need accurate information about health care services and how much they cost so they can make informed decisions about their health and how to spend their health care dollars. That’s why an HRA offers a variety of tools and informational resources online that can help members live healthier and manage their benefits better. We believe that if our members have the right information and resources, they can make wiser health care decisions.